Tractor numbers steady as JCB Fastracs are the growth winners

The JCB Fastrac tractor range showed the most growth in numbers in the latest 2019 Irish Bulletin of Vehicle and Driver Statistics.

The latest figures from the Department of Transport’s 2019 Irish Bulletin of Vehicle and Driver Statistics shows some interesting changes to the brand distribution in the national pool of tractors in use in Ireland. The overall figures show that there are marginally more tractors registered for use on public roads (paying road tax) in 2019 compared with the previous year. The figures show that 76,581 tractors are taxed for the public road, up from 75,950 in 2018, indicating that these tractors are working in farming for farmers and farm contractors and regularly use the public road.
It is interesting to drill down through the figures to see which brands are losing favour among Irish tractor enthusiasts. The big winners in terms of brands and those that showed double growth in numbers were JCB, Kubota and Tumosan. JCB registrations for 2019 now show that there are 558 Fastracs in the county, a 14.5% increase year on year. Despite this, these three brands only make up less than 2% of the national tractor pool.
Registrations of Kubota tractors also increased by 13.7% so that there are now 755 Kubota’s registered, while some of these are the popular Kubota RTV models which are regularly taxed as agricultural tractors.
The third double digit winner was the Turkish Tumosan brand where the number of registrations jumped by 12% giving 185 Tumosan tractors in use in the country.
Of the big three brands New Holland showed the greatest growth up by 6.3% giving a national pool of 13,146 New Holland tractors in the country. John Deere also gained numbers marginally up by 2.8% to 11,942 tractors. John Deere tractor numbers in Ireland have remained virtually unchanged in the last five years.
Massey Ferguson, still the most popular tractor brand in Ireland, had a 0.7% decline while still leaving a healthy total of 16,107 tractors in Ireland. Since 2014 the numbers of Massey Ferguson and Ford tractors in the national pool has dropped by a massive 4,034 and 3,469 respectively. The question is, where have these 7,503 tractors gone to? Either exported or kept for use in the farmyard.
Of the other popular brands Claas showed the strongest growth up by 7% to show 1,605 tractors in Ireland. This was followed by Valtra with 6.6% growth to 1,566 tractors while Fendt recorded a 4.3% growth to 866 tractors from the high-end German tractor brand. Deutz-Fahr and Same, both part of the Italian owned SDF showed smaller increases in registration numbers.
Landini and McCormick both continued to lose market share as did Eastern European brands of Zetor and Ursus. The popularity of older brands, Belarus, Fiat, Ford, Leyland, IH, Renault and Universal continues to decline.
The last detailed census of farm machinery was carried out during the Central Statistics Office Agricultural Census 2000. This showed that there were 159,525 tractors on Irish farms, taxed or untaxed. This is more than double the numbers of tractors being taxed, indicating that there are still large numbers of older tractors working on Irish farms, many of which are in an unsafe condition and present a risk to those farmers using them.

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