Farm Classics with Peter O'Brien
OFFICIALLY launched at the Sima tractor and machinery show in 1996, the Valtra Valmet Mega 50 series established the Finnish tractor manufacturer as a worthy contender in the Irish tractor market.
Initially, the range spanned from the 110hp short wheel-based 8050 to the long wheel-based 160hp 8550.
The line-up was further expanded in 1997 with the addition of the 8750 Mega tractor. Side by side, the tractor is identical in stature to its 8550 stablemate. Power is provided by the torquey and bulletproof 7.4l SISU engine producing 160hp – a substantial figure for the mid 90s.
This power is sent through a self-intuitive, functional and operator-friendly gearbox with 36 gears, available in both forward and reverse, providing excellent levels of gear overlap. Three manual levers to the operator’s right provided a manual shuttle, H pattern 1-4 gear selection and high, medium and low range. The second stick also has a button-operated Delta Powershift, providing three clutchless ranges.
However, the ace in the hand for the 8750 was Valtra Valmet’s pioneering power boost Sigma Power. A PTO power boost function, the 8750 surged to 190hp when under heavy PTO load. Two sensors – located at the front of the crankshaft and the rear of the PTO – monitor engine load, send extra fuel through the Bosh fuel pump to provide an additional 30hp when required. The result is a medium weight tractor capable of heavy weight power, saving both on weight and fuel.
Tipping the scales, unballasted, at a little over five tonnes, the 8750 offered drivers excellent power-to-weight ratio. Operators could further ballast the tractor with extensive combinations of wheel and front weight banks.
In 1998, the Mega series was upgraded and facelifted to the Hi-Tech and later in 2001 to Hi-Tech II tractors. Amongst these upgrades was the all-new dashboard console with shuttle integrated handbrake, as well the optional Aires front axle air suspension.
The 8750 was replaced by the intercooled 8950, with horsepower increased to 200 when boosted.
While power boost functions are commonplace on today’s tractors, Valtra Valmet’s Sigma Power was the first of its kind, winning a gold medal for pioneering innovation at Agritechnica in Germany in 1997. Both the 8750 and 8950 are still highly sought-after tractors, commanding high prices, with the hammer dropping at €43,000 plus Vat, for a 7000-hour 8950 at auction, a little over a year ago.
If you are operating an 8750 or 8950, we would like to hear from you.
•Contact Peter at [email protected] or see Instagram @flashphotoscork
Valtra 8950 Sigma Power
SISU 7.4l 634 DSBIE
Years of manufacture