Tractors by the ton!

A wide assortment of tractors was on display at Nampo this year. Here is the second of two reviews.

Tractors by the ton!
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Versatile, a division of Buhler Industries and now part of the Russian combine harvester manufacturing company Rostselmash, is the only Canadian tractor manufacturer. Its Winnipeg factory covers almost 6,5ha with complete manufacturing and assembly capabilities and full R&D facilities. Versatile also has a rural 17ha test site with a paved 400m circuit and bump-track.

Versatile tractors are distributed in South Africa by Pacific Storm, which will be bringing in the Delta Track model as well. The 570 (above) is powered by a Cummins QSX15 engine rated at 427kW. Versatile has been using Cummins engines for more than 40 years.

The engine and CAT gearbox of the 570 feature the latest technological innovations but the rest of the tractor is possibly not as sophisticated as some of its competitors, which makes it keenly priced. Being heavier than its competitors, it has more pulling power than you could imagine.

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Versatile tractors are proving to be highly successful in Russia, Kazakhstan and Australia, as well as the ‘home markets’ of Canada and the US.

Tailored to suit South Africa
The latest in the range of Chinese manufacturer YTO’s tractors, the 1104, has specifications selected by local distributors VB Agri to suit South African requirements and operating conditions. With a four-cylinder turbocharged and intercooled engine rated at 81kW, the 1104 reflects the trend towards more powerful, fuel-efficient four-cylinder tractors.

The YTO ME 404 has also been adapted to suit the South African market. It’s particularly appropriate for the Western Cape, where this small but powerful 29kW tractor with its overall width of only 1,3m would be ideal in table grape vineyards and other situations.

It’s back – again!
The TAFE 35 DI  has made more comebacks than Bakkies Botha. This latest version from TAFE is likely to be as popular as the original and the tractor of choice for many first-time farmers. It still employs the original Ferguson technology and is now powered by a Simpson 27kW engine.

Value for money
The Minsk Tractor Works, founded in 1946, today employs more than 22 000 people building Belarus tractors, making it one of the world’s largest tractor manufacturers. Belarus tractors are imported to South Africa by Variquip. On show at Nampo was the latest model, the 1822.3 with a new six-cylinder 7,12-litre turbocharged and intercooled engine rated at 132kW (below). The synchro gearbox provides 24 forward and 12 reverse ratios and has an independent two-speed PTO. Rear lift capacity is 6 500kg at the lift point.

Horses for courses
There are two spec levels in the Massey Ferguson 3600 GE series of specialist tractors (below), with a choice between a spacious cab and a semi-platform version. These tractors have been designed for farmers growing vines, olives, soft fruit, nuts and specialist vegetable and salad crops.