The tractors are made in a country of the same name, but, even though Belarus has produced nearly four million of them, little is known in the west about this eastern European manufacturer
With the promise to delve into the past and enjoy a peek behind the scenes at the manufacturing and assembly plant, it didn’t take us long to accept an invitation from Canadian and North American Belarus tractor importer MTZ Equipment to travel to Minsk for a tour of the tractor works.
The capital city of a country that up until 1991 was part of the Soviet Union, today it is officially called the Republic of Belarus, with Russian and Belarussian the two main languages. Bordered by Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, the capital of the landlocked country is also the home of forestry and construction equipment manufacturer Amkodor.
Still state-owned, and one of the largest companies in Belarus, Minsk Tractor Works (MTW) (Minski Tractarny Zavod — MTZ in Russian) makes tractors for forestry applications, dedicated self-propelled 6×6 logging machines and mining transport and municipal vehicles, to name but a few. Plus, the MTW Holding company also has seven other facilities that make steel- and rubber-tracked tractors as well as a range of mounted and semi-mounted ploughs from three- to eight-furrows.
The company is best known in the west for its iconic Belarus-branded farm tractors produced at the Minsk Tractor Works, and the Belarussian brand reckons to enjoy an 8-10% share of the global wheeled tractor market. Russia, the most important export market, takes a quarter of all Minsk-made tractors, and is a country where the brand enjoys a claimed 80% share of the 90hp market. Last year, the Belarus brand accounted for 11,000- 12,000 of the total 18,000 new tractors sold in Russia.
The Belarussian tractor maker reckons to supply a third of the 3,000 new tractors sold in Hungary each year and delivers another 500 to Romania and a similar number to Afghanistan. In its homeland the Belarussian tractor maker supplies 90% of the 4,000-5,000 new 80-150hp tractors sold each year.
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