2012 Massey Ferguson GC2400 Review
A spacious subcompact tractor with big tractor performance
First the model identifiers: The GC2400 we tested is a 22.5 gross horsepower tractor that can be and was equipped with Massey Ferguson’s optional DL100 loader. The GC2410 is a tractor-loader-backhoe (TLB) package of the same horsepower. The GC2600 is a 25 gross horsepower tractor that can be equipped with an optional DL100 loader. And the GC2610 is a TLB package of the same horsepower. All ride on the same basic frame and wide open platform.
Massey Ferguson rates the GC2400 we tested to deliver 18.7 horsepower to the power take off (PTO). The 68.5 ci three-cylinder liquid-cooled diesel started right up and was surprisingly quiet. Massey mates this powerplant to a two-range hydrostatic transmission that through a twin side-by-side pedal arrangement delivers infinite control over the 0-9.1 mph forward and 0-6.68 mph reverse speed ranges. Hydraulics are open center and flow 2.0 gpm to the power steering and 4.3 gpm to the implement (6.3 gpm total). Massey Ferguson rates the GC2400 3PH to lift a class-leading 1,190 lbs, although this rating is at the hitch point and not the industry standard of 24” behind link arms. Even still, the GC2400 has plenty of lift capacity for whatever task you would require of a tractor of this size. For comparison, the turnbuckles are set inside the lower arms which have fixed ends.
Climbing onto the GC2400 operator platform and settling into the high-back and nicely suspended seat, the first thing that came to mind is that this tractor has a lot of space – not just for big feet, but also for large hands etc. This was later demonstrated when Dan Huff, the co-owner of Big Boy’s Toys in Pomfret Center, Conn., who Massey Fergusson so nicely set us up with to do this review, and whose build no doubt played a part in the business name, hopped on the GC2400 and drove off to top off the tank. Though Dan would probably feel more at home on a 1500, 1600 or larger series machine, the GC wasn’t at all too cramped for his size. My 5’11” frame and a few less pounds felt positively at home and totally at comfort behind the wheel.
Dominating the GC dash is a large tachometer in the center that is flanked by analog temperature and fuel gauges to the right and left respectively. Below the gauge cluster on the left is a turn signal/light switch and parking brake. Over to the right is the throttle and next to that is an automotive-style flasher button. As mentioned earlier, the hydrostat controls are of the side-by-side style and deliver nicely modulated control over the entire speed range. The brake is located on the left foot rest and the differential lock is just a few inches away. Controls for the cruise control, 3PH, 2WD/4WD, and speed range are located on the right fenderwell along with the fuel filler cap which places it at a convenient height. Controls for engaging the PTO, 540 RPM rear and 2000 RPM mid (separate) are on the right fenderwell along with a cup holder. Grab handles are on both sides. On the panel just below the operator’s seat is a selector for 3PH rate of drop and a crank handle for mower cut height and transport lockout.
Heading off to the north forty, I was slightly disappointed to find that Massey hadn’t seen fit to equip the GC with the nifty big tractor throttle control of their 1500 series machines (where the operator sets the throttle at a point just off idle, and then as hydraulic demand increases as the foot hydrostat pedal is depressed, the engine speed revs automatically to match to the demand). Oh well, we can only hit the suggestion box to request this feature but conceding that it would surely add cost to this ultra competitive industry segment. As with all the subcompacts we’ve tested, the GC at idle is a little lethargic, but throttle the diesel up to 2000 rpm or even PTO speed and everything comes nicely alive. The DL100 loader with its 48” bucket (the only one offered) dug right into a pile of gravel, which we easily managed to relocate and then recreate. Even without rear ballast the GC never felt tipsy, but seatbelt use – automotive-style retractable of course – is always recommended. Lift capacity of the DL100 is rated at 678 lbs. to the full 73” lift height.
Our test tractor was equipped with the model 2325 60” mid-mount mower. This is a side-discharge deck with three anti-scalp rollers (the front rollers swivel freely). A shaft from the transmission drives the gear box which in turn spins the three blades via a v-belt. We found the cut quality quite nice and the discharge material finely shredded. We did not have a chance to remove the deck, but Dan told us that is can be accomplished in a few minutes without tools.
The GC features a standard ROPS which doesn’t fold (the TLB models get a higher but folding ROPS to safely protect during backhoe use), but is designed to fit under 6’ garage doors and comes with hoops protecting those nice large flasher lenses that would surely be grabbed by a inconsiderate tree or bush. Other features include a weather-tight pocket for the owner’s manual behind the operator’s seat and four-bulb headlamps. On the TLB models, the backhoe has been engineered so that the lower 3PH lift arms do not need to be removed. Our test tractor came with R3 turf tires, but R4 industrial and R1 Ag tires are also available.
Massey Fergusson didn’t skimp when it came to service points either. The flip-up hood allows easy access to the engine compartment, oil dipstick, air cleaner and screens. Hydraulic fluid is easily added through a filler tube next to the rear PTO and fluid level is monitored by an easy to see sight glass.
Do you think there’s any question a 165-year-old marquee brand would stand behind its good name? Of course not; all GC tractors come with a two-year/2000-hour bumper-to-bumper warranty that includes parts and labor.
If you’re in the market for a subcompact but are looking for a bit more elbow room, check out the GC series. We think you’ll be pleased you did.
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