In 2005, at an international theater festival in the Netherlands, Dutch storyteller and actor Manon Ossevoort performed her live narrative, “DO.” It’s a story about a girl on a tractor taking the dreams of many to the end of the world. So, when the story ended, Ossevoort drove out of the theater on a tractor and began a journey.
Ossevoort’s odyssey led her through Europe, the Balkans and down through the continent of Africa. Along the way, she performed her story and collected, on little slips of paper, the dreams and hopes of the people she met.
After four years and more than 23,000 miles, Ossevoort reached the Cape of Good Hope. “I literally missed my boat,” she says. The ship she had planned to take to Antarctica—the symbolic end of the world—had canceled its trip. “I had no sponsors, nothing,” says Ossevoort. “But I had thousands of dreams in the back of my tractor that I had promised to bring to the South Pole, a continent where there’s never been war.”
Cue Massey Ferguson. The company has a unique connection to Antarctica. Sir Edmund Hillary and his team drove three Ferguson TE20 tractors to the pole in 1958. That same year also marked the introduction of the Massey Ferguson brand. Sponsoring another trek to the South Pole on Massey Ferguson tractors seemed like a perfect way to celebrate both milestones.
Ossevoort and a Massey Ferguson assembled team of specialists have begun polar training in Iceland and northern Canada with a new Massey Ferguson 5600 Series tractor that has been modified to create “the ultimate polar-expedition tractor,” she says. The expedition plans to sail to Antarctica in December 2014, where it will follow the same path as Hillary’s expedition.
Ossevoort explains what she’ll do with the stories she’s collected on her journey: “I’ll symbolically finish my epic story at the geographical South Pole by building a snowman with the ‘dreams of the world’ in its belly.”
With the new Massey Ferguson® 1700 Series, customers can create a tractor for their specific needs and budget. Here are just a few of the options from which to choose.
Each model runs on a new diesel engine from Mitsubishi® that features a turbocharger with intercooler for greater combustion potential. Such design allows for more power that’s produced extremely efficiently and meets all EPA requirements to be Tier 4 final emissions compliant.
Transmission choices include either a mechanical 12 x 12 power shuttle or a three-range electronic-servo hydrostatic (HST) option.
For use with mid-mount mowers and front-mount attachments, a mid PTO is available as an option on all MF1700 tractor models.
Customers also have a choice of an open-station platform with a flat floor or a newly designed, climate-controlled factory cab.
Models equipped with the servo HST include:
Max Speed Control: allows the operator to set the maximum desired speed using a simple rotary dial, providing tighter control over a precise speed range.
Response Control: lets the operator adjust how aggressively the transmission reacts when a travel pedal is pressed.
Electronic Cruise Control: lets the operator set a travel speed.
Stall Guard: automatically monitors the engine’s performance and reduces travel speed when necessary to maintain engine power and torque to prevent engine stalling.
The standard 540-rpm independent rear PTO is also gentle on the engine and powertrain. A button on the dash allows the operator to modulate the PTO startup for a slow, “feathered” engagement of heavier implements to reduce shock load and prevent driveline damage.
Valtra tractors claimed the top 3 positions at the European Tractor Pulling Championships in Zele, Belgium.
Matti Herlevi driving Caesar was crowned European Champion in the Pro Stock category, while Jurian Duijn from the Netherlands took silver with Next Sensation and Johanna Herlevi third with Gangnam Style. This is the fifth time that Valtra tractors have made a clean sweep of the European Championships, although it has been several years since the last time. Matti Herlevi has now won the European Championships six times, while his father Pekka has won it four times and sister Johanna two times.
“We spent many hours in the garage last winter thinking of ways in which we could further improve our tractors. For example, we rebuilt our transmissions to make them more durable with fewer gears. We also increased the amount of valve lift in the engines, and we made deeper recesses in the pistons before the start of the season. We took some risks, in other words, but it was well worth it in the end,” says Matti Herlevi.
The competition was extremely tight, as it has been throughout the season. The tractors are separated by so little that the positions were decided by just a few centimetres. The tractors were also so well tuned that they all made it thought the first pull easily with the exception of Mud Patrol, which suffered a broken front axle. In the pull-off the tractors continued to pull so convincingly that in the end the top 15 tractors were separated by less than ten metres.
The Belgian organisers managed to keep the track dry and grippy despite rain showers the previous day. Around 10,000 spectators were on hand on both days to watch the championships.
Preparations for Antarctica 2014 from Massey Ferguson are progressing well. The MF 5600 tractor that ‘Tractor Lady’ Manon Ossevoort will drive to the South Pole in 2014 is built and currently being prepared for its arduous journey.
Staff at Massey Ferguson are also assembling a team of top specialists to support Manon and the MF 5600 tractor. These include top polar explorers, experienced expedition leaders, a highly trained tractor technician along with back up from other specialists.
“Massey Ferguson is very proud to be involved in this great adventure,” says Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson’s Brand Development Manager. “The project is part of our heritage and follows in the tractor tracks of Sir Edmund Hillary, who completed the same journey on a Ferguson Tractor 55 years ago. It will be the 56th anniversary of that significant event when Manon’s MF 5600 reaches the South Pole in 2014.”
‘Tractor Lady’ Manon has undertaken polar training in Northern Canada as well as initial tractor testing on a glacier in Iceland, along with members of the MF team.
Manon said, “I am very excited about what we have achieved so far and how the project is proceeding. In recent months I have managed to keep quite a big secret – that is Tractor Lady is soon to become Tractor Mama! The birth of my baby is another whole new adventure for me personally. But I am really determined to complete the journey and finish the story I have been creating for the past nine years.”
Massey Ferguson is delighted with Manon’s special news, adds Mr Scott. “Naturally we share the joy of Manon and her partner, Rogier and send them every best wishes for the future and look forward to our continued progress towards the South Pole together,” he adds.
The new Valtra Unlimited customisation studio has opened at Valtra factory in Suolahti, Finland. The studio can fit any accessories and equipment that are not available directly from the production line during the normal manufacturing process.
As its name suggests, the Unlimited studio can fit any equipment that the customer orders as long as they work and that they comply with traffic regulations and requirements for type approval.
If a customer wants a tractor painted gold, or a driver’s seat covered in special leather, the Unlimited studio can oblige. In practice most equipment wishes will be related to the tasks to be performed by the customer’s tractor, such as auxiliary hydraulics, reversing cameras, forest equipment, central lubrication systems, flashing lights etc. In addition to customised features, all Unlimited tractors come with stylish Unlimited floor mats, seat covers, steering wheel logo and decal.
Initially the Unlimited service was offered only in Finland, but from autumn 2013 Valtra begin offering it also to customers across and beyond Europe. Customers can order Unlimited options directly from their Valtra dealer, so neither the customer nor the salesperson has to transport the tractor back and forth to fit additional equipments. In principle, everything from the initial order to warranty matters are handled by the same place.
For more information and an overview of the most popular Unlimited accessories visit www.valtra.com/unlimited.
An alcohol lock is only one example of the Unlimited studio offering. In many municipalities this safety feature is required on tractors used for road maintenance.