2014 Mahindra 5010 Cab Gear Review: Deluxe cab tractor delivers with the efficient economy of a gear transmission

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
(Contributed photo)

In October of 2012, we reviewed a Mahindra 5010 Cab tractor outfitted with a hydrostatic transmission (HST) and were impressed at the solid construction and ample power -- enough to run a heavy duty 8' rotary cutter. Ample power is one thing, but those easy-to-use hydrostatic transmissions do have the disadvantage of inherent horsepower losses. We wanted to see how a similarly packaged tractor with a gear transmission would fare.

The 5010, along with many smaller Mahindra tractors, are manufactured in Korea by TYM. TYM is typically less known by their own tractors than by those made for other manufacturers, like Montana and New Holland. Their trademark qualiTYMatters, though, says it all.

Powering the 5010 is a Daedong four-cylinder diesel that is rated to deliver 49 gross horsepower at 2600 rpm. Displacing 148.6 cubic inches, the naturally aspirated mill utilizes indirect injection and complies with EPA Tier 3 emissions requirements. When Mahindra shifts the 5010 to Final Tier 4 (FT4) compliance, it will be interesting to see if a four-cylinder powerplant will still be part of the package. At any rate, the Daedong powerplant starts as smoke-free as some of the FT4 tractors we have tested, and is also as quiet with a doors-shut idle low reading of 70 dBA.

The transmission used in our test 5010 was a 9 x 3 constant mesh unit. Mahindra places the range shifter (three ranges) on the left side of the seat while the gear shifter (three gears) is located to the right in between the driver's seat and the loader joystick. The clutch is a single plate dry unit that is bi-metallic and as such requires latching during periods of non use. Clutch effort is minimal, and for someone not yet used to operating the tractor, the engagement point felt exactly where our testers thought it should be.

Hydraulics run through an open center twin pump system flowing 9.5 gpm to implement needs and 5.0 gpm to power steering requirements (14.5 gpm total). Position control is standard, with an operator-adjustable stop, and numbered for visual reference. This means an implement can easily be returned to the same setting time after time. Draft control is not offered on the 5010, but if so desired can be had on the slightly larger 6010. The Cat I three-point hitch (3PH) has a lift capacity rated at 3,314 lbs. Link ends are fixed and the outboard stabilizers are a turnbuckle style. A single rear remote is standard, with the option to add two more if so desired.

Unlock the door -- the lock mechanism seems a bit chintzy -- and the door swings open wide for easy egress. And while we can harp a bit on the key lock used, the door itself is solid and clicks shut with Mercedes-Benz precision. Two steps located on the left side of the tractor make for easy access to the spacious cab, which comes with a tilt steering wheel and fully adjustable seat with dial-in weight adjustment.

Settling in the comfortable seat, the operator is treated to a near unobstructed 360-degree view. We say near unobstructed because the cab is a six-post design, though the posts used are minimal and not at all annoying. And using a six-post design allows the use of rear quarter windows that can be opened, allowing fresh air to flow into the cab (there is also a roof panel that opens along with a rear window that tilts out) for those cooler days. But when the elements get too cool (or hot) the well vented cab climate control system is well up to the task. Other cab niceties include a highly visible gauge cluster, push button cruise, right console-integrated loader joystick, hand and foot throttles, and Panasonic radio.

Making our test tractor available was Ellington Agway in Ellington, CT. Though Hugh and Matt told us that they were on pace for a record year, the traditional summer lull was giving the dealership time to ready for the busy fall and winter. As such, our test tractor was outfitted with a rear mounted Bervac Blizzard B64 snow blower, which we'd bet wouldn't find a circumstance where the 5010s 41.5 power take off (PTO) horsepower would be taxed. Our test tractor was also outfitted with Mahindra's ML 156 loader, which comes standard with a skid steer compatible 72" (11.2 cubic foot) bucket. Able to lift 3,122 lbs to a height of 115.4", the ML 156 has a dump clearance of 82.3" so it should easily clear almost any farm trailer or pickup truck bed. Rated dig depth is 5.2", and with 9.5 gpm of hydraulic fluid flowing through at 2750 psi, the system has a whopping 5225 lbs of breakout force. Cycle times at 2600 rpm were 6.0 seconds to full lift height, 4.0 seconds to lower, 4.9 seconds to dump and 3.2 seconds to curl.

For those requiring a backhoe, Mahindra matches the 5010 to its model 595 which has can dig to a depth of 115", reach of 154" over a 180-degree swing arc, and comes with a dig force rating at the bucket of 5,710 lbs (3,188 lbs at the dipperstick).

Heading off to the north forty, the 5010 controls were easy to get used to. We quickly learned that the range lever should only be shifted when not moving, though the gears can be changed on the fly. Power was evident throughout the 9 x 3 range, with a transport speed of 15.3 mph forward and 9.2 mph reverse. Put the 5010 in Low range and first gear, and near creeper speed can be dialed in. We did find one steep slope where third gear High range struggled but still tackled, but as a comparison, we're sure an HST equipped 5010 would have needed to be dropped down a range in the same circumstance.

COMPARISON: Read our review of the 2013 Yanmar Lx4900 Turbo HST

So where exactly does the 5010 gear fit? Mahindra suggests usage for hobby farmers, grounds maintenance, material handling, livestock and dairy needs, rural lifestyle, haying, equine, and homeowners. To us, those uses are certainly within the capabilities of the 5010, but we see the purchaser as someone desiring a few more horsepower (a 5010 gear tractor offers 3.5 more PTO horsepower than a 5010 HST machine), cost savings ($1,752 less), and the simplicity of getting tasks done the old fashioned way.

Measuring 134" L x 71.5" W and 98.4" to the top of the cab, the 4078-pound 5010 comes with a five-year warranty and an MSRP of 28,958.

For those in the market for a 50 hp cab tractor with plenty of grunt, the Mahindra 5010 gear is well worth taking a look at. And for those in the vicinity of Ellington, CT, we highly recommend the friendly folks at Ellington Agway.