It’s becoming a tradition at Agritechnica, starting the show off with a ceremony engineers from all the ag equipment brands hold their collective breath for: the naming of the winners in the four categories of the Tractor of the Year competition.
This is a competition the Europeans take pretty seriously. The judging panel is made up of 24 ag machinery journalists, and the evaluation process kicks off in May and carries on through the summer. As usual, the 22 tractors that were entered this year were given far more than a cursory walk around and quick drive through a vacant lot.
“Only field tests give the judges the ability to properly test the tractors,” Fabio Sammaretti, the TOTY chairman, told the audience at the start of the presentation ceremony in Hanover Germany.
In all, the tractors endured more than 100 hours of testing. And 14 different trial locations were used before the judges finished voting for their picks in the four categories.
Two out of the four categories will be of interest to Western Canadian farmers: the best utility-class tractor and the best tractor for general field use. The judges also picked a winner for the best specialty tractor (think orchards and the like) and best design.
Italian manufacturer ARGO’s McCormick X6 440 VT Drive tractor won in the utility class, while AGCO was the big winner in all the rest. It’s new T254 Smart Touch Valtra won in both the general category and best design awards. Unfortunately, AGCO discontinued distribution of its Valtra line in North America several years ago, so don’t expect to be able to run down to the local AGCO dealer and snap one up. AGCO’s 112 horsepower, vineyard Fendt 211 Vario V picked up the Best of Specialized award.
To find out more about the competition, take a look at their website, tractoroftheyear.org.