I have been a loyal owner of a Ford 5610 II for some 13 years before trading it in on a new PowerStar T4.75. I had tried out another model and driven/read up on several others. With the new cab, the PowerStar seemed right for our needs: 6 Horses, 9 Beef Cattle, 2 Jersey Cows and all of the associated activities.
The unit is sharp looking and the cab spacious. It is similar in dimensions to the 5610 but slightly shorter and the tires make it slightly narrower. The weight differences are significant though.
The inside of the cab meets the excellence of advertising. Lots of space for the operator and a nice buddy seat was one of the selling points for me. The controls are well placed but I do find myself grabbing for controls that I am used to being there on the 5610 and are not. The Park position on the transmission is a little hard to get used to but is an excellent feature so far.
I was concerned that I might need the creeper gears to go slow enough for good tilling. The salesman assured me I would not. The 5610 would not go slow enough to till well without slipping the clutch. No problem. This transmission has an excellent range of gears and does just fine without the creepers.
I cannot say enough about the shuttle. The trans and clutch were getting older on the 5610, so the benefits of the new features are all the more pronounced. This makes it more like a skid steer; super feature.
Visibility is amazing on the cab; love all of the glass. That said, working in dusty environments quickly covers the top loader window making it difficult to see through. Duh, makes sense. Not a problem, just worth noting.
Tilt wheel is nice though I find that I set it and forget it already. The air seat is a real improvement from what I am used to.
I have not figured out the display yet. It is not addressed in detail in the manual and the only thing it displays is hours for the machine and a windows like hour glass. On other models, there are switches below the steering column to switch functions on the display. Only blanks here. It's like it was an afterthought without much thought.
The toolbox outside will soon get replaced with a larger tractor box. It is certainly functional for small items only. The bracket makes a nice base for something much larger.
I was surprised at the lack of range on the bucket. I do have the mechanical leveling and was aware from other posts that it could limit the range some. Not impressed with how much. On the 5610 I could put the bottom of the bucket perpendicular with the ground to scrape. Not so on the PowerStar. Leveling is all I can do. It just rides up and over a pile. Disappointing.
I mentioned the weight differences earlier. Due to the bulk of the 5610, it had significantly more weight. Axles were heavier, the engine heavier, the cab more substantial, etc. Not that I am pining for the bulk of the 5610, but the new loader is indeed capable of more than the tractor weight will resist. This is not due primarily to a stronger loader; I have already lifted the back wheels off the ground with a full load of manure or a 1000# bail of hay on front. That with a 900# tiller on the rear and the back tires have calcium added already. The 5610 was just much heavier and could resist more.
Looking at wheel weights but need to work with the maximum limits of weight set by the manufacturer for the front and rear axles. Not sure if we can get meet the needs of loader operation while staying within load limits or not. This will play out in the next few weeks. Could be trading up next year if things don't work out. Would be hard to part with this unit already though.
Despite the weight issues, the upside is that the tractor is better suited for things like tilling as a result of less weight. Combined with a new RTA35 Land Pride Tiller, this is a beast at tilling. The tiller covers the tracks without offset and there is no excessive compaction. Guess I don't mind a little trade off in this area.
The three point hitch is not as heavy as the 5610; I expected that. It is pretty obvious but heavy enough for the design of the tractor.
I love the hood design and the easy access to the engine. Not so much access on the 5610. We did have a trans cooler line that came off while operating at about 8 engine hours. What a mess! Did not appear that the clamp had ever been tightened. Installed the line and clamp and gave her a bath. All was good. Dealer was very willing to jump in a truck and come out to handle it but that seemed a waste of good resources.
Overall I am loving this tractor and can see owning it for a long long time. It is a real pleasure to get in and work with and I find myself losing track of time. I have surprised myself several times when I look at the hour meter. It's been on the farm 9 days and I have over 20 hours on it with lots more to come this week. That's a lot for a hobby. I miss some things about the 5610 but I figure it's time to let someone else enjoy her for a while. :-)