Fendt’s traditional home and main tractor manufacturing facility is nestled in picturesque Bavaria, in southern Germany, and it’s just a 35-minute cab ride at 210 kilometres per hour on the Autobahn from Munich’s airport. (Trust me on that.) The Marktoberdorf facility is extremely modern and builds the brand’s several wheeled tractor model lines. But here in Canada, we’ve only seen a few of them on dealers’ lots.
Fendt introduces the 900 MT and 1100 MT series two-track tractors to North America.
In 1998, shortly after AGCO purchased the German brand, only a limited range of tractors was originally made available here. And North American farmers’ early interest in this other green brand was limited too, to say the least. As recently as about 2010, North American sales were still languishing around a couple of hundred tractors a year. AGCO’s Challenger and Massey Ferguson brands were then the main focus of marketers’ attention here.
However, in Europe, things were much different. Fendt enjoyed market dominance in Germany, and it was pretty popular in other EU countries. It had a reputation for reliability and sophisticated German engineering — and still does.
As AGCO gradually restructures its multi-brand stable, it is growing Fendt’s presence not just here in North America but globally, positioning Fendt as a premium marquee with a strong marketing effort.
In Europe, Fendt was given the Challenger two-track tractor line a couple of years ago, as the Challenger brand presence there has been significantly reduced. Now, Fendt is adopting the two-track models here as well.
That was just one part of a major Fendt brand announcement that came from AGCO in August.
Fendt introduced the 900 MT and 1100 MT series two-track tractors, offering a total of seven belted models from 380 to 673 peak horsepower. The three 900 Vario MT models will get the 9.8-litre AGCO Power diesel, which turns out 1,500 pound-feet of torque at 1,100 revolutions per minute. And like their larger brothers in the 1100 series, that power will get routed through a Fendt VarioDrive CVT transmission.
Hydraulic flow on the 900 series tractors is 58 gallons per minute (219 litres per minute) at 1,700 r.p.m. On the 1100 series, buyers can bump that up with an optional 116 g.p.m. (439 L/m) flow from a dual-pump system. And they use the Fendt concept of keeping implement hydraulic and tractor lubrication oil reservoirs separate, which prevents cross contamination and extends the recommended change interval to 2,000 hours.
The long wheelbase Mobil-trac track modules and suspension mid wheels allow for 11 degrees of oscillation, making road speeds of 40 kilometres per hour possible. On the larger 1100 series models, however, AGCO is introducing a much more sophisticated undercarriage design, the Smart Ride Plus, which provides load levelling. It adjusts the tractor height and can keep it balanced even with front or rear mounted implements.
Added to the growing list of Fendt models soon to arrive on dealers’ lots here is the 300 series utility class tractors, which were first introduced to Europeans in 1980. These will be the recently updated “fourth generation” version. These tractors won’t arrive on our shores until sometime early in 2022, however.
The four-model line, which includes the new 314, will span the 100- to 132-horsepower range. The 314 won Tractor of the Year in the utility category at Agritechnica in 2019. These models have a high power-to-weight ratio, which the company thinks will make them particularly attractive to livestock producers who use a lot of PTO-powered equipment. The 314 gets an unladen weight of 11,045 pounds (5,009 kilograms) but can be ballasted up to 18,739 pounds (8,500 kilograms) if necessary.
The 300s can easily navigate through tight corrals with their 13-foot (3.96-metre) turning radius. The Fendt Cargo front-end loader is designed to fully integrate with them. Front axle and cab suspension improve the ride for the operator.
A 4.4-litre AGCO Power diesel mates to the Fendt Vario CVT transmission. Inside the cab, the FendtONE operator’s station layout provides for customizable controls.
The 700 series tractors, which were the first to be made available in Canada in 1998, get a refresh, with the introduction of the six Gen6 models, which span the 144 to 237 engine (110 to 195 PTO) horsepower range.
Like the 300s, the 700s get the new FendtONE operator interface environment. It includes a 12-inch monitor on the armrest and a 10-inch digital dashboard behind the steering wheel. And the 700s can be fitted with the integrated Cargo front-end loader, too.
The Gen6 models get adjustable track widths to better meet the demand from row-crop producers on this continent, something that had previously held back sales of Fendt tractors, particularly in the United States, because they didn’t offer this feature.
Like all Fendts, the 700s get the Vario CVT transmission the brand first introduced in 1995. The Gen6 models will also be 50 km/h capable. And a Deutz 6.06-litre diesel will provide the power. Hydraulic flow is a standard 51 g.p.m. (193 L/m).
What else do they get? The list of options is long and includes air brakes, front and rear three-point hitches and two front hydraulic remotes.
All Fendt tractors are backed by the brand’s Gold Star Customer Care 36-month or 3,000-hour warranty, which includes all scheduled maintenance and a loaner guarantee in the event of a breakdown.