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AGCO Joins National Technician Accreditation Scheme

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.

AGCO Training Centre

AGCO Training Centre

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.”

Challenger Tillage Tools on Show at Wadenbrunn Field Day

Challenger, a worldwide brand of AGCO (NYSE: AGCO), showcased two models from the CH1700 Series Offset Disc Harrow range at the Fendt-Saaten Union Field Day in Wadenbrunn, Germany (27 August 2014). The demonstration of this primary cultivation tool at the event was part of a new focus by AGCO on the Seeding & Tillage sector.

Challenger 1710 offset disc harrow

Challenger 1710 offset disc harrow

A sister brand of Fendt, Challenger supplies tracked tractor, application equipment and Seeding & Tillage implements. The CH1700 offset disc harrows with folding frame feature one of the heaviest disc weights in the industry and are designed for primary tillage, residue/chemical incorporation and land reclamation. Suitable for tractors from 260-455hp and with working widths ranging from 6.50-7.60m, these heavy-duty, rugged implements will penetrate even the toughest ground.

AGCO’s Seeding & Tillage range covers a wide range of products from disc harrows and field cultivators to air drills and row-crop planters.

“AGCO has been involved in the seeding and tillage sector since the company’s inception in 1990,” says Cameron McKenzie, Seeding & Tillage Manager Europe/Africa/Middle East. “Since then, key acquisitions and a joint venture with Amity Technology, one of the leading names in the sector, have significantly increased our seeding and tillage product portfolio.”

“A key aim of AGCO’s Seeding & Tillage initiative is to develop products using appropriate technology – from smaller implements matched to the needs of emerging markets to sophisticated broad-acre solutions,” he says. “Our major markets to date have been North and South America, Eastern Europe and Africa. The next step is to extend and look for new opportunities in Western and Central Europe and we are delighted to be able to start our promotional campaign at the prestigious Fendt-Saaten Union Field Day.”

Challenger Is Living Up To Its Name

What better way to celebrate the launch of our all-new MT775 E Series Challenger tracked tractors than its selection as one of the twelve finalists for the 2015 Tractor of the Year Award to be announced at the upcoming EIMA International show in Bologna, Italy next month?  This new, never before seen tractor has a 438 horsepower engine, a massive 15% increase over the previous model and now boasts 34” belts which provide 13% more grip area.

The award itself is judged by a group of 23 European specialized agricultural machinery journalists who evaluate the both the field tractors as well as specialized as well as the design both categories.  After field conditions are evaluated, the shortlist is determined.  Winners are announced at the next major European show – in this case – The EIMA Show.  To see all of this year’s finalists including two of Challenger’s sister brands, check out this video:

“We are so excited to demonstrate this 400+ hp tractor that applies all the power directly to the ground on our industry exclusive Mobil-Trac™ system delivering superior traction and low compaction.  We can’t wait to meet the jury of the Tractor of the Year at the field evaluations,” commented Luca Cattani, Challenger Product Marketing Manager – Track and Articulated Tractors, EAME.

Three Awards will be given out on the first day of the EIMA show:

  • Tractor of the year to the tractor reaching the highest score
  • Best of the specialized tractors (orchard, vineyard)
  • Golden tractor for the design

For more information on the Challenger MT775E Series, Click Here.

Idaho Dealer Agri-Service Holds Series of Fall Tillage Days

Photo taken by Adam Hubbard, Marketing Manager Agri-Service, LLC

Photos taken by Adam Hubbard, Marketing Manager Agri-Service, LLC

While the skies above may look ominous in this picture, the tractors and equipment were in for a day of hard work ahead.  Several weeks ago in American Falls, Idaho, AGCO dealer Agri-Service, LLC had its first of a series of events called Fall Tillage days.  This is a chance for their customers and prospects get behind the wheel of our tractors and demonstrate them along with our tillage equipment.  “In attendance at this particular event were approximately 18 guests representing about 8 local farm operations,” said Adam Hubbard, Marketing Manager at Agri-Service.

Available to demo were a Challenger MT685 pulling a Sunflower 4511 Disc Chisel, a Challenger MT765 pulling a Sunflower 1436 Disc Harrow, and a Challenger MT865 pulling a Sunflower 4630 Disc Ripper.  Everyone in attendance was able to demonstrate each of these machines and Agri-Service salesmen as well as AGCO Product Specialists were on-hand to answer questions and point out key features of the equipment and highlight their benefits.  All were able to easily demonstrate the ability to till under the crop residue while leaving an impressive finish.

Tillage 1435 Shot

CH Low field shot

 As these machines were parked on a well-traveled road prior to the start of the day, there were some walk-ups inquiring about the impressive display including the static Gleaner Super Series S88 which was prominently showcased as well.

“We had positive feedback from all of the customers that attended.  All were able to operate the equipment and were impressed by the tractors as well as the performance of each tillage piece.  Some of them had used Sunflower [before] and some hadn’t,” stated Hubbard.   When asked if anything in particular stood out to the guests, Hubbard replied, “the SF 4630, the big disc ripper and it performed very well in addition to the incredible ability and performance of the MT865 tractor.”

Agri-Service has three more upcoming Fall Tillage events in October.  To learn more, click here.

Technology Experts Were at Agritechnica to Showcase Precision Farming Products

By Bernhard Schmitz

AGCO’s new technology strategy, FuseTM Technologies, was a major component of AGCO’s presence recently at Agritechnica, the world’s largest exhibition of agricultural machinery and equipment. Held in Hanover, Germany, from November 12-16, 2013, the show attracted 450,000 visitors from across the globe.

Fuse Interactive Smart Farm

The Fuse Technologies interactive smart farm operated on a video game platform and showed how Fuse products help growers in each phase of the crop cycle.

Show attendees could experience Fuse products and learn more about the strategy in several ways. The Fuse booth was located at the center of the AGCO floor plan, where visitors could interact with touch screen stations to learn about the Fuse connected strategy.

The Fuse booth also included the interactive smart farm display that showed how Fuse Technologies helps growers through each phase of the crop cycle. Eric Hansotia, Senior Vice President of Global Harvesting and ATS, and Helmut Endres, Senior Vice President of Engineering Worldwide both visited the Fuse booth and interacted with the Fuse smart farm screen.

After learning about what Fuse is and how it helps growers, visitors could venture out to each brand area—Challenger, Fendt, GSI, Massey Ferguson and Valtra, as well as Fella—which featured technology stands staffed with experts ready to answer attendees’ precision farming questions.

Show attendees could interact with each brand’s precision farming products, especially some of the new products that made their debut at the show such as VarioGuide Light and the latest AgCommandTM integrations.

Additionally, AGCO’s own Matt Rushing, Vice President of Product Management, Advanced Technology Solutions (ATS) and Electronics Functional Group, was on-hand at the Massey Ferguson stand to explain the Fuse Technologies strategy: click here to see the video.

To see photos from Agritechnica 2013, visit our Facebook page.
To learn more about Fuse Technologies, click here.

Dr. Bernhard Schmitz is the Commercial Manager of ATS Products for EAME based in Neuhausen, Switzerland.

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