FORD’S acclaimed 10 series tractors were released in 1981 and peaked with the 97hp four-cylinder, short wheel base 7710. For farmers and contractors looking for a more powerful, heavier and capable machine, there was a significant jump to the next range, the TW series with entry level heavyweight TW–10 producing close to 130hp.
Previously, Ford had turned to County Tractors – of equal wheel tractor fame – to produce a medium weight six-cylinder tractor using parts from the Ford stores.
The result was the Ford 8100, and later 8200 which was produced from 1980-1982. Looking to plug the gap between the 10 series and TW tractors, and with the initial hard work undertaken by County, Ford released the Q-Cab 8210 as the 10 series six-cylinder flagship in 1982, cutting ties with County in the process.
Furthermore, this was also Ford’s first venture into the mass production of four-wheel drive tractors realising the potential of the 4wd market, the 8210 could be specified with a ZF, centre line 4wd front axle, making it more manoeuvrable than its TW counterparts of the time.
The 8210 is powered by Ford’s 6.6l 401 engine, producing 115hp. The same engine as was found in the TW series, the 8210 is naturally aspirated and does not benefit from an intercooler. Many 8210s have received aftermarket turbochargers to boost their output. From the outset, the 8210 was fitted with Ford’s user-friendly 16F/8R dual power synchromesh transmission. Hydraulic output is rated at a respectable 73l per min with a lift capacity of 4.4 tons.
In 1985, the Force II 10 series was released. Aside from the change in decals, the Super Q cab was the major advance for the 8210. However, lift capacity was also bolstered with the addition of a second assistor ram.
The 8210 received its final update with the Generation III range launched in 1989. The 8210 was the only tractor 10 series tractor to receive Ford’s new ElectroLink rear linkage system.
While the familiar, large and crude linkage lever remained the same, a digital read-out of linkage position is displayed on an LCD screen, while two dials control draft and linkage speed.
Furthermore, rocker switches to control the rear linkage were placed on the mudguards to ease hitching of implements.
Unfortunately, the Achilles heel of the 8210 was its physical size, which gave the impression of a tractor capable of very heavy work. However, it was still a medium weight tractor, weighing in at 4.4t, made with medium weight components, such as the gearbox, which sometimes failed, due to overstress.