31 August 2018

Tractor test

Valtra T254 Versu:

Finnish fine-tuning:

Finnish tractor manufacturer Valtra has extended the T4 family with the introduction of the flagship T254. You’d expect the 254 to have a bucket of extra power over the 234, but that isn’t quite what you get ...

Practical test

Kverneland 2500B I-Plough:

The 2.0 plough

Kverneland’s latest reversible plough literally and figuratively breaks new ground, thanks to its ISObus control. Does this extra complication bring genuine advantages in the field?

Driving impression

John Deere 9800i forager:

12 pots of green grunt

Deere has had a change of heart in its wide-body choppers. Out goes the Cummins, replaced by a bigger Liebherr motor ... along with the addition of a more powerful model knocking on the door of 1,000hp.

Case IH Farmlift 742 telehandler:

Another red player

Case IH has been offering its Farmlift telehandlers since 2013. Recently the machines received a revamp, so we grabbed the opportunity to take a closer look at the 4.2t, 7.0m Farmlift 742.

Can-Am Outlander 450 ATV:

Same pod, different peas

When we took a look at the V-twin Can-Am Outlander L DPS 500 back in 2015, we were impressed by its price-to-performance ratio. That this and its current replacement, the Outlander 570, have proven to be the most popular ATVs in the Can-Am line-up is no surprise. It is, however, ATVs in the 400 to 499cc class that make up the bulk of working bike sales in the UK, so Can-Am is now seeking to boost its presence in this sector with not one but three Outlander 450 models

Amazone ZG-TS 10001 Profis Pro fertiliser spreader:

TS goes big

Amazone recently revised its ZG-TS largescale spreader, updating the hopper styling, weighing system and boosting capacity while at the same time adding a new steering system.

Husqvarna 572XP Chainsaw:

Tough versatile and easy to use

Husqvarna has debuted two saws in its nominal 70cc pro-saw 500 series, the 565 and 572 XP. Both have a lot in common, including the same bore and stroke for their 70.6cc engines ... but with the XP model developing 4.3kW/5.8hp against the 3.7kW/4.8hp of the 565. Here we try the more powerful 572 XP.

Dengler Pasture Angel grassland rejuvinator:

One-pass grass

Badly poached grassland can pose a problem if there is not enough slack in the calendar for a belt and braces plough and sow operation, while several passes with a grass harrow may not give the desired result, either. This is where a machine such as the Pasture Angel, from German firm Dengler, comes in.

Kramer KL60.8L wheeled loader:

Onwards and upwards

The new KL60.8 brings Kramer into the bigger farm loader league. With a 6.1t tipping load and 3.80m lift height, it is a sizeable jump from the previous 4.3t, 3.45m flagship. Focus here is the longer boom L model, which has 4.2m reach and 5.6t lift.

Livestock equipment

Robots and grazing:

Flexible labour

While a lot of UK-based robot milking herds are kept indoors, in Ireland the preference is for a grazing system. As County Tipperary farmer Michael Croke points out, why complicate things and add expense when the grass is available in paddocks around the yard?

Used machinery

JCB Loadall telehandlers:

Proven design key to second-hand value?

The design of today’s 531 to 541 Loadalls hasn’t drifted far from that of the 530 to 540 models launched back in 1997. This not to suggest there has been no progress in Loadall development, as successive generations have brought more performance along with comfier operation. The key is to know what is on offer in the pre-owned market and to seek out a used buy with the right spec for the job

Machine management

Going big on bales:

Risk versus reward

Getting any new enterprise off the ground is a tough task, but it’s even harder to step into an established market. Yet in just four years, Oxfordshire-based RJR Contracting has grown from a one-man, one-tractor outfit into a business that runs seven big square balers and
a precision lime spreading operation alongside a diverse range of other arable services.

Electronics:

ISObus CCI 1200 display:

Bye bye keyboard

Agritechnica 2017 saw Grimme, Krone, Kuhn and Lemken launch the latest incarnation of their jointly developed CCI 1200 ISObus display. Were the fanfares justified? Or, going on past experience, could the clebrations have been a touch premature?

Report:

Electrically powered topper:

The organic approach

A Finnish organic cereal grower has developed a machine that uses fast-spinning electrically powered chains to pulverise weeds protruding above cereal crop canopies. The same unit also tops pastures and destroys potato haulm prior to harvest.

Power:

Stretched Fendt in slurry

Dutch contractor Arnoud va Dijk has taken drastic action and cut a Fendt tractor in half to transfer more weight to the front axle while injecting slurry.

Whatever happened to...

...the Zetor Maxterra?

Where's the Maxterra? It's a question we've repeatedly asked at Agritechnica and Czech TechAgro show press conferences over the past few years - two main international events where Zetor traditionally has a stand.

Vehicles:

Ford Transit Custom vs Mercedes-Benz Vito 119 Sport vans:

Vans that can

White or otherwise, vans are everywhere on UK roads. For a flavour of what's out there and what they can do, here's a look at two class-leading 1t versions in crew cab configuration.