We got the first taste of the new 4600 series tractors at the North Queensland release in March this year and couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel when they hit our dealership.
The new 4600 series consists of three tractors, the 80-horsepower 4608, the 90-horsepower 4609, and the 100-horsepower 4610 of which we got to test the 4608 Cab version. The powerplant used in the 4600 series is markedly different, Massey Ferguson took the opportunity to completely redesign the 4600 series, beginning with all-new three-cylinder AGCO powerplants that make equivalent power and are Tier IV compliant without the need for particulate filtration.
Achieving Tier IV compliance without having to go the route of particulate filtration may well be the best selling point of the redesign. Particulate filters are expensive to replace and require regenerative cycling that equates to unproductive downtime. The 33AWIC powerplant in the 4608 is turbocharged and intercooled and uses high-pressure common rail injection to achieve a rating of 69 horsepower at the power take off (PTO) at 2200 rpm. The 3.3L mill utilizes SisuTronic EEM4 engine management to keep everything in check and operating at the highest efficiency.
The 4600 series gets 12F/12R PowerShuttle transmissions, which have six synchronized forward and reverse gears and two ranges. Gear changes can be accomplished on-the-fly using the clutch pedal, but range changes require the tractor to be brought to a halt. Changing direction with the PowerShuttle is as simple as pulling up the left hand turn signal-like stalk and pushing it forward or pulling it back. No clutching is required and the tractor does not need to have come to a halt to reverse direction.
At the rear, hydraulics are run through an open center tandem pump arrangement that flows 65 litres / min going to the remotes. The Cat II three point hitch (3PL) a lift capacity of 2,500 kg at link end. The PTO is independent and electronically engaged with 540 and 1000 rpm ranges (Soon to be changed to a 540/540E configuration). A nice feature though is that disengaging the PTO only requires a tap of the yellow PTO knob. Two rear remotes are the standard configuration, but up to three valves are supported. Valve choices are simple spring return to neutral (SRN), kick out (KO) and kick out and float (KO/FL). The lower link arms are quick detach and stabilizers telescope for ease of attachment and the lower arms also feature adjustable leveling with turnbuckles. And while we’re at it, the axle and differential are substantial with the same outstanding casting quality as expected from Massey Ferguson. The rear axle is a flange type with planetary final drive. Differential lock is standard and the brakes are independent with internal wet multi-discs.
Climbing up into the deluxe cab and the operator is treated to a spacious cabin with ergonomically positioned, color-coded controls. The suspended seat is adjustable for operator weight and is fully adjustable with armrests that fold out of the way and a retractable seatbelt. The steering column tilts for comfort and visual access to the automotive quality instrumentation package. Fire up the 33AWIC with the cabin door closed and noise levels are quite quiet.
The 4608 we tested measured 3815mm long and is 2550mm high to the top of the cab, with an 2250mm wheelbase and the cab version weighing in at the 2950kg, The all new 4600 would be a great addition to any farm, estate or nursery.