Farming is highly mechanised in the Eston area of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, hence the emphasis on tractors at the Nedbank Eston Show. According to Clinton Diedericks of Barloworld Armstrong Tractors, the best-selling New Holland tractor in the KZN Midlands is the 6610S, a resurrected version of a tractor that first came on the market in 1982 as the Ford 6610. The appeal of this tractor lies in its simplicity and reliability.
It is powered by a four-cylinder FPT turbocharged engine rated at 67kW and operating through an eight-forward and two-reverse constant mesh transmission. The second-most popular New Holland is the 66kW TD90 with a 12×12 synchro-shuttle transmission, ideal for loader work. Larry Martens of FMS, Pietermaritzburg, says the best-selling Massey Fergusons in the area are now the MF455 and the MF440. The versatile MF 400 Xtra Series tractors are simple to operate, easy to maintain and built to last, with an excellent range of features. The 75kW MF455 has a 12×4 side-shift transmission.
FMS also reports that the launch of its new Kubota franchise is off to a good start, with an order for a fleet of the M9540 models. This unit is powered by a 3,8l four-cylinder engine rated at 70kW. Various transmission options are available. Finnish manufacturer Valtra was also represented at the show. The long wheelbase of Valtra’s four-cylinder ‘N’ series makes these tractors ideal for front loader operation, while the position of the cab allows for excellent visibility.
The N111, the most popular Valtra model in KZN, is rated at 75kW. Transmission options are a synchronised forward-reverse shuttle or the HiTech transmission. The top of the N-series range is the N141 (right), with electronically managed forward-reverse shuttle and load-sensing hydraulics. It is rated at 112kW.
John Deere 5725
The John Deere 5725 has a 4,5l turbocharged engine rated at 67kW and a top-shaft synchronised gearbox with nine forward and three reverse ratios. Mascor Group training officer Trevor Bauer (in the seat), says John Deere customers are seeing real benefits from proper driver training.
Landini Globalfarm 100
Marketed by Reapers of Pietermaritzburg, the Landini Globalfarm 100, seen below with Reapers sales manager Robin Merryweather in the seat, was specifically designed for the SA market. Its 68kW Perkins engine has a 12×12 transmission with forward and reverse shuttle.
McCormick B-Max 100
Available in two- or four-wheel drive, the McCormick B-Max 100 (above) is fitted with the new environmentally-friendly Perkins 1100A four-cylinder engine, rated at 68kW and claimed to be highly fuel-efficient. Buyers can choose from three different transmissions.
Claas has new dealer in KZN
The Claas franchise for KwaZulu-Natal has been acquired by Peter Schröder, who has taken over the Dalton operation and will soon be opening up in Mooi River. The best-selling Claas tractors in his area are units such as the Arion 610C (above), rated at 89,5kW.
An innovative marketing plan from Greenfields Agricultural Holdings has seen the Foton 254 (below) become the best-selling tractor in the range. It comes as part of a fodder harvesting package comprising the tractor, a mini baler, rotary cutter and rake. The 4WD 254 has a KM 385 BT three-cylinder diesel engine rated at 18,5kW and an eight-forward, eight-reverse transmission with mechanical shuttle.
Making a Case for maneuverability
The Case IH JX90 2WD, rated at 62,6W, is supplied by Northmec in Pietermaritzburg. It has a 12×12 synchro transmission, while a synchro-shuttle lever allows for quick forward and reverse changes, making it ideal for loader work. The tractor’s 4,2m turning radius is ideal for confined spaces. Northmec’s Ramdhir Pooran is in the seat.