REPORT: Valtra and its forebear, Valmet, are still relative young ’uns in the Irish and UK tractor market … and in Germany, too. Even so, these models have already forged a spot in the hearts of many owners, who see them as future classics. So, should you be looking for one right now?

t’s not leaving the farm, I’ll fix it!” Albert Buhmann has an almost lifelong bond with “his” Valtra T160: as a young boy, he was allowed to sit with his godfather on
the then brand-new workhorse.

A family connection

So, it was no surprise when as a 23-year-old he vetoed against the tractor leaving the yard with a damaged clutch after clocking more than 21,000 hours of service!
Back in 2004, when the T160 first pulled into the yard with its snazzy metallic red finish it was taking over as the main prime mover on the arable and beef cattle farm in Neundorf, Thuringia in eastern Germany. There was hardly a job that the Valtra didn’t tackle — ploughing, cultivating, mowing, carting silage. Albert was always along for the ride. His godfather Lutz Heidrich reports: “the tractor has plenty of power, has worked very reliably for us and gets by without any unnecessary frills.”

However, the many hours of hard work had taken their toll on the farm stalwart. The turbocharger, valve cover gasket, the cabin interior and finally the clutch started to show wear. A T182 in an elegant cow-spot colour scheme arrived on the scene and last year it was followed by a new T234.

Time to give up the old one? This is where the family connection paid off for the classic T: instead of being traded in for not much money, Albert took on the tractor. That’s how it’s always been with tractor classics — childhood memories are the main reason for a sentimental attachment to an old servant. Which is good news really, because that’s how machines get preserved — even rather unlikely ones such as the Valtra T160.

When this series was first introduced over 20 years ago, the new T models were kissing goodbye to the boxy styling of the old 8050s. This said, the T series from the 120hp T120 to the popular T190, which boosted to 204hp, did retain the brand’s typical squat styling.