Farming & Fisheries

Renault 120.54 – it was big in the 80s and 90s!

February 9th, 2023 10:05 PM

By Southern Star Team

A Renault 120.54 ploughing maize stubble in Kinsale.

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WHILE never a dominant force in Ireland, Renault tractors enjoyed pockets of successful sales around the county, most notably in the 80s and 90s with their striking TX and TZ tractors. Almost identical, the TZ tractors boasted a higher specification thanks to their cab suspension and were manufactured in Renaults tractor factory in Le Mans.

Renault TZ tractors (as well as their larger and smaller siblings) are fitted with MWM engines. Manufactured in Mannheim, Germany and renowned for their excellent pulling power and longevity, the 120.54 is fitted with a six cylinder, 6.2 litre MWM engine which produces 110hp. 

Hydraulic output is rated at 76l/min with the rear linkage capable of lifting a substantial eight tonnes, thanks to twin assistor rams. 

Gearbox options vary on the TZ tractors with the basic mechanical transmission offering four gears within the Hi and Low ranges. The dash mounted mechanical splitter doubles the amount of gears to 16F/16R, with directional changes performed with a mechanical shuttle. 

A more advanced option was available with the ‘TractoShift’ and later ‘Tractonic’ transmissions which provided 24F/8R through the four-speed gearbox with Hi and Low ranges. However, the gearbox also benefited from a three-speed splitter operated by buttons on the main gearstick. Furthermore, a damper clutch eased gear changes along with a dash mounted shuttle. 

The Hydrostable cab is the big selling point of the Renault TZ120.54. Launched in 1987, each corner of the cab on TZ models is mounted on a coil spring, along with a hydraulic shock absorber providing unrivalled ride comfort, which is still well above par today. 

The cab offers excellent forward visibility thanks to the frameless front windscreen, had bright grey panelling and a three-way opening sunroof adding to the airy feel. 

Spool valves and linkage fall easily to hand on the side console, and Interestingly, the cab doors swing forward when opening and can be latched in this open position. 

Access for servicing and daily checks is particularly good with a drop down side panels for checking oil and filter removal, a nose cone that swings up to reveal the cooling pack, and the cab can also be jacked up, and then tilted forward to access the transmission and rear axle. 

In 1991, the 120.54, along with the 155.54, were selected by Renault to become part of their prestigious ‘Nectra’ special edition range. 

These models featured every available option on offer, as well as silver metallic paint, a leather seat and CD player. If you have a Renault tractor, we would love to hear from you.

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

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