First seen by visitors at a factory launch at the Minsk Tractor Works a year ago, the European debut of the 466hp Belarus 4522 prototype took place at Agritechnica. This is not the first time Belarus has developed a 400hp+ tractor and the 4522 is the second generation of the 450hp and 14t MT3-4520, which was launched as part of 60th anniversary celebrations of the Minsk Tractor Works in 2006.
The 16f x 8r transmission (max. speed of 38kph) remains unchanged in the 4522. So too does the footwear - 600/65R34 front and 710/70R42 rear, and the lift capacity of 11.5t at the rear and 5.5t up front is on a par. One of the main updates concerns the previous 6cyl 12.7-litre Detroit Diesel, which in the 4522 has been ousted for a 6-pot Stage IIIB Cat C13. Providing tests with the two prototypes are successful, then the next stage is to develop a Stage IV (probably Cat) version of the 17t tractor for Euro markets. We understand such a tractor could be ready within the next 12-18 months. Wouldn’t it be amazing if one of them was brought to the UK!
Back to the present and a tractor that is expected to be popular in countries such as Russia, China and Kazakhstan. Other updates include an instrument panel that contains as many push-buttons and dials as a commercial airline, and does anyone remember the 4520’s unusual front fender design/integrated headlight design? The 4520 was the first and last Belarus tractor to adopt this styling. The 4522 has more traditional front fenders, although the lights are different to the norm.
The 4520 never ever made it to Agritechnica, but one tractor that did (2009 edition) was the electric prototype of the 295hp 3023. Apparently, the tractor generates enough electricity to the power wheel motors, with plenty of spare kilowatts to power front and rear-mounted implements. The work continues but there is no news of when the electric version will be added to the price lists.