A smooth, simplified, powerful transmission and hydraulics that deliver top performance are two of the features of Fendt tractors highlighted at a recent southern Alberta field day showcasing about three dozen tractors used by actual producers.
The day was hosted by local southern Alberta dealer Hanlon Ag Centre www.hanlonag.combased in Lethbridge, and supported by a team of specialists from AGCO headquarters in Duluth, Georgia. The field day one of several organized by AGCO —next year it will be in Manitoba — are all geared to raising farmer awareness of the German-built tractor that offers engineering features unique to Fendt.
Described by some owners as the “Cadillac of tractors” it doesn’t have to be just another “green machine” in the field. Along with the standard Fendt green it can also be ordered in custom colors such as jet black, fir green, steel blue and black cherry.
Clancey McCray, a senior marketing specialist with AGCO described to producers the Vario transmission, which is the heart of 700, 800 and 900 series tractors. After 30 years of research and development, Fendt introduced the first and so-far only tractor with the stepless continuous variable drive transmission.
“The transmission design means the tractor can operate at variable speeds without the need of a clutch,” says McCray. “Instead of separate speed ranges like in a powershift, Vario gives the tractor infinite speeds. An operator can select the exact speed fro the application whereas a powershift must operate within speed ranges.” One of the key components of the transmission is the simplified planetary gear which all helps to get the maximum amount of power from the engine to the ground in the most direct route possible.
The main benefit of this transmission is that your tractor is always operating at the proper speed, which maximizes efficiency. You get the job done, and it can also translate into a 10 to 15 per cent fuel savings. It is patented, McCray points out…you won’t find it anywhere else.
One of the key features of hydraulic system on Fendt tractors is a pump dedicated to the hydraulic system, points out Blake Laethem,
an AGCO specialist. With separate oil supply for the hydraulics and transmission, for example, when operating the tractor — steering and transmission— it’s not going to take anything away from the pressure in the hydraulic lines. Farmers have the option of the standard 29 gpm or high volume 40 gpm hydraulics.
“Other manufacturers may have one 60 gallon per minute pump that is shared for various functions. Whether you rev the tractor up or down for example, Fendt has a pump specific to hydraulics so it maintains a constant pressure,” says Laethem. Another benefit of having separate pumps — if hydraulic hose fittings are dirty when attached to the tractor, the dirt may migrate into the hydraulic pump, but it won’t contaminate the transmission.
Fendt design also allows farmers to select for either soft or hard starts of hydraulic pressure. A hard start means if the hydraulics are set for 20 gallon pressure, and the hydraulics are activated, that pressure is there instantly. The soft start allows for just a momentary delay for the pressure to build.
“The soft start is just much easier on the overall system,” says Laethem. “Just that slightly slower build up of pressure is easier on all components, less wear and tear, and increased longevity of hydraulic system. Other manufacturers only provide the hard start which is hard on seals and hoses, while with Fendt tractors the system is set for soft start and producers can select hard start when they need it.”
And a range of operator features are also standard equipment on Fendt tractors. Hydraulics can be controlled with either a joystick, a crossgate lever or armrest finger levers. And when operating the three-point hitch there are also control buttons mounted on both rear wheel fenders.
Lee Hart is a field editor for Grainews in Calgary, Contact him at 403-592-1964 or by email at [email protected]