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'The One and Only' Fendt 724

'The One and Only' Fendt 724

Profi Magazine published an article on the Fendt 724 Vario Gen 6 in their January 2022 edition



The curvy cab 700 series has now been on the market for 10 years. Yet, even though it's barely noticeable from the outside, the new FendtOne control system marks the beginning of an exciting era in tractor operation You will know from reading previous tractor test reports that we have long been impressed by Fendt’s in[1]cab terminal and joystick. They have regularly received top marks, to the point that you can see their influence on several other makes. So, when the firm introduced its new FendtOne concept in 2019, we were a little concerned with our initial encounter, when we thought the replacement items were a bit clunky and sluggish (see profi 6/2020). Up to then Fendt had done an excellent job of shaping and positioning the buttons on the old-style joystick; even after a short time you could use them blindfolded. The new layout is quite a contrast, with no fewer than eight pretty much identical buttons on the lower part. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s start as we usually do, with what's under the hood. Still a Deutz motor To be frank, little has changed: the six-cylinder Deutz TCD6.1L6 still plods along, although it now complies with Stage V emission regs. So, keen to see how its performance compares with not only its competitors but the 724’s predecessor in our 5/2013 test with the Stage IIIB version, we headed off to the DLG. There is not much to shout about here, with the pto producing 152.5kW/204.5hp at rated speed before climbing to 165.0kW/221.3hp at maximum power. Just like the maximum torque and performance characteristics, these figures are a tad below the values achieved almost nine years ago. Likewise, diesel consumption of 253g/kWh at rated speed and 231g/kWh at max output are only slightly above the sensationally low stats back in 2013. And, since then, Fendt has more than halved AdBlue use.


This is also shown in our more ‘hands on’ Powermix tests, where the 724 scores an average of 263g/kWh (+11g/kWh of AdBlue). This is higher than the 254+28g/kWh scored by the older 724 SCR but still more than 5% below the average for all the tractors tested up to now. Things get even better when it comes to road work. The new Fendt is almost 10% (at 40km/ hr) and near 7% (at 50km/hr) more economical than the test average. Stepless in two steps We can keep it short and sweet with the 724’s transmission. The ML180 has proven its worth over time, and it continues to operate in an exemplary manner. When the DLG boffins hitched it up to the brake truck it recorded a maximum drawbar power of 134.2kW/180.0hp, while using 267g/kWh — that’s a good result. Our longstanding Fendt criticism of having to manually switch between field and road ranges still stands, and there is no automatic park brake, while the tractor's handbrake lever is still quite a stretch to the side of the steering console. Back to the positive, there are four pto speeds that are selected at the touch of a button, as well as neat extra functions such as being able to adjust the engine speed when switching the pto on/off using the mudguard buttons. Enough lift and oil Speaking of additional functions, whether its about the lift arm stabilisers, easy Cat II and III changeovers, the ability to secure the lift arms in their uppermost position for maximum clearance over the drawbar of trailed kit or the double-acting linkage — the list of unique selling points on the 700 range is both lengthy and a big attraction.


That list can be continued with 64 litres of available hydraulic oil that is kept separate to the transmission and the convenient spool valves with pressure relief levers at the rear. Since our test 724 was kitted out with a front loader we did encounter one problem that you wouldn't expect to find on a high spec tractor. When the loader is coupled and you accidentally try to plug hydraulic hoses into the yellow couplers at the rear on the left, you will be showered with (potentially very hot) oil from the DUDK couplers. Fendt needs to do much better and will hopefully fit an automatic selector to stop this happening. A new feature is the 3L joystick, which should enable simultaneous operation of the third hydraulic service or, with the next software update, the assignment of ISObus functions on several levels. However, if you don’t need these features, you should save your money as the simple cross controller provides much more precise operation of a front loader. In terms of lift power, the curve rises from around 7,100daN at the bottom to more than 9,500daN at the top. This should be more than enough for all of the implements expected to be hung on a 724. When it comes to oil flow, you have the choice of three swash plate pump options: 109, 152 and 193l/min. Our tractor had the biggest pump which supplied 188.2l/ min or 52.2kW of effective hydraulic power at the DLG test station. Completely new operation… The cab itself on the 724 has barely changed over the older variant. The access steps, the all-round view and the many practical details, from the large area cleared by the windscreen wiper to the self-cancelling indicators and cable routing into the cab, are all well thought out. The cab is also even quieter than before at only 70.8dB(A). But things get really exciting with the new FendtOne set-up. As we mentioned earlier, many operators will initially miss the familiar stick, which did its job so well. It is true that first you have to get to grips with the new FendtOne operation. Helping things is the fact that the colours have not changed (orange = drivetrain, yellow = pto, blue = hydraulics, turquoise = TeachIn etc.), and the white and turquoise buttons can be freely assigned. …with endless possibilities We also like the 12-inch (previously 10.4in) terminal on the right armrest, with six freely configurable tiles (previously four) as well as a header and footer that never change so it gives you quick access to various functions via the icons at the top (telephone, radio, etc.).


The sheer number of options is a good reason to set up and save different user profiles and reduce the risk of confusion. Fendt is currently working on making the new software fully ISObus- and TIM-compatible. And we are also happy to open the discussion on whether buttons are needed in a prominent position such as the ones used for TMS and selecting neutral on the transmission. In the same way, competitors get on fine without a button for activating the accelerator pedal separately. We also like the handy scroll wheel on the joystick that is used to adjust the active cruise control. However, we are not sure what to think of the new dashboard in the form of a 10-inch tablet and the second 12-inch screen, which lowers from the roof. The dash display is brilliant and logically laid out, but it is always partly hidden by the thick steering wheel, and the layout makes it look like it’s a touch screen, which it isn’t. Also, the optional roof display is not ideally located for every operator to see it. As far as accessing FendtOne from the office computer or tablet, there is currently little to report from users. However, the focus will be on machine and area management as well as planning and documenting jobs and product application rates. We will have more on this in a future issue. Agile but expensive An 8.3t kerb weight is considerable, yet the 14t gross weight still provides nearly 5.7t of payload. Great. The brakes also score a ‘great’ with a measured deceleration rate of 5.8m/s². The whole thing is rounded off with a turning circle of just 12.20m (600/60 R30 tyres on a 2.00m track width). We were quite literally gobsmacked by the list prices for the 724. The entry-level ‘Power’ version, for example, comes in at £226,669 on the configurator. If you opt for the ‘Profi+ Setting 2’ spec, with the 3L joystick and the ‘Smart Farming’ modules for auto-guidance telemetry and ISObus machine control, the tag rises to more than £250,000. Then there are items such as the front linkage (£3,408), pto (£4,356) and the extra terminal (£2,754). In combination with the Cargo 5X90 front loader for £13,777 and plenty of other spec detail such as automatic climate control (£617), comfort cab suspension (£1,381) etc, you end up with an almost unimaginable list price of £274,246 ... for a 240hp tractor. The infotainment package, for example, lists at more than £1,988, with hands-free kit that's actually worse than the previous version.

Summary: Even though most 700 series users probably haven’t got a lot to complain about when it comes to operating their trusty steed, FendtOne is the next and logical forward step. The combination of on-board and off-board controls will become more important in the future. And, admittedly, after 100 hours in the seat you not only get used to the new way of driving the tractor, but, when you swap to a different machine, you're likely to miss many of the functions and features. One example is Fendt's new linkage control, as previously mentioned, with its two memories and infinite position control. The 724 is simply superb. Now this is quite a statement ... and not one that we make lightly. However, justifying the price tag is another matter entirely. Our, albeit fully kitted out, test tractor listed at £274,246.

Hubert Wilmer

Profi International

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