Tractor test: Deutz-Fahr TTV 630
We had a brief drive of the Agrotron TTV 630 in May and had high hopes for a week with this flagship TTV. Deutz-Fahr has done a lot to bring the interior up to spec, including fitting an interactive terminal to rival its competitors.
The Agrotron TTV 630 plugs a big gap in the lime-green portfolio between the TTV and X-series, taking Deutz’s CVT offering up to the 200hp sector.
Its arrival brings with it a much larger fuel tank capacity of 435 litres, up from 315 litres, and a clever i-Monitor terminal, which allows management of all tractor functions, including an integral Bluetooth mobile phone kit and radio functions.
It also gets R42 size tyres on the rear axle - something the firm couldn’t do with previous TTV models. Transmission flexibility comes from ZF’s four-range S-Matic CVT transmission, giving a 50kph capability.
Standard UK specification includes a sprung front axle and a cab that rides on airbags. Seven spools come as standard.
It is easy enough to just drive in ‘auto’, and has the benefit of using a shuttle lever or joystick for direction changes, but is much more complex if you want to get the best out of what it has to offer in its manual and pto modes.
The Agrotron has been given a turbo-charged, intercooled, six-pot 6.05-litre Deutz 2012 motor, which is electronically managed and bristling with technology and four valves per cylinder.
With pto and transport boost, the firm claims up to 224hp is available (max power from the engine), though we could only get up to a peak of 187.7hp from the TTV 630’s 1,000rpm pto.
The engine’s two fuel injection system pumps use engine oil for lubrication, rather than relying on the lubricity of diesel fuel, allowing the TTV 630 to run on B100 biodiesel.
Service intervals are every 500 hours, while the hydraulic and transmission fluids need swapping every 1,500 hours. There is an additional 50-litre hydraulic oil reservoir at the front of the transmission housing.
The Deutz also comes with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Rear wing controls
For those not familiar with the Agrotron’s colour coding system, the buttons on the rear wings may cause problems.
Rather than using a linkage symbol, the lift and lower buttons for the three-point linkage are green, while those for the selected hydraulic spool are blue.
Around the back of the tractor, Deutz has cleverly cut spool identification numbers out of the steel plate, so there will never be any confusion at the back, although the i-Monitor allows the spool valve controls to be moved. For example, number one spool doesn’t always have to be on number one control. If you feel the need, you can do this on any of six spools.
Lift capacity for the TTV 630 is a healthy 10,000kg.
Wide opening doors and galvanised steps lead to the bright cab, but the light grey plastics do not give it the same quality feel as the others.
We like the simplicity of the colour co-ordinated controls, which are carried over from other Agrotron models. It also gives a feeling of familiarity when you first get into the cab.
Once in the seat, the Agrotron TTV630 has a different start-up procedure from most other Deutz tractors. If you don’t leave your foot off the clutch when starting there is a buzzing error code. This has been removed by a software upgrade and, as it is a CVT, it cannot be started in gear so you can now start it with or without your foot on the pedal..
A glass sunroof with sun blinds and two interior mirrors help make the Agrotron cab a good vantage point with good all-round visibility. The seat has plenty of adjustment - much better than the bum-aching hard plastic ‘trainer’ seat next to it.
However, we struggled to adjust the steering column reach and rake settings to make them comfortable. This is an area Deutz needs to work on - a relocated pivot-point for the column would be a useful place to start.
Armrest controls and console
Hard plastic buttons on the joystick may be durable, but not as nice to use as the soft touch keys such as those found on the New Holland. It is a pity Deutz did not seize the opportunity to fit a more user-friendly lever to complement the new terminal.
Nor does the joystick work intuitively when you change the direction of travel. If you use the joystick to increase speed when reversing, you have to push it away from you, when you’d expect to pull it, like on the Fendt.
Our model lacked a series of decals for spools five, six and seven - they look like air vent controls. This has since been addressed, says SDF. The pto reference to ‘N’ is easily confused as being neutral, instead of ‘normal’. Speeds offered are 540, 540E, 1,000 and 1,000E.
We felt the large, bright, airy cab lacks storage. There is a large chunk of flat plastic in front of the terminal which would make an ideal tray for an i-pod or phone, particularly as both can be connected to the tractor’s stereo. A cup holder and more 12v power outlets would be useful.
The Agrotron 630 is the first tractor from the Deutz-Fahr stable to get the i-Monitor terminal.
It pushes the tractor to a new level, but we felt incorporating the stereo was perhaps a step too far - to do something as simple as adjust the volume is not straightforward.
You have to run through to the appropriate screen and then use the rotary selector knob to adjust the volume. Even then, volume adjustment steps are so drastically fixed that it is either too loud or too quiet.
It takes time to learn the sub-menus and shortcuts, though we suspect it could be viewed as being far too complex for most users. But these shortcut keys do keep dirty fingers away from the screen.
Once you get to grips with the other features in the i-Monitor, you can appreciate its functionality. But while the screen can be tilted to help reduce glare, it cannot be swivelled. It’s also partially obscured by the main joystick controller. However, the tractor can be used without needing to use the i-Monitor - and there’s a small LCD panel in the front right-hand A-post showing speeds and settings.
Deutz Fahr Agrotron TTV 630
- i-Monitor shortcuts
- Cab suspension
- Bright, roomy cab
- Two toolboxes
- No separate radio
- Poor steering column adjustment
- Hard, cheap-looking plastics
- Poor hydraulic spool valve controls