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profi Tractor Test: At Home in the Field (2008)

13:33PM Jul 22, 2008

Case IH MXM 190 delivers power that reaps results

Data Sheet

The Case IH Maxxum Series of tractors have been built on a reputation for in-field performance. Facing the challenge head on, the MXM 190 does not disappoint. This 160 PTO hp tractor weighs in on the lighter side of the scale at 8.8 tons, but is heavy-duty enough for a variety of field work.

There have been similar platforms and engines used between corporate cousins New Holland and Case IH, and this tractor follows suit. Power for the MXM 190 comes from a 7.5-liter engine, which is also under the hood of the New Holland TM 190. The test unit delivered 174 PTO hp at rated speed and a maximum of 188 PTO hp at 1,950 rpm without power boost. The boost kicks in during PTO work and while working in gear 15 and up, which meant performance jumped to 194 hp and 216 hp, respectively. At maximum output, fuel consumption was reasonable—0.380 lb./hp/hr without boost and 0.403 lb./hp/hr with boost. Fuel consumption at rated speed was recorded at 0.406 lb./hp/hr without boost and 0.409 lb./hp/hr with boost. Operators will find that the 105-gal. fuel tank is large enough for a full day's work.

This tractor hits its stride when performing PTO operations with demanding applications.

Despite its stellar overall performance there are some features that the test team found fault with. For example, the throttle level has to be set at more than 1,000 rpm for the electric throttle to operate. The memory has to be reset with each restart of the tractor, and the memory buttons themselves aren't located in the most convenient spot on the B-post.

The transmission on the test tractor has 18F/6R speeds available and featured a top speed of 25 mph. Available as an option on the MXM 190 is a creeper speed transmission that provides an additional 10F/6R speeds.

There are seven speeds in the main working range of 2.5 mph to 7.5 mph. In reverse, the tractor has six speeds and a top travel speed of 7.5 mph. A rocker on the hand throttle makes shifting easy, and the powershuttle has been touted as one of the smoothest in the industry.

By simply pressing the activation switch for the transmission twice, the auto transmission starts in ninth gear, rather than 12th. This gives the tractor a transport boost to help pull away with a heavy load while in auto mode.

One downside of the auto mode operation on the MXM 190 is that the continuing link between shift timing and the foot throttle position/engine torque engage at the exact time of the function engagement. The tractor's response to downshifting during PTO work proved to be slower than desired. Time also lagged when shifting up to the previously engaged step after the shuttle had been placed back in neutral.

Two PTO speeds are available on the Case IH MXM 190: 540 rpm and 1,000 rpm. The PTO engagement system was basically new for Case IH at the time of the tractor test. One frustrating aspect of the PTO engagement system is that it deactivates when the operator moves off the seat, even if it is just for a moment. The system won't automatically switch off the PTO at the next headland, so the operator should pay attention to the activation light when learning the system.

The lift curve for the rear lift was relatively flat, and the test hoist scaled in at 13,082 lb. There are separate controls for draft and position settings, and the lift height indicator, although extremely useful, only works when in position control.

Evidence of the machine's maneuverability is its capability to turn in a 42.3' circle (front-wheel drive engaged and 78" track width). Also consistent with the tractor's versatility is the front-wheel drive and differential lock system that have clearly marked controls. The braking rates are effective at 20.5 ft./s2. The tractor would benefit from an improvement in payload, which is 8,796 lb.

The cab design on the test tractor appeared aged, particularly when compared with the Case IH MXU. For example, the windshield is small, there is no backlighting for several of the dashboard controls and a noise level of 76.2 dB(A) is a bit loud. However, the more-than-adequate aspects of the cab include accessibility, side-to-side visibility, rear visibility and the suspension system.

In regards to routine maintenance on the MXM 190, the 5-gal. of engine oil needs to be changed every 300 hours. There is a 1,200-hour service interval for the tractor's 26-gal. of shared transmission and hydraulic oil. The one-piece hood provides the operator unimpeded service access to the tractor's components.

Beneath the shell of the MXM 190, you will find a tractor that is stacked with performance. Light in weight but heavy in power, this tractor manages to keep its fuel consumption in check while tackling in-field tasks. If you're in the market for a versatile workhorse, the MXM 190 fits the bill. 

Although the MXM Series has been replaced by the Puma Series, used models should meet the expectations outlined in this tractor test. The Puma tractors are powered by six-cylinder, 6.75-liter turbocharged Tier 3-certified engines with a PTO output from 135 hp to 180 hp.

Case IH MXM 190