Farmer F4-6258 is the smallest farm tractor in the offer of the producer from Sokółka, and also one of the youngest. Is it worth trusting in this respect, and is the John Deere 61-hp engine a guarantee of satisfaction?
Farmer tractors from Sokółka have been sent to Polish farmers for 10 years, and yet people who do not work with them on a daily basis may have a big problem with their assessment. On the one hand, they inspire confidence in the use of the main components of renowned and very experienced producers such as John Deere and Carraro, they also tempt an affordable price, on the other hand, just read internet forums to get to know the opinion of many disappointed users who often complain about unfinished details, high failure rate and difficult contact with the factory service. Of course, internet reviews tend to be different, they are anonymous, so anyone can say anything without consequences. As a result, criticism sometimes comes from the lips of people who in practice have not had contact with a given model or just sat in it for a moment.
Truth or maliciousness of Internet users?
How is it really with red tractors from Podlasie? First of all, you can not throw all models into one bag. At the start, the company had virtually no experience in the construction of tractors and it can be said that it gained them on the opinion of farmers who bought models from the first series, requiring many improvements.
Much has changed since then, but the products from Sokółka still need constant improvement – at least one can get the impression after more than three years of operation and over 700 mth of the F4-6258 model, which the company has been offering since 2010. The tractor drives 4- cylinder, turbocharged engine from John Deere with a capacity of 2.4 liters and 61 hp, meeting the Tier IIIA standard. Although you can have some reservations about the selection of the characteristics of this unit, it is still the strongest point of this tractor – it turns out to be economical and reliable.
John Deere uses similar diesels in its 4000 series municipal tractor. Twin Farmer F4-7258 is powered by a more powerful 66-horsepower version of this engine – in addition to the controller, the camshafts also differ. With a two-stage, dry clutch, the motor is connected to the Carraro gearbox, which in the standard version offers 8 ratios and a mechanical reverse. Unfortunately, in practice gears are definitely not enough and they are too long. If the engine had more flexibility, maybe it would not be so noticeable, and so during some field works it is difficult to choose a satisfactory speed of work – either it is too slow or the tractor turns out to be too weak. In order to efficiently move to a higher gear ratio, you need to accelerate the tractor well in the previous gear, otherwise the turnover will fall below 1500 rpm, and just above them feel the support of the turbocharger.
Most field work can only be done on the free range. Alternatively, use the first gear from the faster range, but the two turn out to be too fast and too weak, if only to spread the fertilizer on a freshly cultivated field. Therefore, people who are just considering the choice of this model, it is worth suggesting that in this case it is really worth paying extra for an optional 12-speed transmission, the more so that it costs only 1,000. From an operational point of view, the Carraro transmission performs well, gear shifting is easy and does not require a lot of force, but its weak point is the tendency to leak. The same manufacturer supplies the front axle, which comes in two versions – standard and reinforced to work with the loader (in the described tractor).
Despite the relatively low power Farmer F4-6258 surprises with a good bollard.
This is due to the evenly distributed pressure on the axles and a fairly large mass for this engine power. Weight with weights is 3120 kg, and in the version with front loader you need to add another 600 kg. Thanks to this, in slower runs there is no problem with towing a 6-tonne trailer with a load on the field. The front drive is connected manually, while the rear axle lock is activated by the right foot – the front differential locks automatically when one of the front wheels starts to spin. The 4×4 drive proves to be so effective that the risk of “burying” by the described Farmer is relatively small.
The tractor components that were manufactured by Carraro or John Deere can not have specific reservations. The engine gives the impression that it will be long-lasting, provided it is properly serviced and clean fuel – in the injection system, susceptible to dirty fuel, pump injectors were used.
The transmission should also be able to do it. Good opinion can be given to the cabin produced by Koja, which is quite spacious, aesthetically made, tight and well soundproofed. Unfortunately, the other elements are worse – they do not inspire confidence
confidence in the future. And it’s a pity, because first impressions in contact with the tractor are generally quite positive. Of course, there is not a careful finish like in the vehicles of more reputable manufacturers, but also Farmer F4-6258 costs much less from them. The basic version of this model must now be paid around 12,000. $ gross, and it seems that it has everything necessary for a comfortable work. With time, it turns out that its handling also requires the mechanical abilities of the user and, above all, a great understanding for the various minor defects, which most often do not cause the machine to be immobilized, but strongly irritate. The more so because most of the shortcomings are so obvious that the factory should have dealt with them for a long time. List of defects only on the example of this one described unit is quite long. You have to justify and explain that the first 600 mth tractor worked for another owner, who used it most often for work with the loader. The final effect is a fully worn clutch disc and a significant loss in flywheel – the cost of the new shield is $ 950, but the new owner was interested in the time, so he gave the old regeneration shield (ceramic linings raised the cost to 650 $, but after two hours the shield was as new and ready for assembly).
The manufacturer stated that this is the first such case, but users of other versions have long pointed out that the weak point of tractors from Sokółka is the low lifetime of the coupling. Another common problem is oil leakage from the hydraulic system, connections are not tight enough and always somewhere something sucks. With frequent hooking of external hydraulic hoses, the area around the elevator will always be oiled – there is no simple solution for collecting oil leaking when disconnecting the hydraulics. Good work comfort, but … The tractor’s service could also be well assessed if not for unfinished details. Even when getting in, you can hit the protruding regulation levers of the chair. When choosing the first and third gear you have to lean down and pull your hand forward – could not you just otherwise profiled the lever? On the other hand, the positioning and servicing of the mechanical reverse deserves praise. It is not as comfortable as the electro-hydraulic reversal, but the clutch and reverse lever operate lightly – it is operated by the left hand at the steering wheel. The rear linkage controls two levers for force and positional regulation. Additionally, you can regulate in it, among others speed of falling. The levers are placed uncomfortably – too much behind, but in the currently manufactured tractors this has already been corrected – they have been moved forward. The set of indicators has been equipped with a practical computer display on which you can read a lot of interesting information, including air temperature, boost pressure, operating time, power consumption, instant fuel consumption or driving speed. Unfortunately, in the case of speed, it can not be read, probably because a sensor has been faulty. Sometimes the front drive indicator also goes out, even though it is switched on. The handwheel is very difficult to unlock after pushing, because the stem falls into the center of the lever. The PTO clutch has also stopped working. Additionally, after connecting the trailer, the fuses burn out from the lighting, and the turn signal switch operates with increasing resistance. It has also already damaged the blocking of the rear towing hook, USAn tires are not very durable, after two years they look at least 3 times longer – the rubber is aging fast and has numerous cracks. There are also very low-quality bladders that begin to crack from old age. Good for only handles. So, you should evaluate the F4-6258 model – it’s a tractor for people who can turn a blind eye to many shortcomings, and best if they fix them themselves. good choice for the main farm tractor, which would have to work hard. However, it works well as an auxiliary tractor, for example for fertilizing, spraying or working with a front loader. In this last role it works quite well because of the small wheel base and the small turning radius.