In late June Grainews joined a group of machinery writers that was given a preview look at Fendt’s newest tractors, the 900 Series Gen 6, which offers five models between 296 and 415 engine horsepower. To put it plainly, they are smaller versions of the unique 1000 Series tractors introduced a couple of years ago.
Perhaps the most important thing to note is the 900s use the same VarioDrive system that was introduced on their larger brothers, the 1000s. That system is similar to the all-wheel drive concept used on sports cars. Power goes through the single-range CVT transmission then toque gets directed to the axle that needs it most. That explains why there are no standard wheel brake pedals in the cab. The torque distribution delivered by the VarioDrive system makes them unnecessary because the tractor can pull itself more efficiently around corners.
“The VarioDrive allows us to power both the front and rear axles independently,” said Andrew Sunderman, Tactical marketing manager. “And we have an intelligent way of connecting the two axles together. This is technology that is commonly found in high-performance luxury vehicles, and it’s been incorporated into a high-performing tractor.
“It’s a very exciting day for us here at AGCO to introduce to you, for the first time ever, the 900 Series Gen 6 Fendt tractor,” he said, as he showed the tractor to members of the farm media for the first time at the AGCO assembly plant in Jackson, Minnesota. But that plant is not where Fendts come to life. AGCO updated the long-time Fendt factory at the brand’s traditional home in Marktoberdorf, Germany That’s where Fendt tractors have been built since the brand’s inception in 1930, when the company introduced its first tractor, a six-horsepower powerhouse.
AGCO acquired Fendt in 1997 and brought some of the brand’s tractor models to Canada and the U.S. a year later. In recent years AGCO has been making significant steps to broaden the global distribution of the brand, whose primary market has been Western Europe. The Ideal combine introduced as a Fendt in North America last year was a major step in that direction. Now the 900 Series tractors take direct aim at the very large North American row-crop tractor market.
“This product has been in the making for many years now,” said Sunderman of the 900 Series. “And as I think you’ll see, this tractor has been specifically made for farmers here in the North American market. This tractor truly builds out the product line offered by Fendt, complimenting the previously introduced Fendt 1000 Series.”
With new track width options, the 900s can now literally fit right into row-crop fields, something other models couldn’t do and held back demand for the brand’s mid-horsepower offerings.
Focus on quality
AGCO is positioning Fendt as a high-quality, premium product and packing a host of options into the green machines, something it claims will help make it them the most efficient on the market.
“What really makes this tractor different is our focus on quality,” Sunderman added. “We focus on quality as it comes out of the factory and also on quality when it’s in the field, keeping customers running longer in the field than anyone else.”
Aside from that promise, the company is offering a comprehensive maintenance and warranty package that will give owners a predictable and fixed cost of ownership option.
“Gold Star is our Fendt customer care program, which provides a three-year, 3,000-hour warranty and service package four our tractors,” he continued. “And a three-year, 1,200-hour package for our Fendt Ideal combines. This is critical to keeping our customers running in the field longer and also providing a lower total cost of ownership for the customer. It also includes full maintenance, including oils, filters, belts and other items in the general maintenance plan.”
Like the 1000 Series, the 900s get an MAN diesel under the hood, but this time it’s 9 litre.
“We now get to introduce the low engine speed concept first introduced on the 1000 Series,” Sunderman explained. “This allows for better fuel efficiency and reduced wear on the engine without compromised engine performance. This tractor has an idle speed of 650 and a maximum r.p.m. of 1,700.
The hydraulic systems built into them are designed to work at high capacity with those low engine speeds as well. The base system is a 58 GPM single pump. An additional 43 GPM pump can be added to provide a dual circuit. The optional dual pump configuration can provide up to 100 GPM, at 1,100 to 1,400 engine r.p.m. It can hit a maximum flow of 113 GPM at full throttle. At the rear up to two high-flow valves are capable of producing seven GPM flow more than a standard half-inch coupler.