Machine of the Year. Tractor of the Year. Fendt knows how to make an entrance into the 500-plus horsepower category.
The German tractor-maker won multiple awards for its new 1000 Vario series at Agritechnica 2015.
Perhaps most impressive about the Fendt 1000 Vario is how it transfers 500 horsepower to the ground with a standard tractor design — the front tires are smaller than the rear wheels, unlike most other 4-wheel-drive tractors. At 14 tonnes, it’s also lighter than other tractors in the 500-plus hp class.
“We wanted to offer our customers the comfort of a standard tractor. For example, it can go 60km/h. We wanted perfect visibility, and all these things made us convinced this was the solution,” explains Stephan Bea, head of sales engineering for Fendt in this TechTour episode. “But we needed the technology to bring the grip on the ground.”
That included developing new tires with a diameter in the rear of up to 2.35 metres, flexible ballasting and the “VarioGrip” tire pressure regulation system for adjusting tire pressure according to operation and conditions. As Bea explains, the Fendt Grip Assistant helps drivers choose the right ballast weight, driving speed and tire pressure.
Unlike other high-horsepower tractors, Fendt’s stepless VarioDrive transmission features independent hydrostatic drives on each axle, which means torque can be shifted between front and rear: “There’s no 4-wheel button anymore. It has intelligent 4-wheel-drive.”
To maximize fuel efficiency, Bea notes Fendt also designed the machine to reach full torque (2,400 newton metres) at around 1,100 RPM.
Fendt also won a gold medal at Agritechnica for its VarioGrip Pro tire pressure system, which allows operators to change pressure from 0.8 bar (field) to 1.8 bar (road) in less than a minute. The company received silver medals for the VarioDrive transmission, the Grip Assistant system, and its 360 degree camera system.
Best Utility: Massey Ferguson 5713Sl
Best of Specialised: Same Frutteto S 90.3
Golden Tractor for the Design: Valtra N174 V