Which brand of tractor is most popular in Ireland?

The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport is currently compiling data up to the end of 2018, relating to the current population of tractors in Ireland (based on what’s taxed for road use).

In the meanwhile, let’s review the existing data up to the end of 2017. It indicates, for example, how many Massey Ferguson, John Deere or New Holland tractors there were across the country.

It also reveals, for example, how (now-discontinued) brands such as Fiat (Fiatagri) or even Leyland were faring.

The data ultimately comes from a departmental report – titled Irish Bulletin of Vehicle and Driver Statistics 2017. Here’s a brand-by-brand analysis of the numbers.

These figures are indicative of the standing tractor population (licensed for road use – to use the correct terminology), as of December 31, 2017.

This graph/chart (below) shows the data in a different format, albeit isolating just the 14 most rampant makes/brands.

The data indicates that there were 17,429 Massey Ferguson tractors (licensed for road use) in the Republic of Ireland.

Next up was New Holland (12,411); it was in second place (based on the population of its tractors that were spread across the country).

Following close behind (in third place) was John Deere, with its tally of 12,029 tractors.

Interestingly, there were 6,965 in the Case / David Brown category. The tally for Ford was 6,939.

Other sizeable tallies included Zetor (4,135), Landini (3,082), Deutz [Deutz-Fahr] (2,079) and Fiat [Fiatagri] (2,022).

Possible anomalies

Of course, due to the (sometimes outdated) make/brand classifications adopted by the department, there is some almost unavoidable confusion. This, however, is quite limited in the context of the overall figures.

For example, there are classifications for both Ford and New Holland – as there should be. However, for example, some 40 Series models might arguably be classed as either Fords or New Hollands – or both. Is this data accurate?

Image source: Shane Casey

Similarly, there are classifications for both Valmet and Valtra – as there should be. Again, there was a period (in the transition from Valmet to Valtra Valmet and then, ultimately, Valtra) when such tractors might have fallen under either classification or both.

Image source: Shane Casey

Also unusual is the legacy situation, whereby Case IH’s founding brands are still split up into Case / David Brown and International. While OK for older tractors, where do more recent Case IH models go?

One would presume they go into the Case / David Brown folder (and the numbers evident from the table would appear to back up that assertion). However, is it possible that some Case IH tractors have found their way into the International list?

Image source: Shane Casey

Also sparking interest is the inclusion of Manitou, with its figure of 107. Surely this referred to telescopic handlers – rather than tractors.

There are categories for ‘small dumpers & forklift trucks’, ‘excavators’, ‘trench diggers’, ‘mobile machines’ and so on – to cater for vehicles other than tractors.

The ‘other makes’ category accounted for 866 tractors. One can only wonder what oddities reside there, given that the list of makes/brands appears to be quite comprehensive.

A further ‘make unspecified’ category contained 702 tractors. Again, one can only ponder what surprises lurk within.