Farming & Fisheries

Muir Hill 121 designed for challenging terrain

August 11th, 2021 10:05 PM

By Southern Star Team

The cab sits high on the tractor forward of the rear axle. (Photo: Shane Casey)

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MUIR Hill started designing tractors for farmers and contractors looking for a 4wd solution for working high, heavy or challenging terrain in 1967. In the 1960s and early ’70s, tractor manufacturers produced tractors in a two-wheel drive format, with four-wheel drive being considered a niche market.

However, the demand for four-wheel drive tractors which very much prominent, especially as the advantages of mechanically driven front wheels became increasing apparent, yet it took many mainstream manufacturers a number of years to realise the significance of this.

This niche market was occupied by a number of companies including Northrop and Roadless, but was mainly dominated by Muir Hill and County.

Instantly recognisable by their yellow and white paintwork, straight line styling and equal size wheels. Muir Hill took elements of the Ford tractors – mainly rear axles and gearboxes, mated them with powerful Perkins or Ford engines and created their own four-wheel drive tractor around them.

Replacing the 101, the 121 Series II broke away from its predecessors Perkins engine and is powered by a Ford industrial 6.2l engine producing a considerable 132hp.

The 121 weighs 6.5tons, has a lift capacity of 5tons and features Muir Hills in house designed axles with hydraulic brakes and differential locks on both axles, as well as CV joints on the front hubs allowing for traction through a wide arc of movement.

The two trump cards of the 121 is the tight turning circle of 16ft making it quite manoeuvrable, and the Muir Hill dropdown transfer gearbox which sends drive to the front axle from the Ford DualPower while also helping to maintain height and ground clearance.

Manufactured in-house by Muir Hill, the cab sits high on the tractor forward of the rear axle.

Three almost vertical and narrow steps bring the operator to the top of the mudguard, where a sliding door gives access to the cab which must be stepped into.

Visibility is excellent with the operator taking advantage of the high driving position and huge panes of glass.

Series II cabs are sparse of any covering panelling, with all mechanical components exposed under the sparse dash which and either side of the driver.

Series III Muir Hill 121 tractors were launched in 1978 which featured a single door ‘Space Cab’ with complete with sound deadening cladding, consoles to cover up the mechanical workings in the cab and a ventilation system.

If you are still using a Muir Hill tractor, we would like to hear from you.

• Contact Peter at [email protected] or see Instagram @flashphotoscork

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