Over the past few years, we at Grainews have been conducting practical tests to provide our readers with insight into what some of the various machines commonly used on the farm really have to offer. And we’ve already covered a pretty wide variety of them. Of course we can’t just saunter into a dealership and say, “We’d like to take that $600,000 tractor out and punish it. You don’t mind do you?”
I’m sure all equipment outlet managers everywhere would say “Sure. Go ahead.”
Nevertheless, we have managed to get a fair bit of cooperation from brands and even a few dealers over the years, which allowed us to get into the cabs of an assortment of machines. As brands get used to that magazine review idea here, we’re seeing more and more of them willing to allow us to test their equipment. Hands-on testing and reporting in ag publications is pretty common and widely read by farmers in Europe, but it’s a rarity here. I recall talking with a friend who is a European ag magazine editor. He just couldn’t believe Canadian and American farmers didn’t demand more of that.
We think there is a need for it. So we hope to continue to ramp up that aspect of our magazine and online features and provide it. I have no doubt it’s useful to those looking at making buying decisions, We’ve been working to ensure there is more of it to come for this year.
In fact, online editor Greg Berg and I just came back from doing a hands-on review of ASV’s line of skid steer and compact track loaders at that company’s proving grounds in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Watch for that report later this summer.
You may remember seeing our winter on-farm extended review of Can Am’s side-by-side Defender, and the follow-up review of Can Am’s track system, which just ran in our latest issue.
Now Can Am has decided to let you do a review as well, so if you’re in the market for a side-by-side, you can see for yourself what the Defender is like. The brand has expanded its Defender Farm Test Program, allowing Farmers and landowners in all three Prairie Provinces as well as Ontario and Quebec to get one from their local dealer for a 24-hour test drive. That way you can put it to the tasks you’ll need it to do and see if it performs. There’s no sense buying a machine that won’t handle the jobs it needs to do.
The 24-hour real farm use test is free of charge and includes delivery and pickup of the machine. So if you’re thinking of adding a machine like that to your farm fleet, at the very least it’s a great way to benchmark the performance of one brand and rate it against competing models.