FORD tractors enjoyed great success in the 1980s in Ireland with both the popular 10 and TW series tractors.
Ford knew that platforms for these tractors was dating, many of which could be traced back to the late 70s – but its engineers had been working on a new ground-up design with only a few tried and tested components carried over from previous models.
Key to the future success of the Ford tractor brand was the need to address the unfamed tendency of its engines to go porous. This led to the development of the Powestar 6.6L and 7.5L engines. An under stressed powerplant, the turbocharged 7.5l PowerStar engine of the 8340 produced 125hp and is renowned for its reliability.
Another key development was the 40km/hr 16F/16R Electroshift transmission, fitted as standard the 8340 SLE. Conveniently located within easy reach of the operator, the centre lever provided the first 4 button-operated powershift gears, while 5-8 were selected by pushing the lever forward. To the left of this sat a button clutched shuttle and to the right a high and low range gear lever. The same console also housed the hand throttle as well as the electronic lift rocker switch.
The 8340s cab is a pleasant place to spend a working day, with little similarities to the previous SuperQ equivalent.
It boasts a fully digital dash, passenger seat, damper clutch, as well as electronic PTO, lift and draft controls.
Early 8340s are easily recognised by their white roofed cabs and blue chassis. These tractors were fitted with a Carrero – later Fiat – front axle, and many had the gearpack solenoids and loom located inside of the gearbox, later moved externally for easy access.
As Fiat took over Ford 1996, the Fiat logo headed the bonnet, the colour scheme was changed to blue cabs and grey chassis, as well as other minor changes. New Holland wording spanned the bonnet with the Ford name taking a minor spot above the model number and ultimately dropped.
The 8340 enjoyed great success in Ireland and interestingly, one of the first Ford 8340’s sold in Ireland was to Ted O’Sullivan, farming by Cork airport.
Purchased from Ford New Holland dealer Jim Murnane in 1992, the faithful 8340 is very much in active service with Ted reporting that it currently has a little over 10,000 hours on the clock.
Ford PowerStar 7.5L
Years of manufacture