FARM CLASSICS with Peter O'Brien
THE highly desirable Massey Ferguson 6499 was launched in 2003 as the flagship model of the 6400 series of tractors. This series was split into two groups of tractors with smaller models offered in both long and short wheel base, along with a Perkins 7.1 litre engine.
Larger models in the range are powered by a 7.4l SISU engine and only available in long wheel base format. Topping the series is the mighty 6499, with its long nose providing an imposing stance.
The well regarded SISU engine initially provided 200hp, boosting to 215hp for PTO and road work. Over the production run of the tractor, emission regulations saw the engine advance into Tier 2 and later Tier 3, picking up some extra ponies along the way, topping the power band at 245hp when boosted. With a whopping lift capacity of a little over 9T, the 6499 is capable of packing a serious punch on a nimble frame. Fitted with Dynashift when first released, the 6499 made the change to Dyna6 after a few years.
Dyna6 saw the introduction of MF’s T-Bar type gear selector, mounted on the operator’s armrest. Tapping the T-Bar forward or backwards cycles through the six gears-A-F, while holding the declutch button on the side while tapping forward or backwards selects one of four ranges. Alternatively, the A-F gears could also be controlled by the shuttle lever which adds extra flexibility. A dial to on the right hand console controls the programming of automatic gear changes.
Although a high horsepower tractor, Massey Ferguson required the initial purchaser to upgrade the tractor to optimise operator comfort-many of which should have been included as standard. Key to the ‘Transport Pack ‘is the front axle suspension and closed centre hydraulics, while the ‘Comfort Package’ offered an air seat and air conditioning. Later models also had the option of ‘Comfort Pack Plus’ which provided climate control and a deluxe seat. However, the most impressive extra is the adjustable air bag cab suspension which provides excellent ride comfort.
The cab is a familiar place to any MF user from the last 20 years. The sleekness of the cab is greatly improved on its predecessor, with a rounded and bright grey dash with white dials.
Curved rear windows deliver great side vision while the arm rest – integrated into the seat – provides a host of controls including gear, lift and hydraulics.
Interestingly, the chassis colour scheme gradually changed from black to grey as Massey Ferguson celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2008.
• Contact Peter at psob1987@ gmail.com or see Instagram @flashphotoscork
Massey Ferguson 6499
Years of manufacture