Farm Classics with Peter O'Brien
VALTRA tractors have a firm foothold in the Irish tractor market, yet 30 years ago the Finnish brand was not even a commonly known name.
However, one series in particular put Valtra Valmet on the map as a real contender in the Irish tractor scene – the 50 series, with the 8150 proving a popular lightweight yet powerful tractor with both farmers and contractors.
Launched in 1995, the 50 or Mega series built upon the proven design of the 8000 series tractors to produce a true pedigree workhorse.
Instantly recognisable by its low-set cab and razor-edged, angular styling, the 50 series has an unusual weight distribution of 60/40, thanks to the engine being mounted over the front axle. As a result considerable weight is still placed on the front axle for traction even when carrying heavy implements on the rear, although without weights or ‘Aires’, front axle suspension (hi-tech models), the tractor can prove to be quite bouncy and it is common to see these tractors heavily weighted.
The 125hp 8150 receives its power from the bombproof 6.6l litre SISIU 620DS engine, renowned for its torque and responsiveness.
The fuel tank is incorporated as part of the chassis, with the drive to the gearbox actually running through it.
All other pipes and housing are routed on top of the frame, as well as the hitch being built into the chassis. This gives the underneath of the tractor an almost flat finish, ideal for the forestry sector in which Valtra is a major player.
The 8150 has a simplistic yet highly functional transmission, providing 36 forward and reverse gears. Three manual levers provide a forward and reverse shuttle, gears 1-4 and high, medium and low ranges. A three-speed, button-operated ‘Delta’ powershift was also located in the main gear lever.
Later ‘hi-tech’ models received an electronic dash mounted shuttle with park brake. The cab of the 8150 is roomy, even by today’s standards. The steering wheel provides for outstanding levels of adjustment and the operator sits low in the cab.
Control layout is basic yet operator-friendly, with a cluster of rocker switches on the dash, side console and pillar for all lighting, and fieldwork functions.
Overall, visibility is quite good although the operator must get accustomed to looking down the long nose of the tractor.
Famed for their reliability, simplicity and ability to over perform well into high clock hours, the 8150 firmly established Valtra as a real contender in the Irish tractor market.
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Valtra Valmet 8150
SISU 6.6l 620DS
Years of manufacture