Real Agriculture first reported on the new Fendt 1000 Vario tractors at Agritechnica 2015 in Germany last November. Earlier this month, we were on hand for the North American debut at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky.
At the launch, Real Agriculture’s Bernard Tobin waded through a crowd of farmers to take a tour of the tractor with Josh Keeney, Fendt’s Tactical Marketing Manager. Keeney explained that the new 1000 Vario tractors deliver a unique combination of power, efficiency and maneuverability. It all starts with the Fendt iD high-torque, low-engine-speed concept that combines a new 12.4L six-cylinder engine with the next generation Fendt Vario transmission. There’s also an entirely new drivetrain, the VarioDrive, which allows intelligent four-wheel management.
“Fendt iD is our newest engineering breakthrough and it ensures all aspects of the 1000 Vario work together in perfect harmony for optimum power and efficiency,” says Keeney. “From the new six-cylinder engine to the drivetrain and transmission, cooling system and hydraulics, all components work together precisely, ensuring these tractors always run in the maximum torque range and at the greatest fuel efficiency.”
The ideal working range for the tractor is 1200 RMP verses 2100 RPM for other tractors, says Keeney. The hydraulics are also designed to work at 1200 RPM. “Even if I had an air seeder on the back of this, as soon as I pick up the implement to turn the headland, I’ll never lose hydraulic power to the motor.”
The Fendt stepless Vario transmission has been enhanced with a new drivetrain that employs hydrostatic-mechanical power splitting to engage a hydraulic pump and two independent hydraulic motors connected to the front and rear axles. The Fendt VarioDrive is the first drivetrain that drives both axles independently, automatically transferring power and controlling torque distribution to optimize traction regardless of ground conditions. This delivers enhanced maneuverability and allows for completely automated four-wheel drive.
With the new stepless VarioDrive, torque is freely distributed independently on both axles and the transmission acts like an interaxle differential without a fixed ratio between the front and rear axle. If slip occurs on the front or rear axle, Keeney explains, the transmission can move the torque from one axle to the other with the assistance of an intelligently controlled four-wheel clutch. For on-road travel, the transmission stops transferring torque to the front axle as speeds reach 15 MPH and the clutch completely disengages the front axle at higher speeds to eliminate drag and increase efficiency.
“These drivetrain enhancements allow the 1000 Vario tractors to be nimble and responsive for their size and power, really setting them apart from others in this category,” says Keeney. “When negotiating curves and turns, the active front-wheel drive pulls the tractor into the curve. In the field, it reduces turning radius by 10%.
Weighing in at just over 30,000 pounds, Keeney says the 1000 Vario is ideal for work requiring low ground pressure, such as seeding. Modular equipment options such as 1000 RPM PTO and a large selection of hydraulic, hitch and linkage options ensure the tractors are compatible with all conventional implements. The new 1000 Vario offers four models: 1038 (380 HP), 1042 (420 HP), 1046 (460 HP) and 1050 (500 HP).