By Peter O'Brien
CASE International released the Magnum range of high horsepower tractors in the late 80s with great success.
Impressively, a second range of medium horsepower tractors hit the market soon afterwards with the introduction of the Maxxum series in 1990.
While the Magnums were produced in Racine, Wisconsin, the smaller Maxxums were manufactured at the Neuss plant in Germany.
A midrange tractor, which was newly designed from the ground up, the Maxxums replaced the dated International 856,956, and 1056 tractors and offered the operator the power for heavy implements, twinned with the versatility and manoeuvrability around the yard.
Furthermore, a new level of technology was introduced on these tractors, which was more sophisticated than their larger Magnum siblings.
5140 and 5150 Maxxums are powered by a Cummins six-cylinder turbo charged 5.9l engine, producing 125hp and 135hp respectively.
The 5150 tips the scales at 5.7 tons and has lift capacity of a useful 4.5 tons on the category II linkage. Hydraulics are impressive, thanks to a variable rate flow pump with both pressure and load sensing.
Two choices of transmissions were available – standard linkage operated Synchroshift, and PowerShift.
The 16F/12R Powershift on early models is operated by pushing a lever through the 1-4 ranges. However, this was changed to a swifter ‘thumb’ switch located on the main gear lever.
Over a production run of seven years, the tractor received two updates – Plus models were introduced in 1994, with the later versions badged as Pro models.
Most notably, early models had no neutral position in the shuttle requiring the operator to put the main gear ever in neutral - an engineering oversight which was duly rectified on Plus models.
Clad in bright grey over black, the Maxxums cab is pleasant to work, with excellent steering console adjustment with digital and analogue dashboard options.
The side console follows the curve of the mudguards which places the gearstick, hand throttle, spool valve, and PTO levers at a comfortable angle for the operator. Regardless of cab ergonomics, Maxxums are infamous for their ‘road bounce’ which compromises comfort.
For ease of servicing, the bonnet is hinged at the nose cone and swings up. Impressively, Maxxum tractors were sold with Case’s 5/5000 warranty, which offered engine and transmission warranty over the first five years, or 5,000 hours.
To celebrate production of 50,000 Maxxums, a special black edition 5150 was released, and today, 30 years since its release, the Maxxum name is still part of the Case IH tractor line-up.
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