In the undulating hills of Blampied, just north of the rich mining town of Ballarat, Tom Dickson unearths a new gem from the Case IH crown, the Farmall JX series tractors, now on sale in Australia.
Dating back to 1923, the original concept for the Farmall was for a machine that could be fitted with a variety of implements to perform multiple tasks around the farm.
Today Case IH has maintained that original idea of versatility by reintroducing the iconic Farmall brand back onto the market.
The JX series encompasses six models ranging in size from 70hp to 110hp. All are powered by an upgraded 8000 series Tier 3 turbo-charged diesel engine, featuring either three or four cylinders. According to Andrew Prendergast of A&J Prendergast Fencing Contractors, who recently replaced his six-year old Case JX 80 with a new Farmall JX 80 ROPS, the new engine delivers a noticeable increase in power and fuel economy.
Daily maintenance checks are made easy: lifting the bonnet exposes a large air cleaner canister mounted prominently at the front, providing easy access for routine cleaning, a radiator cap positioned within easy reach and extra dust screens fitted to the front of the radiator to reduce the chance of blockages within the cooling fins. Engine oil can be checked without having to raise the bonnet. An under cabin fuel tank allowed for easy filling and the 110-litre capacity meant there was more than enough fuel to complete a full day’s work.
On the transmission front, the JX series offers two transmission options. The Farmall JX 70 and 80 feature an economical 12×12 synchro shuttle; while the JX 75, 90, 100 and 110 come with a 12×12 hydraulic power shuttle.
Under test the gearbox performed well. The JX 80 achieved a minimum speed of 1.82kph by selecting first gear in low range and was great for manoeuvring through tight turns in and around the sheds. Medium range provided plenty of options once away from the yard into the more open spaces of the paddocks. And heading out onto the road to see how high range performed, the clutch felt firm without being heavy and each gear change offered little or no resistance.
For specialist applications, optional creep speed provides an additional eight forward speed, providing a minimum 250 metres per hour at rated engine speed.
While the three-point linkage adjustment lever was mounted a bit low on the right-hand side beside the seat, the hydraulics performed well with a load of hardwood fence posts on the forks, even at low revs.
PTO speed selection is courtesy of an easy to reach lever, with a choice between a mechanical or hydraulically assisted PTO engagement. A PTO with 540/1,000rpm working speed is standard, and suits all applications.
All up, Andrew Prendergast says that as a no-frills tractor the JX 80 delivers good manoeuvrability, four-wheel drive, diff lock that can be engaged on the go, and a set of tyres that will handle boggy conditions – perfect for a contractor like him.
(Source – http://www.newfarmmachinery.com.au/reviews/2013/9/case-ih-farmall-jx80-tractor-test/)