Mahindra Launches New Tractors

Mahindra Sees Challenges, but Strong Markets for New 45-, 55-Horsepower Tractors

Dan Miller
By  Dan Miller , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
Mahindra's new 5100 series comes with four-wheel drive, 12x12 transmission, three-point hitch with �exible links, 3,100 pounds of lifting power and a front loader with a lift height of 122 inches. (Photo courtesy of Mahindra Ag North America)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (DTN) -- Mahindra Ag North America on Thursday introduced its new -- from front to rear -- 5100 series tractors. The open cab 5145 (45 horsepower) and 5155 (55 horsepower) models in the series are built for the rural lifestyle market but are also competitive for second-tractor status on commercial ag operations -- especially those with hay and cattle enterprises, the manufacturer said.

The 55 horsepower four-cylinder engine powering the 5155 is turbo-charged, and the 45-horsepower engine mounted to the frame of the 5145 is naturally aspirated. Both engines benefit from Mahindra's $30 million investment to redesign and reengineer its Tier IV engines. That years-ago effort resulted in Mahindra's mCRD engine technology. The mCRD system allows for efficient fuel combustion through multiple injections per cylinder stroke. mCRD engines then, do not require a diesel particulate filter (DPF) or diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). There is no excess heat or burn off and less complexity for the operator.

These 5100s come standard with four-wheel drive and Mahindra's syncro shuttle transmission with 12 forward and 12 reverse gears. Its PTO features 540 and 540E (economy) power modes. The 5100 series tractors include a three-point hitch with flexible links and convertible CAT I and CAT II connectors. Nice operator features include an adjustable seat, tilt power steering and flat foot platform.

The 5100 front loader system has a lift height of 122 inches. The tractor series can lift 3,100 pounds. Its backhoe attachment has nearly two tons of force with a reach past nine feet.

Mahindra said its new tractors were designed with extensive customer input. More than 100 changes were made at the behest of customers during what it calls "seeding" trials, or preproduction testing of the 5100 and its components. For example, there was concern about the operator pedals being too close together. So, U.S.-based engineers packed up size 13 boots and took them to Mahindra's India design facilities where the issue was quickly recognized and resolved.

Mahindra's 5100 series tractors come with a five-year, 3,000-hour limited powertrain warranty covering parts and labor.

The 5100 tractors introduction comes at an opportune time for Mahindra -- with $19.4 billion in annual earnings and 250,000 employees worldwide. Across its entire North American line, Mahindra sells tractors from 20 horsepower to 125 horsepower. But that 30- to 50-horsepower market in the U.S. has grown especially hot over the past 18 months. Indeed, Mahindra is targeting exactly that market with the 5100 series tractors where it eyes a market worth 73,000-unit sales annually and growing opportunities in regions such as the Northeast U.S.

"Strong demand has been an interesting phenomenon," Viren Popli, president and CEO of Mahindra Ag North America tells DTN/Progressive Farmer. "We are expanding our production capacity; we are expanding the product lineup. We believe that the market is going to continue to be buoyant, at least for the foreseeable future."

Popli sees three market drivers here in the fall of 2021. "First and foremost, of course, is the low interest rate(s)," he said. "The second is an overall change in the economy. As the baby boomers are retiring, or reimagining life, they (are) moving out of big cities to rural areas. And (third), the pandemic drove a certain amount of demand. People were staying at home (and they) wanted to do more improvements, update the properties -- just do more at home. And, so, they invested in (machinery). I think while some of these shorter-term (conditions) will go away, demand in the rural (areas), especially in the rural lifestyle segment (will remain)."

Challenging manufacturers, including Mahindra, are disrupted supply chains for parts and components. Popli said Texas-based Mahindra enjoys advantages in the amount of waterborne tonnage it can source through the Port of Houston (Texas). But that Gulf port does not ease all his concerns. "We are working to expand more and more supply into the U.S. from wherever we can," he said. "We are well positioned for the season coming up in March (and) April next year. We are trying everything. We are pre-booking, paying premiums, giving long-term orders, maintaining higher stocks of parts. (But) there are no easy answers."

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Dan Miller