One two punch for Fendt

by Andy Bryenton

Tractor of the Year is a hefty title, and in its 23rd year of being awarded, the title has been split into three denominations. Judges at the vast European Agritechnica festival, along with the reviewers from Italy’s Trattoti magazine, say that this is to reflect the vast range of tasks, which modern tractors undertake, from specialist harvesting through to pulling the heaviest of implements.

This year, two of the three top prizes went to one company. Fendt has been making tractors for decades, and are no strangers to the awards podium. A double one-two has given the Germans real cause to celebrate, and now the pair of winners are poised to roll into New Zealand for our own round of field days and A&P shows.

Winner of the overall Tractor of the Year title was the Fendt 942 Series, delivering more than 400 horsepower despite also exhibiting stunningly low emissions and fuel consumption. The big Fendt is engineered to achieve maximum torque at lower rpm with its nine-litre turbo diesel, and, in another 21st-century advancement, it’s also been designed to operate remotely, with many of its functions able to be slaved to exterior digital devices.

As the big Fendt takes the number one spot on the podium, its ‘baby brother’ the 314 Vario swept up honours in the Utility Tractor class. These smaller machines are valued for their ability to multi-role about the farm, so a massive range of PTO options is key. The mid-weight 314 Vario comes equipped with a dynamic performance system that boosts output power, even when the tractor is stationary.

It’s also packed with customisable control options, making it easier than ever to adapt as a ‘Swiss army knife’ of a machine.

While the 25 judges, gleaned from a panel of international agricultural reviewers and writers, picked a New Holland for spot number three, it’s still a mighty win for Fendt, who have invested a substantial amount into research and development in recent years.

The overarching award for all of Europe has been mirrored by national accolades in countries like Poland and Croatia.