2012 Massey Ferguson HD Series 2660 Cab Tractor Review

Abundant power and quiet performance

By Geof Fowler, Photography by Massey Ferguson, Oct 04, 2012
We’ve been working with the good folks at Broadhead Company, Massey Ferguson’s marketing arm, to get an early look at the all-new GC1700 series. That review is still forthcoming, but in the meantime when an opportunity arose – courtesy of Goff’s Equipment in Litchfield, Conn. – to get an HD Series 2660 a little dirty, we couldn’t pass it up.

The HD Series (the HD not surprisingly standing for heavy-duty) is comprised of three tractors, the 81 gross horsepower 2660, the 91 horsepower 2670 and the 97 horsepower 2680. Each are available in open station, cab or low-profile configurations (popular with vineyards and orchards). Manufactured in Brazil, HD Series tractors are all built around acclaimed Perkins powerplants. Our test tractor was the 2660 in cab configuration which gets the 1104D-44T four-cylinder turbocharged variant (the 2670 and 2680 also get this powerplant but through the magic of injector pump tuning and turbo boost achieve the added ratings). Displacing 4.4L (269 ci), the liquid-cooled diesel delivers 70 horsepower at the power take off (PTO) at a fuel sipping and wear reducing 2200 rpm.

2012 Massey Ferguson HD Series 2660

Two transmissions are available, an 8F x 8R SyncroShuttle which is standard or a Synchronized 12F x 4R which is optional. Our test tractor was equipped with the 8F x 8R transmission, and frankly, the only reason we see the optional transmission being ordered might be for ultra low-speed spraying applications. Gears 1-4 are synchronized on the 8F x 8R transmission as well as for forward and reverse.

2012 Massey Ferguson HD Series 2660 Front

Hydraulics are open center and gear pumps deliver 14.5 gpm to the remotes for implement use and 8 gpm to the power steering (22.5 gpm total). One rear remote is standard but options to three remotes are possible (our test tractor was equipped with two). The three-point hitch (3PH), a Henry Ferguson innovation, is category-II and rated to lift 3,391 lbs. at the industry standard of 24”. Stabilizers are telescopic and extendable (telescoping) lower links are optional. Both lower links feature adjustable leveling turnbuckles. A handy 24V power outlet is also mounted next to the remotes. Control over the 3PH is by position with a separate lever for draft control adjustment. While we’re talking about the rear we have to note how substantial the differential and axle are. The quality of casting is also of noteworthiness. Massey Ferguson clearly has gotten this form of art down pat.

2012 Massey Ferguson HD Series 2660 with Loader

Two loader options are available on the 2660: the DL250 with a lift capacity of 3,304 lbs. and the DL260 with a lift capacity of 4,085. Our test tractor was outfitted with the DL260 and an 84” medium-duty skid-steer bucket which seemed a good match for the tractor size. The DL260 has built-in stands and is truly a quick attach/detach design – though we’ll bet most owners will never see the need to find out how easy they are to remove. All hydraulic lines are nicely integrated and protected by boom arms.

The 2660 cab variant measures 155” long, 79.1” wide, and 105.1” tall. Ground clearance at the drawbar is 14.8” and the 18.4-30 rear R1 and 12.4-24 front R1 tires ride on a 90” wheelbase. Shipping weight is a hefty 7,319 lbs.

2012 Massey Ferguson HD Series 2680 with Mower

The cab is accessed by a single door on the left side (the right side is fixed) which opens and closes with luxury automotive feel. Climb up the steps and inside and the first thought is that this is an uncluttered design. True, the spaciousness of a tractor this size contributes, but Massey Ferguson engineers have done their homework.

Pedals (left to right) for the clutch, differential lock and lockable split brakes are all suspended from the console. To the right of the brake pedals is a floor-mounted throttle (there is also a hand throttle so the operator has a choice of how to control speed). To the left of the weight adjustable high-back seat are levers for the parking brake and 2WD/4WD selector. To the right of the seat are levers for position and draft control. The transmission shifter is right next to the operator’s right knee and features both ranges within two easily accessible patterns. The loader joystick is mounted just right of the steering wheel. Climate controls are in the upper right cab headliner and a pull down sunscreen is standard. The rear window folds out for ventilation and for easier visibility when hooking up 3PH implements, though the two curved quarter panel windows are stationary.

2012 Massey Ferguson HD Series 2660  Snow

So, how does this all work? Fire up the Perkins and you are immediately struck by how quiet it is – remember this is an 81 horsepower powerplant. We used our handy dBA meter to get an average reading of 79 at idle with fluctuations between 71 and 82. But even this doesn’t tell the story, as the 2660 cab is so isolated that you almost can’t feel the engine running. Raise the loader bucket, depress the clutch, slip the transmission into third gear, second range and push the left side steering wheel SyncroShuttle stalk lever forward. Let out the clutch and you are off, immediately appreciative of the foot throttle control. Shuttle operation was simple: just depress the clutch pedal and move the shuttle stalk to the direction desired – there is no need to come to a stop.

2012 Massey Ferguson HD Series 2660 Tillage

Our test tractor did not have the tires loaded and on rough terrain felt a little on the bouncy side. Later we talked to Tim Goff and he told us that they always recommend having this done before delivery. We’re confident this would have remedied this situation and made for a safer, more stabile feel. Even so, stability was never a worry, as this is such a hefty, substantial tractor.

Which brings us to the single negative – a large one, but perhaps also a great opportunity to someone in the market for a tractor of this size. Tier IV emission regulations requiring the phasing in of tighter requirements for PM and NOx levels over the period of 2008 – 2015 would require significant modifications to the 1104D-44T Perkins powerplants. While this could have been achieved, remember, the HD Series tractors are literally built around these powerplants.

So, Massey Ferguson is discontinuing the HD Series and potential purchasers are limited to dealer stocks. Whenever this happens, our first thought is what kind of smoking deal can you cut? The dealer knows the model is being phased out and wants to clear stock. And Tier III emissions quality isn’t that much less than Tier IV. Then there is the rumored replacement. What other features other than compatibility with the latest emission standards will it have? One thing we’re certain of is that the replacement will continue onward with the heavy-duty heritage of the HD Series and that is a review we can’t wait to bring to Tractor.com readers.

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