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.
AGCO’s New Zealand Dealers gathered recently in Addington, Christchurch, for comprehensive training in Advanced Technology Solutions (ATS) including System 110 Guidance, System 150 and System 350 Auto steering and AGCO’s telemetry system, Agcommand.
AGCO’s extensive dealer network gives farmers access to the resources and benefits of these new and emerging agricultural products. Dealer training empowers dealers with the knowledge and expertise needed to provide customers with high end precision farming solutions and the know how to suit progressive farmers. AGCO’s precision farming technologies enable farmers and contractors to optimise their operations, reduce input costs and achieve greater efficiency and profitability.
In New Zealand, the highly professional dealer group attending the training included dealer principals, sales staff and technical support staff. All were given the opportunity to evaluate the systems on display in real time with a mix of Valtra, Fendt and Massey Ferguson tractors equipped with AGCO’s technology products.
Taking an active role in enhancing dealers’ knowledge base, AGCO Australia’s ATS Product Manager, Jeremy Duniam, was pleased with the training that included classroom style learning as well as practical demonstrations of the products.
“The dealer training was extremely productive and was received very well by all participating. It is always rewarding to see dealer staff remain behind after the day sessions have finished to spend more time getting familiar with the systems. The dealer network in New Zealand is very professional in their approach. Their knowledge of ATS solutions will equip New Zealand farmers with innovative technology solutions, which is the future of farming.” Jeremy said.
This recent dealer training reflects AGCO’s commitment to and global emphasis on precision ag technology, recently launched as Fuse™ Technologies. To learn more about AGCO’s on and off board technologies and the Fuse technology strategy, visit http://www.agcocorp.com/products/precision_farming.aspx.
As Massey Ferguson® rolls out its newest tractor series, one Georgia farmer takes time from his busy schedule to try out a demo.
For Lee Powers, time is at a premium. Most days he’s out of the house around 5:30 a.m. to feed and check on at least one of his two herds that he raises on two separate tracks. He also owns a construction business with the majority of the work—mostly commercial buildings, such as doctors’ offices—located in metro Atlanta, approximately 50 miles east of his home and farmland.
Still, he scratched out a little time when Roger Harrod, his Massey Ferguson dealer at Georgia Deer Farm & Agri-Center in the small community of Roopville, approached him with a proposition.
Roger had a demo model of a new MF4609 tractor. It’s one of three models in the Massey Ferguson 4600 Series that has received considerable press and been eagerly awaited by many farmers for its reported versatility and leading-edge technologies, including a 3.3-liter, 3-cylinder engine that’s said to be extremely efficient and powerful.
“It’s a nice, all-around-size tractor for somebody like Lee,” says Roger. “It’s for guys who aren’t full-time farmers, but they want to keep their place up. I’d say it’s a good hay tractor—perfect for cutting and bush hogging.”
Lee is already a Massey Ferguson customer—the owner of two tractors, an MF573 and MF5455. “The 5455 is the best tractor I’ve ever had in the hay field. Period,” says Lee. “I’ve been on all kinds of tractors, and it has spoiled me.” He says he’s enjoyed the MF5455 so much because everything is right at his fingertips, there’s plenty of power, and the visibility is wonderful.
Since Lee first bought the land, Frank has helped with his son’s farms, a 100-acre spread in Carrollton, Ga., where they raise 50 Black Angus cattle, and a 40-acre tract with about 22 head of Herefords in Hogansville. With other side hay jobs they have acquired—including managing a 205-acre tract of land belonging to the city of Hogansville—Lee estimates they cut and bale around 700 acres of hay twice and sometimes three times per year.
That translates to lots and lots of hay, factors they kept in mind during their time with the MF4609. As it is with many farmers, fuel usage was near the top of their list of concerns. To that end, Lee and Frank were happy with the 3-cylinder AGCO Power engine. “It seems to be fuel-efficient,” says Frank. “I was able to bush hog all day on a full tank.”
They also were looking for something to provide the power they needed. “I have been very, very pleased with the power it has,” says Lee. “As far as pulling, it is perfect for running a 15-foot bush hog. We were even cutting some wet stuff, and it was pulling through there just fine.”
The new power shuttle transmission was also a plus. “The transmission is smooth,” says Lee. “It’s like the cat’s meow. You can shift on the go, and the clutch is easy.”
Lee is already envisioning how an MF4609 might play a significant role on his farms, especially when it comes to raking, cutting and baling hay.
“There’s a 99.9% chance I’m going to buy that tractor,” he says.
To read the full story and to learn more about three key features of the MF4609 that separate it from the pack, visit http://www.myfarmlife.com/features/time-is-money/. To find out when you can check out a new Massey Ferguson 4600 Series tractor, contact your local dealer.