A world of tractors at Agritechnica Expo

No fewer than 2 907 exhibitors showcased their technology at the biennial Agritechnica Expo in Germany in November. Joe Spencer attended the event and came across a number of new tractors. Here are some of the brands not yet seen in South Africa.

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The many tractors on display at Agritechnica Expo 2015 in Hanover, Germany, come from a wide variety of countries. More than ever, design, manufacturing and distribution are globally cooperative ventures between companies.

Arbos 7260
The Lovol Arbos Group is the result of collaboration between Italy and China. The model seen here is powered by a Deutz six-cylinder 7,1-litre engine rated at 191kW. All models in the range are manufactured in China.

ArmaTrac 504e
Founded in 2003, Erkunt Tractor was the first company in Turkey to design and build its own tractors rather than manufacturing licensed versions of international brands. Since 2007, the company’s tractors have been exported under the ArmaTrac brand name. The 504e seen here is a 4WD tractor powered by a 36,9kW Perkins engine.

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Basak 2090
The Basak factory was established in Turkey in 1914 and until 1962 produced horse-drawn vehicles, beehives and wooden threshing machines. (It even supplied electricity to the local town from its own thermoelectric plant.) In 1962, the company began importing Fordsons and by 1968 it was building tractors with 65% local components. It brought out its own Basak brand in 1996. Annual production is now 10 000 tractors a year and the company makes its own engine, gearbox and hydraulic components. There are 20 different 2WD and 4WD models. The 2090 shown here has a four-cylinder engine rated at 69kW and the options include a built-in air compressor and hydraulic top-link.

Steyr 6300 Terrus CVT
Steyr is an Austrian manufacturer in the CNH Global stable. The Terrus seen here is similar to its cousins, the Optum from Case IH and the new T7 from New Holland. All share the same 6,7-litre FPT engine rated at 225kW and a CVT transmission.Steyr tractors have not been seen in South Africa since the 1960s.

Lindner Geotrac 134
The Lindner factory in Austria, one of the few remaining family-owned tractor manufacturers, produces 1 500 tractors a year. Founded in 1948, the company made its name by producing the first 4WD tractors in Austria. It specialises in vehicles noted for their mobility in the testing Alpine terrain. The Geotrac 134 ep, rated at 98kW and with maximum power of 106kW, is the company’s most powerful tractor to date.

LS XU 6168
LS started building tractors in 1977 in partnership with Fiat. The company now exports tractors to more than 40 countries worldwide and there are production facilities in China and Brazil. The XU 6168 is rated at 48,75kW.

Iseki TG 6490
The Iseki TG series, designed and built in Japan, is targeted at the municipal and ground maintenance markets. A front linkage and a variety of external hydraulic connections make these compact tractors ideal for loader and mower work. The TG 6490 is fitted with a four-cylinder 2,2-litre Iseki E4CG engine rated at 36kW.

Pacco DF 404G2
Pacco is one of the many labels under which tractors built by Dong Feng are marketed. Dong Feng is one of the four largest vehicle manufacturers in China. There have been sporadic attempts to launch its tractors in South Africa, but so far the company has not been able to establish a dealer network or claim a significant share of the country’s small tractor market. The Pacco 40 seen here has a four-cylinder engine rated at 29,4kW.

Zetor Forterra 150 HD

Zetor has been manufacturing tractors since 1946 and currently produces the largest number of diesel engines in the Czech Republic. The launch of the Forterra 150 HD at Agritechnica is significant, as this class, in the 90kW to 115kW band, makes up a third of the sales of tractors over 45kW in Europe. It is rated at 112,5kW. Zetor had a brief foray into the SA market in the 1990s under the Zahow brand. Later models were branded John Deere. There is a possibility of a return here under the Zetor name.

Fendt 933 Vario (with Soucy tracks)
Since 1928, Fendt has been recognised as a world leader in tractor technology with several firsts, including CVT, multi-point suspension and a single joystick. The company was bought by Agco in 1997. The Vario 933 seen here is rated at 243kW.

Rostselmash 550 DT

The Rostselmash stand showed a combine harvester and the Canadian-built 550 DT tracked unit, known as the Versatile in Canada but badged Rostselmash for Agritechnica. In 2007 Rostselmash acquired an 80% stake in the Canadian Buhler Company, manufacturers of Versatile tractors and the Canadian-built tractors are distributed across Central and Eastern Europe by the Russian firm’s dealer network. A wheeled version of the Versatile was on show at Nampo 2015.

Joe Spencer went to Agritechnica as a guest of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the German Agricultural Society.