Larger properties combined with the expense and availability of labour is driving farmers to increase machinery efficiency by moving towards larger tractors.
Agco, Fendt product manager Australia and New Zealand, Donny Cloney said the Fendt Vario 1000, with up to 380 kilowatts (517 horsepower), has performed well in Australia since its release in 2017 due to its ability to deliver horsepower while maintaining fuel efficiency.
“Recently we caught up with some customers who purchased the first machines who have now put some hours on them,” he said.
“The feedback has been very good, particularly the fuel savings due to the transmission technology on the machine, it can operate at a very low revolution per minute (rpm) delivering high torque and power.
“One customer said he has a fuel saving of 30 per cent compared to an articulated machine.”
Mr Cloney said the continuously variable Fendt Vario transmission set the Vario 1000 apart.
“When pulling a very heavy seeder, its important to keep your working speed up, because if you loose your speed with that sort of weight and draft behind you, it is very hard and expensive with fuel to get back to your working speed,” he said.
“There is no clutch, so if you need to go up a hill or the conditions change, it tweaks the transmission, preventing you from loosing power and traction.”
Mr Cloney said for heavy drafting work it was important to look at the right tyre package to ensure more power to the ground.
“We have found with the proper weight package and tyre pressure we haven’t been able to break traction at 500hp (372kW).
“Our tyres were specially developed for the tractor and are much taller than the normal tyres.
“Tyre technology has moved up as much as the technology in the tractor, with our tyre you can run the tyres at much lower pressure and carry a lot more weight on it then a conventional tyre, because it has a heavy sidewall.”
Mr Cloney said the Vario also appealed to the market because of it could be used for a variety of operations.
“One customer said while he had paid for one tractor, he effectively had two, he can use it not only for seeding but for the chaser bin as well,” he said.
“It’s not as cumbersome as an articulated tractor, the transmission suits the slow work such as side filling beside the combine and topping off a truck with a grain trailer, but you can drive it at 50 kilometres and hour down the road.
“Designed for transport,it is more comfortable then the articulated machines.”