The CS is back
The smaller CS tractors originally from the Steyr stable enjoyed a cult following among stock farmers wanting a straightforward tractor. Above average resale values are proof of this. Now the CS is back, albeit in just one model. Mervyn Bailey managed to get an exclusive behind the wheel look.
Although Case IH stopped selling the smaller CS tractors in 2003 they have continued as the Steyr 9000M range for some European markets. In the UK the CS tractors proved popular and calls from dealers to have the range back seem to have been heard, although on a limited basis.
The CS100 is now rolling off the St Valentine production line and sharing a lot of the components that made the CS94 and its siblings simple and reliable. Click here to see the CS100 Limited Edition in action.
The transmission, for instance, remains an all-mechanical affair with only the button splitter not requiring the clutch to be stepped on.
Beneath the one-piece bonnet is a four-cylinder Sisu mechanically governed engine delivering 97hp at a rated speed of 2,300rpm and a maximum output of 99hp. Servicing is every 500 hours so there should be no complaints here and the dipstick is easy to get at.
Important for stock farmers, the cab is easy to hop in and out of and the steering wheel is tilt and rake adjustable, making things even better.
The driver also gets an air-suspended seat as part of the standard package and there is a fold-down plastic passenger seat – there is a cushioned option.
The dash is similar to that used in the larger CVX tractors with an area meter and some other useful electronic features are part of this. There is a flashing light to show when a light or heavy service is required.
Electronics are used to control the rear linkage but this should not be a worry even to the most technophobe of farmers as they have been in use for well over 20 years. Like most systems they are easy to understand – lift height, drop rate and draft are set using dials and there is a rocker switch for lifting and lowering of the lift arms.
Our test tractor was fitted with front loader and with the boom down low visibility was as good as it gets thanks to the steep sloping bonnet. Lifting it up higher though, the low cab roof does restrict the view and operators will find themselves having to lean forward if stacking bales, for instance.
I found the clutch a bit heavy going when changing direction and would much prefer a clutchless powershuttle. The gearstick for the shuttle also runs at a bit of an angle but is easy to get on with.
The hydraulics are also pretty good for loader work. The back end had enough weight to keep the wheels on the ground, even with a bucket full of muck so for most jobs there should be no need to add ballast.
With the loader off we hitched up to a 9,000 litre (2,000 gallon) slurry tanker. Even though the pick-up doesn't swing back it is still possible to see the hook through the meshed pto guard.
Engaging the pto is not as straightforward as it should be and requires the rocker switch to be in the off position before selecting the required speed – it is then ready to be engaged.
All this is fine but if running back and forth to the field the pto speed selector has to be placed in the neutral position, otherwise you will quite literally burn away the service life of the main clutch. There is a warning beep if you forget to select neutral.
For filling the tanker it was useful to find a button on both mudguards for turning on and off rather than having to jump back into the cab. There are also buttons for the lift arms.
On the road,it is well balanced and comfortable enough considering there is no axle or cab suspension. In the field the sound of the Sisu motor is not intrusive. The CS100 Limited Edition is simple enough for those wanting a mechanical tractor and where electrics used are well proven. The back end has enough metal for what is termed a lightweight tractor.
CASE IH CS100 Specification
Engine: Sisu four-cylinder turbo charged with mechanical injection 97hp @ 2,300 rpm, maximum 99hp.
Transmission: Four speed mechanical with split gear on buttons as well as high, low range. Speed range to 40kph. Mechanical shuttle.
PTO: 540, 540E and 1,000rpm.
Cab: Noise level of 72dBa, air conditioning standard, air seat, simple passenger seat and telescopic mirrors.
Recommended price: £36,893 when fitted with 13.6R24 up front and 16.9R34 rear.