There were no shortage of uncommon equipment designs under the roofs of the nearly 30 massive buildings that housed the 2017 edition of Agritechnica in Germany in November, but none caught our eye as quickly as the revolutionary Syn Trac tractor.
Standing beside the machine on display, Ana Putz, one of the company’s marketing staff and daughter of the Syn Trac’s designer, explained its origin.
“My father is the main developer,” she said. “He grew up in agriculture and he always had the idea of a perfect tractor. In 2013, we said we want to start with a new concept. We made studies and in 2015, Syn Trac, the company, was founded.”
The Syn Trac puts a new spin on tractor design, making flexibility its main advantage. In fact, the company uses the term “infinite possibilities” on the front page of its product brochure.
“There are so many functions possible,” adds Putz. “It’s a really flexible vehicle.”
Designed with a centre-mounted cab that offers impressive visibility in all directions around the machine, the chassis can accept mounted attachments at both the front and rear. And the mounting system uses a completely new arrangement, which is designed to connect fully to any implement in one minute or less.
“It’s possible to dock all attachments, front and back, in one minute without leaving the cabin,” she adds.
To improve traction and stability, the Syn Trac uses a rear gooseneck style connection to transfer some of the implement or trailer weight to the rear axle. An adapter allows the tractor to connect to any implement with a conventional or three-point hitch.
“Other companies make the attachments and we make the adapter, so it is possible to do dock them with our vehicle,” says Putz.
The Syn Trac has no shortage of power, relying on a 420 horsepower Cat 9.3-litre six-cylinder diesel. The Cat is mated to a CVT transmission, which was designed in-house and in partnership with another Austrian engineering firm. It was built specifically to meet the needs of the Syn Trac, offering two speed ranges with a maximum road travel speed of 80 km/h.
The Syn Trac includes a 1,000 r.p.m. PTO and a load-sensing hydraulic system that offers a standard 180 l/min pump. An optional 360 l/min upgrade is available.
A standard 125-amp alternator ensures the 10 LED work lights stay lit.
The tractor has constant four-wheel drive can be operated in either of three-, two- or four-wheel steering modes. And if four-wheel drive isn’t enough, in one minute a third drive axle can be attached to the rear of the chassis. Again, without the operator even having to get out of the cab.
“We can also put another, third axle on it without leaving the cabin,” says Putz. “A fourth axle could also be possible.”
A unique suspension system has a “slope compensation” feature, which helps keeps the chassis level on both steep side-hill and fore-aft grades.
The Syn Trac can also transition into a telescopic materials handler with a quick-connect boom attachment. Considering all the possible variations and attachments, the company sees a very wide range of applications for the Syn Trac in agriculture, forestry, municipal and a host of other sectors.
As it begins retailing the Syn Trac, the company will initially focus its marketing efforts on Europe, but it has Canada in its sights as a potential market down the road.
“We are starting in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, then we will market to the whole of Europe,” Putz says. “(In the future) at least we would like to go into Canada and show worldwide.”
But all that usability doesn’t come cheaply. “The list price right now is 330,000 Euros,” says Putz. That’s just shy of C$500,000.