REVIEW: Deutz-Fahr 6135G Powervision
TRADE FARM MACHINERY
By: Harrison Hunkin
Say hello to the new Deutz-Fahr 6135G PowerVision, the German company’s latest addition to the Aussie market. Like the majority of Deutz tractors released over the past two years or so, this is a sleek looking machine, and the best part – it’s been designed especially for Australia.
That’s right; the word on the block is that the design brief for this new 6G series was to create a tractor that could handle the Australian conditions. An imposing machine, with that distinct European styling. Could there finally be a new Green machine in town?
Let’s start with the power source. The 6135G uses a Tier 3 Deutz common rail 6.1-litre six-cylinder Deutz engine that pushes out a maximum of 141hp (105.1kW). This gives the 6135G plenty of punch, though if you’re after a bit more grunt, then the 6G series does go all the way up to a 203hp (151.3kW) model.
Delving into this six-cylinder, you’ll find an intercooler and wastegate turbo-charger, a high filtration capacity Donaldson PowerCore air filter, an all-aluminium cooling system and an "optimised position of the injector in the head", all of which are said to help maximise power and lower fuel consumption.
And that is one of the serious highlights of this engine, its fuel efficiency. Deutz says one tank will do for an impressive 10 hours of heavy implement work, such as baling or tickling soil with a rotary hoe, while the tank will last for 12 hours when performing light work, such as loader work.
If true, that is a huge selling point for the 6G series and something that will surely interest farmers.
Talking of fuel, the 6135G has a 250-litre fuel tank, and there is obviously no need for an AdBlue tank as it’s a Tier 3A compliant engine. While this does go against the current trends of the major manufacturers, it is understood the absence of DPF and AdBlue is a selling factor for Deutz-Fahr, as many farmers find the emission standards a hassle.
With the 6G PowerVision series you get a choice of two transmissions: the traditional mechanical powershift transmission which we used, and the RC-Shift; Deutz-Fahr’s automated powershift gearbox.
I think it’s fair to say that more and more tractors are moving towards these automated powershift gearboxes and even variable transmissions (not available on this range), but by no means was this mechanical powershift archaic.
As far as mechanical powershift transmissions go, this one is pretty spiffy. It’s a 50km/h box, with five mechanical gears speeds by six powershift ranges, giving the 6135G 30 forward and 15 reverse gears. This bumps up to 54x27 if you go for the creeper.
A key feature of the powershift transmission is you get 17 gears in the main working speed range, which is 5-20km/h.
Sometimes when driving a mechanical powershift tractor, you feel like you’ve cheapened yourself a bit, but never once did I feel like I was driving a poverty back model, which is a credit to Deutz.
It’s a really simple transmission; I’m sure you know how to drive, but it really is as easy as shifting between gear one and five like in a manual car and running through your powershift ranges (A to F) with the black buttons on the inside of the gear shifter.
The best way for me to put it is if you have you ever stepped into a modern European manual car after driving your automatic car around, and remember how much fun shifting gears is. Well that’s what you get with the 6135G.
The gear shifter is in a perfect location, never too far away from your hand, gear changes are really smooth, even more so when on the road, and the Comfort-Clutch button allows you to shift between gears without using the clutch, gives you one less thing to think about in the paddock.
And the transmission is by ZF, so you’ve have some piece of mind knowing you’ve got a top notch brand.
If you’re not looking to manually shift between gears then the RC-Shift transmission is probably what you’re looking for. Basically it’s a fancier version of the powershift, with auto shifting capabilities between ranges and powershift gears. It also has the ability to set a vehicle cruise speed like the TTV transmission found in higher spec’d Deutz tractors.
Another highlight is its power shuttle with "five-step modulation control". That five-step modulation allows you to change forward and reverse speeds, which is great for loader work. Shifting from forward to reverse and vice versa is also effortless, big thumbs up to Deutz for this.
IN THE CAB
Remember when I said this series of tractors was purpose-built for the Aussie market? Well, a big part of it has to do with the cabin.
Deutz are calling it the PowerVision cab, and it’s very good.
Spacious, comfortable and quiet – all things you should be looking for in a tractor cabin.
But let’s touch on these ‘For Oz’ features. Well, the cabin has been designed to cope with our harsh heat. Unlike Deutz cabins over in Europe where the air-con filters up from the seat, this new PowerVision cabin and its air-con vents blast from the roof.
Now, I know what you might be thinking… big deal, it’s an air-con.
But this thing is cold; I had it on the lowest option and I was freezing my arse off – you’re not going to have an issue with heat in this cabin. Visibility is also good. Sometimes with six-pillar cabins you can find blind spots due to the extra pillars, but overall the 6135G offers a really good view.
A big reason for this also is because of that familiar sloped Deutz bonnet. We were running around with a loader on the front of the machine, and boy does that sloped bonnet help.
Speaking of that bonnet, Deutz has decided to detach it from the cabin. At first glance it looks a bit odd, but you can understand why.
The separation of the bonnet from the cabin reduces heat as well as, Deutz claims, lowering vibrations and noise by about five per cent.
Comfort wise, the 6135G benefits from a quality seat and standard cab suspension on all models. However, if you’re looking to really juice up the comfort factor, perhaps look towards a 50km/h model as you will get front suspension as standard, you’ll definitely feel the difference when in transport.
We didn’t have any fancy monitors running in this model, but obviously you can spec this bad boy up with all the bells and whistles if that’s what you’re after.
My only nit-pick however would be that the right hand side door is no longer a door…
That’s right; it’s just glass now – something to do with European regulations or something? But who ever really uses the right side door?
It’s pretty straight forward and uncluttered at the rear. The 6135G offers three sets of mechanical hydraulic remotes as standard and a closed centre hydraulic pump system.
You also get a 6,200kg max lift capacity from the rear with the Cat III hook ends, meaning you shouldn’t have any issues with heavy implements, and the hydraulic pump on the tractor provides 120L/min flow to the rear remotes. A separate steering pump provides 42L/min.
In regards to the power take-off (PTO), you get four speeds, 540, 540 economy, 1,000 and 1,000 economy, which is fairly common with tractors this size.
And of course, all of your PTO, auxiliary remotes and three-point linkage controls are colour coded and located on your right hand side. Green is still three-point linkage, blue is still auxiliary remotes and yellow is obviously for the PTO.
My first taste of the 6135G was riding shotgun for about half an hour, driving out of busy Shepparton to a nearby farm.
Road transport is superb.
With its 50km/h box, the 6135G hummed along nicely through town and even moreso when out on the back roads.
But you don’t judge a tractor for its road capabilities. You want to know what it’s like in the field!
Our test vehicle was hooked up with a Stoll FZ50 loader, which Deutz is offering with the tractor for an extra 10 grand.
This German-made loader is made from high tensile steel and certainly does the job. Like most front-end loaders these days, it features a quick release coupler. Four-way capabilities are possible.
The way it is fitted to the tractor is also pretty handy, allowing the operator to easily reach maintenance points.
It also has a safe working load of 1.5 tonnes, which makes it ideal for picking up a few square bales and all of those other odd jobs you find yourself doing around the farm.
We swapped the bucket for some hay forks and threw a few bales out for the cows in a neighbouring paddock; as you’d expect and hope the 6135G’s loader handled it with ease.
Comfort and that lack of cabin noise is where this bad boy picks up its points and that cab suspension and front axle suspension combined nicely in the field.
THE BOTTOM LINE
It’s always hard to give an outright opinion on a tractor after only playing around with it for a few hours, but I’m confident in saying that this machine gets work done with very minimal fuss.
People who buy this machine will look for the creature comforts, and that is what it provides. It has an exceptional air-conditioning system – something I think Deutz has listened to customer feedback about.
It also has a great operator environment, the new PowerVision cabin makes time in the seat pretty bearable, and that fuel efficiency claim – if true – is bloody good.
All-in-all, the Deutz-Fahr 6135G PowerVision is a great mid-range all-rounder. I can see dairy operations, cattle farmers and smaller contractors really looking into the 6135G PowerVision by Deutz.
Deutz have really thrown the kitchen sink at this range of tractor to appeal to the Aussie farmer, if only our politicians were this concerned with what the citizen wants.