AGCO is pleased to announce that technicians employed by dealerships handling one or more of its four principal machinery brands within the United Kingdom and Ireland will be able to register on a nationally-recognised technician accreditation scheme developed and backed by the AEA and IAgrE, with support from BAGMA.
Known as the Landbased Technician Accreditation scheme (LTA), the programme has become available to all AGCO dealer technicians following independent assessment and accreditation of the training and facilities provided by AGCO to technicians supporting its Challenger, Fendt, Massey Ferguson and Valtra farm machinery brands.
The move to have AGCO’s training programmes recognised at a national level, accredited to the same standards of other leading farm machinery manufacturers and suppliers, was spearheaded by Freddie Pullan, Manager, Technical Training UK and Ireland for AGCO Ltd.
“The LTA Scheme provides a clear and accepted means of benchmarking, monitoring and assessing the competence of technicians employed nationwide within the landbased sector,” commented Mr Pullan. “AGCO was keen to ensure that the training it provides to technicians employed by Challenger, Fendt, Massey Ferguson and Valtra dealers matched this standard, providing a clear and documented career path for AGCO apprentices and technicians wishing to progress within the agricultural engineering industry.”
In consultation with scheme administrator, IAgrE, AGCO’s training programmes were scrutinised and fine-tuned to ensure that they satisfied the accreditation criteria laid down by the LTA scheme. Independent assessment was carried out on behalf of IAgrE by consultant, David Kershner, with accreditation centre approval being granted to AGCO, taking effect in September 2014.
Agricultural engineers employed by AGCO dealers are now able to follow a nationally-recognised four-tier progression from apprentice (LTA1) through to master technician (LTA4), passing through technician (LTA2) and advanced technician (LTA3) tiers as they progress.
Upward movement from one tier to the next involves satisfactory completion of a range of general and product-specific training courses across a number of different categories, as laid down by the LTA scheme. All technicians attaining LTA3 standard become eligible for IAgrE membership and Engineering Technician (Eng Tech) registration, on payment of an annual fee.
“AGCO is committed to supporting an initiative which provides encouragement and recognition for dealers and technicians who voluntarily commit to continual professional development.” commented Mr Pullan. “We believe that the Landbased Technician Accreditation scheme will bring sustained improved efficiencies within dealers’ service departments and further boost customers’ perceptions and confidence in technicians working on their tractors and other farm machines,”
“We are delighted that AGCO has joined the LTA scheme,” commented Alastair Taylor, chief executive of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE). “The move will give service engineering technicians employed across the AGCO network the opportunity to gain professional recognition nationwide for their important work.
“We very much look forward to welcoming AGCO’s first LTA3 technicians as members of IAgrE as well as handling their registration as Engineering Technicians with the Engineering Council. It is only right and proper that skilled technicians performing such important work are recognised as professionals. We believe that AGCO customers will reap the benefit of having their farm machinery serviced by technicians who are at the top of their game.”
From the Auckland Harbour Bridge to the northern-most tip of the New Zealand, AGCO dealer Bryant Tractors has proudly served the Northland Farming industry for 35 years.
From humble beginnings employing just four people, the locally owned Whangarei business owned and operated by Murray Bale and Keith Martin is the largest independent agricultural dealership in New Zealand’s Northland region.
Celebrating their success and thanking their loyal and large customer base, the Bryant Tractor team invited over 320 guests to a function at Whangarei’s Toll stadium.
Guests enjoyed a buffet dinner, live entertainment and listened to the inspirational story of New Zealand Paralympic champion swimmer, Cameron Leslie.
The spacious facilities of the Northlands Rugby Union home ground also allowed Bryant tractors to display a large range of the latest AGCO products which guest were able mill around while catching up over a social drink or two.
Congratulating the Bryant Tractors team for their long history of service, Guest Speaker AGCO NZ Manager Peter Scott outlined AGCO’s Vision of the Future and an overview of the NZ tractor market.
Commenting after the event, Peter said “Bryant Tractors has been a fixture in the local agricultural industry for a generation, consistently providing the Northland region with professional service and support and offering a range of AGCO products that meet the demands of modern farming practices in New Zealand.”
Attending the event customers Ian and Coleen Taylor took the opportunity to pass on their best wishes to Murray and Bryant tractors staff.
“We thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the machinery Bryant Tractors had on display, it is amazing what a change there has been even in our lifetime! We were very interested to hear the story of AGCO, its impressive results, with such rapid growth throughout the world. We look forward to seeing what is coming off the production line next,” Ian and Coleen Taylor said.
Murray and Keith thanked their customers and made special mention of past and current staff who have contributed to the success of Bryant Tractors including co-founder Bill Bryant.
AGCO congratulates Bryant Tractors for 35 years of dedicated professional service and looks forward continuing a successful partnership in the vibrant New Zealand agricultural industry.
Valtra’s Unlimited Studio has created a pink tractor that is all about “passion”, which is this year’s theme among the Young Farmers of Finland, an organisation of MTK (Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners). The theme is reflected in both the interior and exterior styling of this customised tractor, which has been dubbed “Pink Cat”.
Options and features of the Pink Cat are designed together with Young Farmers representatives and Valtra Unlimited Studio. The tractor is a four-cylinder N163 Direct with stepless transmission. The specs include bright pink taping, red leather upholstery, chrome headlight surrounds, chrome exhaust, chrome mounting rack on the roof, chrome grill guard, alpine horns on the roof, LED auxiliary work lights, breath alcohol ignition interlock, a top-end stereo and DVD player, a stainless steel mirror on the ceiling of the cab, rim guards made out of chrome-plated sheet metal, iPad and an Auto-Guide readiness system. The tractor itself boasts 171 horsepower, 700 Nm of torque, a 50 km/h transmission and 160 litre per minute load-sensing hydraulics.
Pink Cat will appear at Young Farmers’ events throughout Finland, beginning at the Okra fair in Oripää on 4 July. The tractor will visit all Finnish provinces before returning to its roots in Central Finland at the KoneAgria fair on 11 October. Pink Cat will be accompanied at these events by a customised trailer featuring a hot tub and terrace. After the tour the tractor will be offered for sale to customers just like any other demo tractor.
Pink Cat features:
- Pink taping
- Red leather upholstery
- Chrome exhaust, headlight surrounds and grill guard
- Alpine horns and auxiliary lights on roof
- Breath alcohol ignition interlock
- Top-end stereo and DVD
- Stainless steel mirror and LED lamps on cab ceiling
- Auto-Guide readiness system
The latest solution combines articulated steering with turning front wheels, making the tractor extremely agile. It can even be driven sideways to an extent, thus eliminating soil compaction on fields and allowing streets to be ploughed or swept safely along the sides. The articulated steering and rotating front axle are automated, so the amount of articulated steering reduces as the speed increases. At high speeds the tractor is steered normally through the front wheels. The driver can also adjust the ratio of articulated steering to front axle steering according to the situation.
Articulated steering is available as an option on N123, N143 and N163 Direct models. N163 Direct models feature a stepless transmission, powerful 160 l/min hydraulics, front axle stiffening, 171 horsepower with power boost and a top speed of 50 km/h. The tractors can be fitted with standard Valtra front loaders or heavy-duty solid beam loader loaders. With the articulated steering option, the N163 Direct is 60 centimetres longer and 300 kilos heavier than standard models. The weight distribution is 45 percent over the front axle and 55 percent over the rear axle.
The same options are available with the articulated steering than with other Valtra tractors, including a steel fuel tank for forestry tasks and an SVC cab with enhanced side visibility for municipal tasks.
The articulated steering option has been developed together with Valtra’s partners Afcon Oy and LH Lift Oy.
Previous studies have shown that articulated tractors can perform front loader tasks 35-40 percent faster than standard tractors. Speed is increased both by the enhanced agility and the fact that the front and rear of the tractor can be driven sideways without having to drive the tractor forwards and backwards.
The articulated N163 Direct will undergo testing in the winter and spring of 2014. Series production will be phased in at the Valtra Unlimited Studio at the end of 2014.
Yesterday we celebrated, and helped sponsor, National Ag Day 2014, the 41st anniversary of celebrating agriculture’s role in the world. Every spring, producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies and others join together in recognition and appreciation of the agriculture industry.
We’d like to take this time to express our deepest gratitude to the many men and women across the globe who make agriculture possible: THANK YOU!
How did you celebrate National Ag Day yesterday? We’d love to hear from you — please share your stories in the comments below.