Valtra - Hanki-Ker Kft.

Valtra - Hanki-Ker Kft.

Valtra Customer Magazine • 1/2006

N Series


around the world

Page 10

Managing Director Matti Ruotsala:

Valtra should renew

itself every year

Page 6

Biodiesel is suitable

for most Valtra tractors

Page 9

A passion for

dairy farming

Page 18

T Series – A bestseller among

tractors around the world, page 16

Editorial ......................................................................................... 3

Valtra Provides Continuity of Supply ............................................ 4

Interview with Valtra Managing Director Matti Ruotsala .............. 6

Valtra Lane .................................................................................... 8

Biodiesel is suitable for most Valtra tractors ................................ 9

Versatile N Series welcomed around the world ......................... 10

AGCO Parts introduced to markets ............................................ 11

Individual Valtra tractors: from order to delivery ........................ 12

Individual Valtra tractors:

from order to delivery

Page 12

Farming in the heart

of Lithuania

Page 14

Farming in the heart of Lithuania ................................................ 14

Valtra T Series – A bestseller among tractors around the world .. 16

A passion for dairy farming – and cheese .................................. 18

Combined hydraulics saves fuel ................................................. 20

Valtra in the Shows ..................................................................... 21

Valtra Team-Work adds value to tractor deal ............................. 22

Old-timer – Valmet 900 a pioneer in ergonomics ...................... 23

Combined hydraulics

saves fuel

Page 20


Valtra Customer Magazine

Editor in chief

Ray West, Valtra Inc.


Hannele Kinnunen, Valtra Inc.

I think I am now beginning to understand how pop stars feel when they have a hit song.

Our new N Series tractors, introduced to the UK and Irish markets just before Christmas,

have caused quite a stir. Already our sales teams and dealers are reporting record levels

of interest and this before the Valtra factory has geared up for anything like full production.

Compact yet powerful the N Series, with a power band from 100 to 150 hp, includes our

increasingly popular slower running eco-power engine and comes with a wide range

of options; from a basic, no-frills, tractor for stockmen through a range of specifi cations

suitable for smaller self contained farmers, up to a sophisticated tool for larger farmers

and contractors. Something to suit everyone.

And if you are considering a new tractor in the 100 to 150 hp bracket I really do urge

you to contact your Valtra dealer now and book an N Series demonstration. Delaying

your request until you think your land is suitable may be too late – get your name on

the demonstration list – now.

Talking of demonstrations, spring can be a really busy time for all of us. Many farmers and

contractors arrange demonstrations now in order to arrange delivery of new machines

ready for the autumn. Again, don’t delay. Get your name down with your Valtra dealer

for demonstration early. Ordering now doesn’t mean you have to take delivery now, but

ordering early will help ensure you get the machine you want, built to your specifi cation

when you want it. And, when you look at the quotation, remember; it’s not what it costs

to purchase the tractor that is important: It’s what it costs to own that tractor that really

matters. At Valtra we are committed to making sure that Valtra tractor reliability is second

to none and that ownership costs are the lowest in the market place.

Mark Broom


Thor Wraa, Lantmannens Maskin AS

Kjell-Åke Larsson, Lantmännen Maskin AB

Michael Husfeldt, LMB Danmark A/S

Tommi Pitenius, Valtra Inc.

Bettina Kuppert, Valtra Vertriebs GmbH


Valtra Inc., Finland,

Layout Juha Puikkonen

Printed by Acta Print Oy

Photos Valtra archive if not otherwise mentioned



Valtra Provides

Continuity of Supply

Like most agricultural producers, Valley Pro- Pro-

duce run by Colin Hill has, in recent years,

had to contend with rising costs coupled to

stagnant returns. However, despite income

stagnation this salad, herb and speciality

vegetable growing and marketing business

has increased its profi tability.

Based near Reading, Valley Produce either tenant

or occupy on short term rental some 554 produc-

tive acres (228ha). Baby leaf salads include spin-

ach, red chard, mizuna and baby greens while

the herb crop embraces coriander, fl at and curly

leaf parsley, dill, mint and fenugreek. Speciality

vegetables, aimed mostly at the Chinese mar-

ket, encompasses green and white pak choi, choi

sum and gai choy. There is also an area of runner


Production is aimed at the high value end of

the market embracing the ever increasing stand-

ards of supermarkets and their packers. Other

Valley Produce customers include food servicing

companies supplying the catering trade while any

excess is sent to wholesale markets in London,

Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol. While open

market prices may fl uctuate, its supermarket

standards and prices that ultimately control Val-

ley’s profi tability.

The land utilised by Valley Produce includes

a gravel loam, organic loam, green sands and a

sandy loam all of which is irrigable. Growing sea-

sons differ according to soil type and early seed

Baby leaf spinach cut, boxed and ready for market.

germination is helped along by the use of fl eece

and netting.

Valley Produce operations are divided, with

Colin Hill, assisted by an agronomist and a staff

of 9 including three tractor drivers, running the

crop establishment, growing and administration.

Everything is grown on a bed system; tractor

wheel centres are set at 1.8 m with bed widths

at 1.6 m. Following cultivations and bed form-

ing there comes the planting with precision drills;

between 5 and 20 rows across the bed width

according to crop. Planting is usually followed by

a pre-emergence herbicide and then, depend-

ing on crop and timing, harvest follows in 12 to

16 weeks. Valley Produce have tried producing

three crops on some land but generally the qual-

ity drops and fi nancial returns are better under

the current regime with output limited to two

crops annually. Only mint and spinach are over-


Harvesting is Chris Daking’s department and

usually lasts for around eight months, at its peak

employing around 50. A group of ten casual work-

ers come courtesy of a labour provider but most

are employed directly by Valley produce who,

over recent years, have built up a relationship

with a number of East Europeans. Regulars form

the core with numbers made up by their friends

and relations. Unlike the production team which

owns the tractors the harvesting department has

six machines on contract hire. These are used to

pull the baby leaf harvesting machine and the

various trailers used to convey crops from the

fi eld to the packhouse. They also handle the irri-

gation systems.

This year Valley Produce picked six Valtra

6550s for the critical eight month harvesting


So why Valtra?

Chris Daking explains:

– Our customers demand continuity of sup-

ply so everything about the harvesting organisa-

tion has to be reliable.

Initially Valley Produce invited all the major

manufacturers to bring down a tractor in the

100 hp class for demonstration.

– We knew there were one or two makes

we were not interested in but that was all, com-

ments Chris. – All of us, drivers as well, looked

carefully at what was available and made a joint


So what were the parameters?

Unusually price, while important was not at the

top of the list. Valley Produce considered sup-

port the major priority – a reliable dealer.

– We don’t fool ourselves, we accept that

things can go wrong – especially with unskilled

temporary labour – its how quickly machines

can be put right that matters. We know and

trust our local Valtra dealers, D & S Agricultural

Engineers at Spencers Wood as we’ve been

working with them for some years.

In truth the same can be said of one or two

other dealers so then it was down to the sec-

ond parameter: The Tractor.

Chris Daking’s experience with Valtra was

very limited but he knew several farmers and

contractors who had experience, some of it


– I was given the impression that both the

tractors and the company were good, it was as

simple as that; so gave a machine a try. It fi tted

the bill and the regular drivers’ liked it.

The next item on the agenda was to nego-

tiate a price for six 6550s on an eight month

contract hire. Chris Daking estimated they

would cover an average of 500 hrs each in

that time and Valtra came up with a competi-

tive price fi xed for three years with an opt-out

clause for both sides.

– The Valtra 6000 series has allowed us to

move up from the high end stockman trac-

tor to a low-ish specifi cation arable tractor,

remarks Chris. We have also used them more

than we anticipated – it looks like they will

average nearer 600 hours. This is not down to

bad management or estimates, the tractors

have proved capable and have simply been

put to unplanned work. – Valtra have been

very reasonable about charging for the addi-

tional hours.

Mostly the Valtra 6550s are hauling har-

vested crop from the fi eld back to the pack-

house near Reading. For this Valley has a fl eet

of four curtain-sided trailers. And while four of

the tractors are running back and forth to the

packhouse one is used to power the baby leaf

harvester and the remaining tractor does all

the odd jobs; moving irrigation equipment and

the self propelled harvester, covering for serv-

ice and break-downs – “there have been none

of the latter but we need to have the cover”.

So, after the fi rst season, what did Chris

Daking think? Did he make the correct choice?

– Yes. Is the unequivocal answer.

– In fact the tractors performed better than

we thought they would. They’ve been reliable

and the drivers like them.

So with the harvesting season over does

Chris now go on a four month holiday? Well

no, there is next year’s program to plan, equip-

ment maintenance to complete and a host of

other jobs including liaising with Valley’s part-

ners in Morocco.

– Continuity is all important when it

comes to supplying supermarkets. They don’t

want to be chasing around with different sup-

pliers at different times of the year – just one

supplier, year in year out, so long as the quality

remains high and the price right. If we did not

fi nd ourselves a partner to supply during the

English winter there would be a strong chance

Valley Produce could be deselected as a sup-

plier in favour of one that could provide the


Chris Daking examines a bed of coriander

– it won’t be long before this gets the attention of the picking gang.

And that man wandering along the vegeta-

ble isles in the supermarket? Well that could

be Chris keeping an eye on how his crops look

on the shelf and, just as importantly, checking

on how the competitions’ look. There’s a lot

more to harvesting salads, herbs and vegeta-

bles for supermarkets than getting them out of

the fi eld and onto trucks.

■ Roger Thomas

Pak choi cut,

trimmed and

ready for market.

Being able

to manage slow

speeds in the

fi eld and have

a high road speed

is important.


Interview with Valtra Managing Director Matti Ruotsala

Valtra should renew itself

Valtra’s new managing director conveys a

sense of enthusiasm in our interview. Hav-

ing transferred from the top position at a

major crane manufacturer to Valtra, Ruot-

sala has quickly acquainted himself with ag-

riculture and tractors – and obviously likes

what he sees. The agriculture sector and

agricultural machinery manufacturers both

face enormous challenges, but Ruotsala

does not doubt for a moment that farmers

and Valtra will triumph over these.

“The number of farms in Western Europe con-

tinues to decrease as their size increases. Large

farms operate like big companies. At the same

time, agricultural entrepreneurs on smaller farms

must handle an increasing number of tasks in ad-

dition to farming, such as contracting and biofuel

production. Meanwhile, the agriculture sector

in Eastern Europe is going through the same

transformation that occurred in Western Europe

and North America in the decades following the

Second World War, only many times faster. As a

tractor manufacturer, we have to re-

spond to all these demands,” Ruot-

sala says.

Over half his time since becom-

ing managing director has been

spent together with dealers and

customers. “Today’s farmers are

highly skilled entrepreneurs. They

can be compared favourably with

SME business professionals in any

other industry,” Ruotsala notes.

New products and services

Valtra’s products and services will take a big step

forward in 2006, and many new tractor models

will be introduced.

“The Advance models in the N Series will go

on sale in the summer, and four valve Common

Rail engines will be introduced in the T Series.

Improvements in user comfort and effi ciency

are being introduced to the range all the time.

Fulfi lling environmental requirements is no burden

for us; we look after the envir onment as a matter

of pride,” Ruotsala emphasises.

Maintenance and spare parts service is also

improving as the number of Valtra tractors contin-


“Today’s farmers are highly

skilled entrepreneurs.

They can be compared favourably

with SME business professionals

in any other industry.”

ues to grow in different markets around

the world and the distribution of spare parts

is honed.

“The logistics help of our parent company

AGCO is helping to further speed up the avail-

ability of spare parts. The increase in the

number of Valtra tractors and improved train-

ing for maintenance personnel is also helping

to develop the professional skills of our service

teams. At the same time, the growing network

of dealers is improving service in many re-

gions,” Ruotsala adds.

Valtra is the most popular tractor brand in

Northern Europe and the second most popular

in South America. The goal now is to strengthen

Valtra’s position in other markets.

“The major agricultural countries in Western

Europe, such as Great Britain, Germany, Italy,

Spain and France, are areas in which we have

natural possibilities to increase our market shares.

In the eastern parts of Europe, such as Poland,

Russia and Ukraine, the demand for agricultural

machinery is growing rapidly. Our long-term goal

is to achieve annual growth of over 10 percent,”

Ruotsala says.

Product development and new innovations

play an important role. “When we joined AGCO

two years ago, our R&D resources tripled. Within a

large group, we can benefi t fully from each other’s

every year

expertise. The cornerstone of AGCO’s strategy,

however, is that its different tractor brands

are, and shall remain, separate,” Ruotsala

points out.

Roots in the countryside

Matti Ruotsala is from the coastal region of

Western Finland. His family owns a farm that

dates back 300 years and where Ruotsala him-

self worked as a young man, although his own

parents are not themselves full-time farmers.

Ruotsala grew up with a dream of some-

day working in international industry, so he

went to study production economics at Hel-

sinki University of Technology. His fi rst job


Matti Ruotsala

upon graduating was with the major interna-


Managing Director of Valtra and AGCO Vice president


4 October 1956


MSc (Engineering) degree in production economics

from Helsinki University of Technology

Work experience

23 years with KONE and KCI Konecranes in various

management positions in sales, servicing, marketing

and R&D. From 2001 Deputy CEO of KCI Konecranes

and COO responsible for worldwide operative functions

of the company

Language skills

English, German, Swedish, Finnish


wife Satu and two grown-up daughters

Favourite hobby

Riding horses

tional group KONE, which manufactures eleva-

tors and material handling equipment. Later

KONE sold its cranes operations, creating KCI

Konecranes, where Ruotsala went to work.

Today both companies are among the world’s

largest manufacturers in their sectors.

Ruotsala’s jobs ranged from R&D to sales,

and servicing to corporate acquisitions. Before

transferring to Valtra, Ruotsala was Chief Operat-

ing Offi cer and Deputy CEO at KCI Konecranes.

Ruotsala took over as Managing Director

of Valtra on 15 October 2005. In a sense he has

come full circle, as the young boy who left the

family farm is once again working with tractors.

■ Tommi Pitenius


– a worldwide

brand of AGCO


As from the beginning of 2004 Valtra has been

a part of the US based AGCO Corporation.

AGCO is one of the world´s largest man-

ufacturers and distributors of agricultural

equipment. The company offers a full product

line including tractors, combines, hay tools,

sprayers, forage, tillage equipment and imple-

ments that are sold in over 140 countries.

Technical diversity, multiple brands, and global

distribution strength are the keys to AGCO´s

growth strategy. Major market share posi-

tions in key agricultural markets of the world

have been achieved by strong focus on cus-

tomer service, leading edge technology and

an independent dealer network of over 3 900

full service dealers – the largest distribution in

the industry. Net sales of AGCO Corporation

totalled in 2005 EUR 4.6 billion representing an

increase of 3.3 percent over the previous year.

Valtra is the fourth largest western tractor

brand having tractor production facilities in

Finland and Brazil, plus manufacturing under

licence in India and Turkey. Valtra is the market

leader in the Nordic countries and one of the

most popular tractor brands in Latin America.

Including tractors built by its predecessors

Bolinder-Munktell, Volvo BM and Valmet,

the company has built over 800 000 tractors.



Valtra Lane

Andrew Foy at Park Side Farm.

Conder Green Road runs from the village of

Galgate just south of Lancaster, past Sellerley

Farm, Scale House Farm and Park Side Farm

to Conder Green from where Valtra dealers,

Craggs of Conder Green, have been operating

as machinery dealers for around 35 years. For

several years it has been Ian Cragg’s ambi-

tion to supply each of the farms with tractors,

something he has achieved on odd occasions

and never to all three at the same time.

That was before last year

It all started at the tail end of 2004 at Park Side

Farm when George and Andrew Foy budg-

eted for a new tractor for their 270 acre farm.

Andrew Foy at Park Side Farm.

After discussing their requirements with Ian

Cragg amongst other dealers, they decided

to change to Valtra and ordered an A95. At

98 hp it is just the right size for the general

farm work demanded of it on the beef and

sheep farm.

– It’s a nice handy, simple tractor – you

can see all four corners from the seat which

is ideal round our buildings, said Andrew Foy.

– There was a good fi nance package too.

The next farm down the road is Geoff

Wilson’s Scale House Farm. At 123 acres,

running a 100 dairy cows and followers is a

Geoff and Marilyn Wilson of Scale House Farm.

little tight so Ian rents grazing on an annual

basis. Because Ian handles almost all the

farm’s tractor work including silage making

himself he needs something reliable. After a

demonstration of a Valtra 6550 he decided

on a 101 hp 6350 with loader, also from Ian

Cragg. That was back in May last year and

now, almost a year on, he is pleased with his


– I use it every day for feeding once the

cows are housed for the winter and during

the rest of the year on most days, particularly

once silage making starts, Says Ian. It’s been

totally reliable.

The third farm along Conder Green Road

is Sellerly Farm run by Eddie Newsham with

his mother and father. Eddie runs 100 cows

and followers, a small acreage of cereals and

fi ve hundred free range hens on around 300

acres of owned and rented land. The farm

also hosts a growing number of holiday lets in

converted cattle sheds and barns. As is usual

in this small community Geoff Wilson helped

Eddie Newman and daughter Safron.

Eddie with his silage using his 6350. Eddie

was so impressed that he simply discussed

pricing with Ian Cragg before purchasing a

6350 and loader for himself. That was last

October and in the fi rst 3 months Eddie has

piled on some 400 hrs.

– We rely on the tractor so one essential

condition when buying a new machine is fi rst

class support from a local dealer – which we

have with Craggs, confi rms Eddie. That and a

good reputation – tractor and dealer.

And Ian Cragg? You could say he was just

doing his job; selling tractors. But that rather

understates the effort he puts in, seeing that

his customers get value for their money and

the best support possible once the machine

is on the farm. Something his customers

appreciate and acknowledge. But, as Ian

Cragg says: – It’s a pity Conder Green Road

isn’t a mile or two longer.

■ Roger Thomas


is suitable for most Valtra tractors

Biodiesel can be used to fuel most Valtra

and Valmet tractors, the only partial ex-

ception being those models with the

newest Tier 3 compliant Common Rail

engines. The biodiesel fuel must be

esterifi ed and fulfi l European EN 14214

or American ASTM D6751 norms.

Biodiesel is produced mainly from rapeseed

and soybeans, but it can also be made from

other plant oils. What is essential is that the

cold pressed plant oil is esterifi ed. Esterifi ca-

tion is a chemical process in which ten percent

methanol and other additives are mixed with

the plant oil, after which the mixture is heated.

The esterifi cation process separates heavier

glycerine, around 8 percent, which does not

burn as well. At the same time, methanol

creates around 10 percent liquid oxygen in

the biodiesel.

In the esterifi cation process, the viscosity

of plant oil decreases by around a quarter to a

thickness similar to diesel oil, and its distillation

temperature drops from over 500 degrees to

around 360 degrees, similar to that of diesel oil.

Esterifi cation makes it possible for cold

pressed plant oils to be used as fuel in the

SisuDiesel engines that power Valtra tractors.

Without esterifi cation, cold pressed plant oil

is not suitable for use as fuel in Valtra tractors.

Biodiesel mixed or straight

Biodiesel can be used in Valtra and Valmet

tractors without modifi cations as a 100–0

percent mix with normal diesel fuel or on its

own. Normal diesel fuel fulfi ls EN 590 norms.

If biodiesel is used, the engine oil and

fuel fi lter must be changed twice as often as

required by the normal service interval when

used with normal diesel fuel. In addition,

Sisu Diesel recommends that a separate

water fi lter or prefi lter be fi tted between

the fuel tank and engine, as biodiesel is more

liable to absorb condensed water than normal

diesel fuel.

Biodiesel can also corrode painted surfaces,

plastics and rubber, so extra caution should

be taken when fi lling the fuel tank. Biodiesel de-

grades naturally, so any overfl ow can be simply

rinsed off.

The power output of engines using bio diesel

is within three percent of that when using

diesel fuel, as its greater viscosity offsets the

lower combustion temperature. Engine emis-

sions, including smoke, particles and carbon

dioxide and carbon monoxide, are halved, but

nitrogen oxide emissions increase by 3–10 per-

cent. A pleasant benefi t is that biodiesel fumes

smell like cooked food.

Biodiesel does not keep as well as normal

diesel fuel. Generally, biodiesel should not be

stored for more than one year. The freezing

point of biodiesel is around minus-13 Celsius,

so in colder conditions it should be mixed with

normal diesel fuel.

The suitability of biodiesel in new Common

Rail engines that meet Tier 3 emissions stand-

ards is currently being tested. For the time

being, biodiesel should only be used in these

engines as a fi ve-percent mix.

If you use biodiesel that fulfi ls EN 14214

norms or diesel that fulfi ls EN 590 norms, the

warranty on your tractor and engine is valid as

normal. If any other fuel is used in the tractor,

the owner is responsible for possible prob-


■ Tommi Pitenius


Versatile N Series

welcomed around the world

Valtra introduced the new N Series at the

end of 2005 at the Agritechnica in Ger-

many and other major agricultural trade

exhibitions. The versatile four-cylinder

tractor has received a positive reception

from customers around the world.

Valtra’s N Series has been designed as a safe,

basic tractor that can also meet the highest

demands in Advance spec. This is what cus-

tomers have asked for, and this is what the N

Series can offer thanks to its modularity.

10 10

Three powertrain options are available with

the N Series. The N Classic has a mechanically

controlled powertrain operated by three gear

levers plus mechanically controlled open-cen-

tre hydraulics. The N HiTech has an electroni-

cally controlled powertrain operated with two

gear levers combined with mechanically con-

trolled open-centre hydraulics. The N Advance

has an electronically controlled powertrain

and electronically controlled load-sensing


A range of engine options is available from

100 to 150 horsepower. The largest models

feature third-generation Electronic Engine

Management (EEM3) and common-rail injec-

tion. With transport boost the most powerful

model can provide up to 160 horsepower and

620 Nm of torque from its 4.9-litre engine. As

usual Valtra also offers an economic low-rev

EcoPower model.

Comfort and productivity have been com-

bined in the N Series with versatility, making

the N Series an effi cient tool for farmers and

contractors alike. The relatively long wheelbase

makes it stable even at high speeds. On top of

everything else, all models in the N Series are

available with Valtra’s reliable hydro-pneumatic

front axle suspension.

All the main components, including the

engine, chassis, transmission, rear axle, hyd-

raulics and cab, have been designed in-house

by Valtra and manufactured either by or speci-

fi cally for Valtra. Although the N Series are

powerful machines, they are only around 2.8

metres high, depending on tyre choice. The

spacious cab ensures comfort and the easy

use of Valtra‘s TwinTrac reverse drive system.

The top-of-the-line N Advance model

features load-sensing hydraulics that increase

comfort and effi ciency. The maximum output

of the variable displacement pump is 115 litres

per minute. A switch on the control panel

allows the operator to easily choose between

three settings: 10 percent output for testing that

the implement is properly attached; 50 percent

output, which is suffi cient for most jobs; and

100 percent when full power is needed, such

as tipping a trailer. In addition, the fl ow and

timing of each valve block can be

adjusted separately.

The new N Series can be

identi fi ed by the V emblem on

the nose of the tractor that

symbolises its distinguished

heritage: Valtra, Valmet and

Volvo BM.

■ Visa Vilkuna

Valtra‘s new TwinTrac

– excellent ergonomy

The Valtra N Series equipped with the new

TwinTrac reverse drive system won Honour-

able Mention at the FIMA exhibition in Spain

in February. According to the panel of judges,

the ergonomics of TwinTrac are excellent, and

the system increases productivity of work.

TwinTrac is one of the unique features

offered by Valtra. The steering wheel for the

reverse drive system in the new model is

situated in the centre of the rear dashboard,

further improving the posture of the driver

when working in reverse. The ergonomics of

the pedals have also been improved.

AGCO Parts

introduced to markets

AGCO Parts are being introduced to markets alongside origi-

nal Valtra spare parts. The AGCO Parts name on packaging

and labels tells customers that it is also an original Valtra

part meeting exact specifi cations and manufactured only

by approved suppliers. Original spare parts are always a

cost effi cient solution when considering the total lifespan

of the product.

The packaging of some original Valtra spare parts has

already been changed, and the white AGCO Parts packag-

ing has become familiar among many customers. Valtra

showrooms will stock marketing material explaining to our

custom ers, partners and personnel the changes and the

natural connection between AGCO Parts and Valtra.

The hologram label on AGCO Parts packaging is tightly

controlled and cannot be copied. This makes it easier to

identify pirated parts, which are often cheaper but of lower

quality. The packaging and labelling ensure that customers

get the quality they are looking for.

■ Harri Hytönen


Individual Valtra tractors: from

Last year 10 000 tractors were built at the Suolahti factory in Finland

by 315 Valtra professionals. Work is done in two shifts from 6 in the

morning till 10 at night. Each day an average of 50 tractors are

completed. Valtra has another similar-sized factory in Mogi das Cruzes,

Brazil. In terms of combined production, Valtra is the fourth largest

western tractor manufacturer.



The customer and salesperson design the tractor together.

There are several different model series to choose from, as

well as hundreds of different equipment choices and options.

The customer can select the ideal combination of hydraulics,

powertrain, cab, engine and other components for their

needs. Once these choices have been made, the

salesperson sends the order to the factory.


The assembly process begins by connecting the powertrain to

the midframe. Immediately afterwards, the engine and front axle

are connected to the chassis. The engines chosen by the customers

are delivered from the Sisu Diesel factory, while powertrain

assemblies are customised according to the customer’s wishes

and delivered from Valtra’s transmission plant right

next door to the tractor plant.

The assembly line is 230 metres in le

referred to as initial assembly. The c

painting and inspection. The tractor

stages, stopping at each stage for ar

continuing to the next area.


Before being painted the

chassis is washed and phosphated

and then dried. In the third

phase, robots paint the chassis with

corrosion-proof black undercoating. After

this the paint is dried in 75-degree ovens and

then cooled so that the tractor can be safely

handled after being painted.

order to delivery

ngth. The fi rst third is

hassis is then ready for

moves down the line in

ound 15 minutes before


Each tractor is manufactured at the

factory according to the customer’s


Once the chassis has been painted,

the cab is attached followed by the engine

cover two stages later. The cabs are delivered by

suppliers 200 kilometres away and arrive in the

exact order they are needed. Each cab is decorated

with the owner’s name and equipped as ordered.

The customer can even visit the factory with his family

to watch their own tractor being assembled. The “birth”

of the customer’s new tractor is often a happy and emotional

event. Each year over 3 000 customers visit the

Valtra factory in Suolahti, Finland to watch their own

tractor being built. The total number of visitors is over

10 000.


After 11 hours of work the tractor

arrives at the end of the assembly line.

The correct brand, type and size of tyres as

specifi ed by the customer are fi tted. The completed

tractor is then lowered to the fl oor. Before delivery it

is test-driven in a special room. The engine, powertrain and

cab have already been tested once before being delivered

to the tractor plant.

The custom-built tractor arrives at home exactly as

specifi ed by the customer and fresh from the factory.

There is no unnecessary warehousing at the factory,

importers or dealers. Since it has been customised for

specifi c tasks, the new tractor can be put to productive

use immediately.



Farming in the heart of

The father and son team of Henrikas

and Rimantas Zebarauskas farm a vari-

ety of crops in the central part of Lithua-

nia with their fl eet of four Valtra trac-

tors. Their 600 hectare farm produces

potatoes, beets, corn, wheat, barley and

autumn rapeseed. The fi elds surround

a business area, so most of their work

hours are spent cultivating the land and

only a little in the forest.

The Zebarauskas family spends around

5 000 hours a year in their Valtra tractors, or

around 1 250 hours per machine. In addition

to Henrikas and Rimantas, fi ve other men are


employed on the farm. Four are specialised

in tractor and harvester work, while one is a

truck driver. In the wintertime, the machinery

is thoroughly serviced, and necessary repairs

and expansions are made to the buildings.

Continuous improvement

As is typical in these regions, the Zebaraus-

kas farm has grown rapidly since Lithuania

regained independence in the early 1990s. At

the time, just over ten years ago, 36 hectares

of land was reclaimed by the family. By leasing

and purchasing additional land, the farm now

encompasses over 600 hectares of fi elds. The

farm also has just enough forest to try out the

forest capabilities of their Valtra tractors a few

weeks every winter.

Henrikas Zebarauskas has lease agree-

ments with over 40 landowners, most of which

are valid for fi ve years at a time. This arrange-

ment is typical, as many small plots of land

were returned to their rightful owners in the

early 1990s. Many of these owners no longer

live in the countryside, or are not interested in

farming the land themselves.

It was no coincidence that the Zebarauskas

family ended up driving Valtra tractors from

Finland. Other western brands were tried out

on the farm, but father and son were not satis-

fi ed. They continually had problems, especially

with servicing. They gradually shifted to Valtras,

and their problems went away. The tractors

work as they should, as do servicing and main-


The four Valtra tractors on the Zebarauskas

farm get quite a workout, as each of them is

driven almost 1 250 hours a year. This is roughly

the same as the average use of tractors in


Lithuania. Around 70 percent of the fi elds are

ploughed, but the plan is to move over more

to direct planting. Ploughing cannot be done

away with altogether due to the risk of dis-

eases, as ploughing does a good job of con-

taining especially the fungus diseases that

are a risk in the region.

Productive land

Lithuania’s fi elds offer a good harvest in

professional hands. Each hectare yields over

40 000 kilos of potatoes, or four tonnes of

rapeseed, or seven tonnes of wheat. Henri-

kas Zebarauskas remembers the sugar beet

yield in terms of the fi nal product, of which

10 tonnes is produced per hectare. Often in

the autumn, the wheat is ready to be stored

in the silos directly from the harvester’s trail-

er. In case of more inclement weather, the

farm has a powerful drier that can remove

the unwanted moisture from the wheat in

only a few hours.

In developing their farming operations, the

Zebarauskas family has encountered a familiar

phenomenon: There are more people buying

and leasing land than there is a supply of good

fi elds. As a result, annual rents for the best

land have gone up signifi cantly in the past few

years. The average price for renting fi elds in

the region is around 60 euros per hectare, and

correspondingly the purchase price is around

1 000 euros per hectare.

Ideally, the father and son team would

like to have another hundred hectares of

land to cultivate in order to optimise the ratio

between land and machinery. “But right now

things are pretty good anyway, so we can

weigh our options and plan carefully,” Henri-

kas admits.

■ Visa Vilkuna

Henrikas Zebarauskas (on the right) would still

like another hundred hectares to cultivate with

his fl eet of Valtra tractors – and his son Rimantas

also has nothing against increasing the size

of the farm.




The largest and southernmost of the three Baltic

countries, Lithuania regained its independence

in 1990. The country covers an area of 65 200

square kilometers, which is less than 10 percent

the size of France, for example. Lithuania has four

neighbours: The Russian enclave of Kaliningrad

to the west, Poland to the south, Belarus to the

east, and Latvia to the north.

Lithuania has a large proportion of farmland;

over 45 percent of the country is classifi ed as

agricultural land. In terms of its fi elds, Lithuania

is very close to Denmark with around 2.8 million


The most important crops grown on Lithua-

nia’s expansive and fertile fi elds are potatoes,

sugar beet and grains. There is also substan-

tial livestock farming, but this has been a more

volatile sector since re-independence. Farming

employs around 20 percent of the Lithuanian

population, although agriculture’s share of GDP is

only half this fi gure.

There are essentially two kinds of farms in

Lithuania. Soviet-era collective farms made way

for large agricultural companies with an average

size of almost 500 hectares. In addition, there is

a very large number of smaller family farms that

primarily produce foodstuffs for their own needs.

Around a third of Lithuania is covered by for-

est. The forest economy and forest industry are

very important for the national economy, and the

forest economy has a particular social signifi -

cance in the countryside. Around 12 percent of

Lithuania consists of protected national parks.

A total of around 500 Valtra/Valmet trac-

tors have been sold in Lithuania over the past

ten years. Valtra is represented in Lithuania by

Rovaltra Oy, which has focused a lot of attention

recently on municipal and road maintenance.

Last summer the Lithuanian Road Administration

purchased a fl eet of 20 Valtra T130 tractors.


– the small agricultural powerhouse



Global popularity of T Series on the rise

A bestseller among tractors

around the world

Versatility, effi ciency and economy. Valtra

unique features and optional equipment

can be combined in numerous ways to

maximise the advantages of Valtra T series

tractors in different operations.

In Norway it is used for snowplough-

ing, snow throwing and sanding icy

roads; in Saudi Arabia for quarrying

rock; in England for ploughing and har-

rowing fi elds; in France for transport-

ing Champagne grapes; in Germany for

harvesting corn in reverse-drive mode;

in Australia for effi cient baling with

the EcoPower model; in the USA for

municipal contracting; and in the Czech

Republic for spreading liquid manure.

Customer experiences

Per Morten Haugen,

contractor from Sande, Norway:

”After 5 300 hours with my 2003 model Valtra T180, I

have now decided to replace it with a new Valtra T190.

The tractor is used for snowploughing, salting and

sanding roads, and for transport. The choice was easy

when it was time to replace the tractor. The T Series

is strong, reliable, easy to drive, and with well-placed

instruments in the cabin the tractor is perfect for my

needs. In addition to the T Series I have two Valtra

8550 tractors and one Valmet 905.”

Keith Johnson, farmer from Madley

in Herefordshire, England:

”I switched to Valmet some years ago because of

the unreliability of another make. I don’t regret the

change. We’ve since added Valtra T Series tractors

to the fl eet. They’ve all proved reliable and suit the

changing demands of our very different farming


Claude Guillon,

contractor from Monthodon, France:

”I own 12 Valtra tractors, the oldest of which have

already run over 10 000 hours. I carry out all types

of agricultural work, including a lot of transportation,

Introduced in 2003, the Valtra T Series has prov-

en to be one of the most popular Valtra mod-

els around the world. The main reason for this

would seem to be its versatility. Each T Series

tractor has been custom built, and each T Series

tractor performs different tasks in differing

conditions. Its versatility and successful design

are also demonstrated by the fact that T Series

tractors are used for jobs that Valtra’s engineers

probably did not even imagine.

Despite its young age, the T Series has been

Valtra´s Common Rail engine technology

provides a high fuel injection pressure regardless

of engine speed. The engines also offer

the unique feature of low idle speed. When the

tractor is parked with the handbrake applied

the engine idle speed drops to a pleasantly

quiet fuel saving 600 rmp.

In Valtra Common Rail engines you shall

always use Valtra Engine CR 10W-40 lubricating


Valtra´s U-Pilot automatic turning system reduces

the driver´s workload by allowing often repeated

manoeuvres to be programmed and saved.

This helps avoid driver fatigue while speeding

up headland turns and also eliminates the risk

of driver error.

which means that we will drive up to 300 kilometres

per day. That is why I appreciate the comfort of my

new T120 and T170. The aesthetics of the T Series

were also a triggering element for me. With its mod-

ern look, Valtra is one of the great tractor brands.

Merv McCabe,

contractor from Oamaru, New Zealand:

”I use a T140e, T160, T170 and T180. With the amount

of hours I put in during the season in my tractors, reli-

ability and comfort of operations are high on my list.

With the options Valtra has available I am able to spec

up my tractors to do many jobs, not just one or two.

Valtra’s user-friendly cab layout means my operators

can go from one tractor to another without having to

learn the layout all over again. My T Series tractors are

reliable and effi cient – they just get the job done.

Greg Long, Long farmer from Paris in Missouri, USA:

”I farm 2 000 acres of corn, soybeans, grain sorghum

and wheat. I purchased my fi rst Valtra in 2002, an

8950 from Paris Equipment. In 2004 I purchased two

T190s from the same dealership. I have had an excel-

lent experience with all of the tractors. We have had

very few problems, but when we did, the service has

been excellent. What I like most about the T190 is the

constantly refi ned. At the beginning of this year

the series was refreshed yet again with the intro-

duction of four-valve, Common Rail engines. Other

new features include a broadened range of front

ballast options, a new joystick, a redesigned roof,

a larger selection of tyres, a new hitch option,

four-stage air-conditioning, the U-Pilot Headland

Management System, an exhaust brake option,

combined hydraulics, and new ISOBUS couplings.

■ Tommi Pitenius

operator comfort and view. Specifi cally, the design

of the hood and the cab along with the light pack-

age allow us to work at night with a reduced amount

of glare. I am able to set the pressure and the tim-

ing of the hydraulics from the operator seat, and the

automatic shifting is easy to program and allows the

tractor to operate smoothly and effi ciently. I don’t

keep exact fi gures on fuel consumption, but without

changing farming practices I have reduced my fuel

cost by a third.

Ross Lehmann,

contractor and retailer

from Kalbar in Queensland, Australia:

”In our work we need effi cient, comfortable tractors.

These Valtra tractors are doing a great job. They’re

also quick, economical and reliable machines.

Mr. Vybihal,

contractor from the Czech Republic:

”I purchased my T190 in 2003 and have driven around

2 000 hours. I use the tractor year-round: for plough-

ing, sowing, spreading manure and fertiliser, and

snowploughing. What I appreciate most about my

T190 is the low fuel consumption and low service



A passion

for dairy farming

When Jeff and Chris Reade and sons Brendan and

Garth moved from an established dairy farm in Somerset

to the Isle of Mull on Scotland’s west coast it

was, in Jeff’s words; “Because we wanted to produce

milk people wanted”. That was back in 1982, Sgriobruadh

Farmstead (pronounced Ski-brooah) on the

outskirts of Tobermory was derelict and the land had

returned to more-or-less useless scrub. “We must

have been mad”, recalls Jeff. Even though the house

was not habitable early priorities were a cattle shed,

milking parlour and a perimeter fence; “not just to

keep our stock in, but also to keep neighbours’ animals

out – it was if they had been hefted here”.

The farmland was steadily reclaimed from scrub

and the original herd of eight cows expanded. There

were setbacks; a storm blew the roof off a cattle

shed which luckily cleared the house before landing

in the yard. Initially milk was pasteurised and

packed in cartons on the farm for distribution to

customers on Mull and neighbouring islands of Coll,

Tiree and Iona. However, these are popular tourist

destinations and the considerable population fl uctuations

between holiday periods and the off season,

made the planning and selling of fresh milk diffi cult.

– To use the excess milk we decided to have

a go at cheese making, recalls Chris.

A venture which, slowly but surely took off, as

demand for Isle of Mull cheese grew. After a few

years it became obvious that a serious decision had

to be made; fresh milk or cheese? The Reade family

decided to concentrate on building up the cheese

business. As Jeff recalls, – A milk round spread over

a 100 miles can get a bit tedious.

With their sons now equal partners in the business,

the farm’s milk production is now totally focused

on producing a Cheddar style semi-hard

cheese. The Reades’ Isle of Mull Cheese has also

developed an international reputation collecting several

honours; Gold at the British Cheese Awards and

Silvers at World events. As demand for cheese grew

so did the requirement for more milk and therefore

grass and fodder. As Sgriob-ruadh is more-or-less surrounded

by forest the decision was made to rent a

3 500 acre farm some 12 miles away. Typically for the

island this only includes around 200 acres of good

grass and a fl ock of 600 blackfaced ewes run over

the less productive land.

While neither farm is organic farm little is boughtin

from the mainland. “The additional cost of the ferry

makes many commodities prohibitively expensive”.


– and cheese

Isle of Mull Cheese, Scottish oat cakes

and a tomato or two – perfect.

In fact a commercial


return fare from

Oban is over £10.00 per

half meter length, adding

around £200 to the cost of an

‘artic’ load of fertiliser if a return load cannot

be found. Another problem is high rainfall;

on Sgriob-ruadh it’s about 70 inches (1780 mm)

and, coupled to long summer days produces

considerable growth which is good in most

respects. However, getting machinery onto

the land can be a problem. As Brendan Reade

says with a wry smile; “a couple of days in

June – if you’re lucky”. At the other farm, in the

rain shadow of Mull’s mountains, precipitation

is lower and fi eld work generally easier. As a

result the home farm is now used exclusively

for grazing the dairy cows while the other farm

produces silage and grazing for young stock.

Rather than use bought in fertiliser, slurry is

separated and the dirty water spread on the home

farm fi elds using an irrigation system. With the high

rainfall you’d be forgiven for thinking this would

compound access and poaching problems but pro-

viding the applications are carefully planned it does

not present a great problem. Muck, separated sol-

ids and slurry are transported to the second farm

for spreading when conditions are suitable.

Winter rations for the milking herd are based on

silage plus some bought-in wheat and draff. Draff

(distillers grains), available year round is collected

from the island’s distillery on the quayside at To-

bermory. It is the collection of Draff and the haul-

age of silage and muck that has made the Reades

look carefully at the choice of a new tractor. Most

of the journey between the two farms is on an A

class road; but not one most of us on mainland

Britain would recognise. Much of the road is single

track with passing places and the standard of driv-

ing, by visitors particularly, leaves a lot to be desired.

As Brendan explains: – We wanted a tractor that

would operate safely on these roads with heavy


There is also the hill down into Tobermory and

its distillery to consider; steep and often very busy

during the summer.

– We can get several rush hours every day in

the season – just after the ferry arrives. It takes a

while for visitors to slow down to island pace.

As there is no farm machinery dealer on Mull,

the supplier of the new tractor was a very aca-

demic decision – the best specifi cation to meet

the Reade’s needs at a sensible price. With a good

road speed, front suspension and air brakes Valtra’s

T Series was seen to meet the transport require-

ments. There was then manoeuvrability as access

to the distillery was designed for horse and carts

rather than tractor and trailer, and of course there

is conventional fi eld work to consider. The Reades

opted for a T 150 and now this is a familiar sight

running down to the distillery or hauling

muck or silage bales between the two farms.

Jeff and Christine Reade have a real passion

The only dairy unit on Mull, the Sgriob-ru-

for everything about their business. adh herd is a closed, high health status herd now The cheese making area is fi tted with large win-

numbering over 140 plus followers. Mostly Holsteins

total lactations average around 10 855 litres

with the 305 day lactation averaging 9 562 litres

dows to let the natural light in – and allow visitors

to watch the cheese making process. Visitors are

welcomed at Sgriob-ruadh during the summer.

Access designed for horses and carts demands

a highly manoeuvrable tractor and trailer.

from a three times daily milking routine. Garth

Reade takes most of the responsibility for running

the herd including the AI, a skill he learned while

working in New Zealand. Garth has crossed some

cows with Brown Swiss bulls.

– It adds hybrid vigour to the heard and the

animals have good feet – the Brown Swiss also

seems well suited to our farming conditions”.

Milk is not pasteurised and goes directly for

cheese making. Jeff and Chris believe that the

Natural semi-hard cheddar, a cheddar fl avoured

with crushed pepper and sheep’s milk cheese

ready for sale.

heat involved in pasteurisation, and unnecessary

handling – pumping of the milk, all have an

adverse effect on the fl avour and texture of the

fi nished product. Traditional rennet is also used.

After pressing in 50 lb cloth bound cylinders the

cheeses are stored to mature for 12 months,

some develop blue veining which adds to the

distinctive fl avour. As a result of the twelve month

maturing process a full year’s production can be

in store at any one time; over 100 tonnes. Once

mature, the cheese is packed for transport to

customers, some as far a fi eld as the USA.

Alongside their standard Cheddar production

Chris has developed Isle of Mull Flavels weighing

around 200 g. This is cheese to which natural

fl av ours have been added including mustard,

car away, black pepper, mixed herbs and smoked

garlic. There is also a Brie style cheese for which

the market is developing well, mostly within Scot-

land as soft cheeses do not travel distances well.

Then there is the family’s latest development;

a sheep’s milk cheese using imported organic milk.

– Standing still is not an option, maintains

Brandan. – The farm and cheese business need

to continually develop. We’re importing milk at

the moment and testing the sheep milk cheese

market. If it develops favourably we may well ex-

pand in that direction with our own fl ock of milking

ewes – it would be a more profi table way of using

some of the marginal land.

Sheep’s milk is also quota free.

So what gives Isle of Mull cheese

its unique taste?

The care taken handling the milk? The herbage and

grass mix of the pastures, free of artifi cial fertiliser?

Perhaps the distillery draff? The sea air? Most likely

it’s a combination of all the factors. Most certainly

the passion with which the Reade family farms is a

major contributory factor.

■ Roger Thomas

Semi matured cheese in store – it will be a further

six months before this batch is ready for sale.

Part of the 100 tonnes of cheese

maturing in cellars at Sgriob-ruadh.


Comibined hydraulics saves fuel

Combined hydraulics is a very interest-

ing item of equipment for tractors that

will perform tasks which require a large

oil fl ow. It reduces fuel consumption,

increases effi ciency and improves the

working environment.

– We now have implements which require a

large oil fl ow. Although it is normally possible

to operate these implements with ordinary

hydraulics, the standard fl ow is only 90 litres

per minute in many of Valtra’s models, says

Valtra salesman Per Andrén from Staffan-


– By increasing the fl ow capacity with

combined hydraulics, however, the engine

speed can be lowered signifi cantly. This saves

a lot of fuel and provides a better working


Operates when it is needed

A front-mounted, load-sensing rotary piston

pump is now available as optional equipment

for Valtra’s T, M and XM series. It has a maxi-

mum fl ow of 100 litres per minute and is

connected to the standard hydraulic system.


This means that the maximum fl ow in the

aforementioned model series is a full 190 litres

with a front pump.

The pump is situated in a 75-litre front

tank accommodated inside the front panels.

Because the pump is load-sensing, it only

operates when a fl ow is needed. When a

hydraulic function is used, the system sig-

nal circuit, the so-called LS circuit, sends a

signal to the cam disc of the rotary piston

pump informing it that a fl ow is required. The

cam disc is then angled, and the rotary piston

pump begins to pump oil. This all happens as

quick as lightning, without the driver being

aware of any delay.

Fills the spreader almost at idling speed

– One of my machinery pool customers has

combined hydraulics on a Valtra T190 that is

used a lot for liquid manure spreading. The

sprayer is fi lled with an open-circuit piston

pump. The tractor engine previously had to

be run at 1 900 rpm during fi lling. Now we fi ll

15 m 3 in two minutes at only 900 rpm, relates

Per Andréen.

– This obviously saves a lot of fuel, and the

noise level in the driver’s cab is reduced steeply.

The low engine speed is also appreciated by the

machinery pool customers, as it is now so quiet

during fi lling.

Quieter both inside and outside the cab

Many tractors are used for grass cutting along

roads, often with a crane-tip-mounted cutting

unit that needs a lot of oil.

– A T160 with a Cranab crane and a hydrau-

lically driven cutting head operates in the area

where I live. In spite of the fact that the T160

replaced a tractor two sizes smaller, it uses sig-

nifi cantly less fuel thanks to the ability to run

the engine at a much lower operating speed.

And the icing on the cake is the lower exposure

to noise for both the driver and the environ-

ment, says Valtra salesman Thomas Ryden

from Jönköping.

– Combined hydraulics is a highly profi t-

able investment for a tractor that is frequently

expected to deliver high oil fl ows.

■ Kjell-Åke Larsson

Valtra in the shows


Agritechnica exhibition is the biggest agricultural exhibition in Europe and also

internationally signifi cant. The exhibition is organized every second year, and

gathered last November some 250 000 farmers and specialists from all over

the world. The fi rst international launch of Valtra N series in Agritechnica was

a great success.




Eima is a yearly-organized exhibition in

Bologna, Italy. Last year the total number

of visitors was over 103 000 and exhibitors

over 1 750. The new Valtra N series gathered

a lot of interest and, also the Valtra

Collection was popular among the Italians!

Polagra is the most signifi cant exhibition for agricultural machinery in Poland.

Organized once a year in Poznan, it attracts people not only from Poland but

also from the neighbouring Baltic countries. Valtra T 140 EcoPower conquered

the Gold Medal of POLAGRA FARM 2005.

The FIMA exhibition is one of the largest agricultural machinery exhibitions in

Europe, attracting around 160 000 visitors and 1 200 exhibitors. FIMA is organized

every second year in Zaragoza in Spain. The new TwinTrac reverse drive combination

equipped to N series got a Honourable Mention in the show.

In 2005 and during the beginning of this

year Valtra has participated in several

international exhibitions and trade shows.

The highlight in many exhibitions was

Valtra´s new N series.


Agrotica is a yearly-organized agricultural show

in Thessaloniki, Greece. This exhibition is important

for all Balkan countries. The attractive

Valtra stand offered visitors a chance to see

a wide range of Valtra models.


Agribex is held in Belgium every second year.

With more than 450 exhibitors and over 185 000

visitors it is playing a signifi cant role for the

Belgian agricultural industry and the neighbouring




KoneKilleri is the most important exhibition

for agricultural machinery held close to the

Valtra factory in Finland. This year it was successful

for Valtra; the new N series was introduced

and numerous deals were concluded

at Valtra stand during the exhibition days.

The exhibitions guests could also visit Valtra

tractor plant.


Folded ready for the road.

The rig is mounted to the front

linkage kept in position by a pair

of locking bars.

Valtra Team-Work adds value to tractor deal

At Boskernnal Farm near Lands End

Roger Jeffrey rears store beef, grows

some 150 acres of cereals and around

100 acres of caulifl ower, a popular crop

and one that Roger has been expanding.

When it became obvious the existing harvesting

rig could not cope Roger, an established Valtra

user, fi rst called on dealer Christian Smith.

Most harvesting rigs are fi xed, fairly permanently,

to the tractor and not what Roger wanted.

– Harvest is from October to March. I want

the tractor free for summer work.

The specifi cation was discussed with

Christian Smith’s Glenn Northcutt who in turn

involved the Valtra team. It was decided to base

the rig on a Valtra M130; the standard transmis-

sion providing the slow speeds necessary for

harvesting and planting while high specifi cation

auxiliary services would be suitable for other

sophisticated equipment.

– The Valtra is an ideal cauli harvester base

because it has excellent ground clearance, com-

mented Roger. Vegetable Harvesting Systems of

Sleaford were contracted to supply and fi tting

the harvesting rig.

When harvesting brassica crops a driver

takes the rig through the crop once. Then, with

tramlines established, the machine is run driver-


A Valtra shuttle lever is used to

control forward motion while

push-buttons activate the steering

and a dial engine speed. There is

also an emergency stop control.

less; the picking gang operating the machine

from conveyer frame controls. Roger Jeffrey

thought that, as with other makes, it would be

necessary to fi t hydraulic or air actuators to

the tractor’s clutch, brakes, throttle and other

controls with attendant costs for components

and labour.

Fortunately, the Valtra team realised addi-

tional actuators were unnecessary. By tapping

into the TwinTrac reverse drive circuits, remote

control of the tractor from the rig boom was

pretty simple to achieve. All that was required

was a Valtra wiring loom and a control box for

mounting the Valtra shuttle control, steering

buttons, an engine speed dial and an emergen-

cy stop control. A system change-over switch

was required in the cab as Valtra tractors will

not operate unless sensors indicate a seated

driver. VHS found that, after a little planning

over a Valtra wiring diagram, setting the system

up was fairly straight forward.

Once in the fi eld the driver ensures the

rig is correctly aligned, a suitable gear is select-

ed and then it is simply a matter of switching

from one set of controls to another. The rig is

set in motion using the Valtra shuttle control on

the boom. Speed can be adjusted and should

the tractor stray from the tramlines it can be

steered using push buttons.

Roger Jeffrey and his picking gang the fi rst time through a promising crop.

Power for the conveyer comes from

the blue valve (the yellow supplies

the front valves). Electrical connection

to the TwinTrac system is made

through the silver plug top right.

The cutting gang is protected by emergen-

cy stop buttons on the boom and by a trip wire

immediately in front of the tractor. Importantly

the drive system and attendant safety measures

have all been approved by the HSE.

At the end of a bout the driver disengages

drive on the boom, an action that engages the

parking brake. Getting into the cab the change-

over switch is reversed and the tractor operated

in a conventional manner. Front hydraulic cou-

plings are used to fold the boom for transport.

Output has been signifi cantly increased but

for less outlay than Roger originally envisaged

and, as the conveyer is removable, the tractor is

available for summer operations making Roger’s

investment even more acceptable.

Removing the rig is straight forward: Discon-

nect the control system and hydraulics – simple

plugs and couplings. Release eight bolts and the

conveyer frame is ready for its stand. With front

linkage locking bars removed the rig and tractor

can be separated.

While tractor and rig have yet to complete

a full season the combination has provoked

considerable interest. The tractor is available

year round while Valtra electronics eliminated

the use of expensive mechanical actuators.

A good deal all round.

■ Roger Thomas

A touch of the red wire or button

halts the rig – instantly.


Valmet 900 a pioneer in ergonomics

Tractors were used very actively in the 1960s

for contracting and forestry work. The working

conditions for drivers were extremely primi-

tive, however. In wintertime a piece of plywood

would be attached to the top of the tractor to

provide a little weather protection, but visibility

was poor, the heating was worse, and the noise

would have your ears ringing. The safety cage

was being introduced, and the general attitude

was that the mandatory cage would be great for

attaching more plywood.

Valmet saw things differently. The safety

cage was viewed as a possibility to develop a

proper safety cab. The goal was to make work-

ing conditions for tractor operators the same as

they were for truck drivers.

The Valmet 900 was introduced in the spring

of 1967 and made tractor history in many ways.

Standard equipment included a safety cab that

was designed as an integral part of the trac-

tor and not as an optional add-on. The frame

for the cab passed an offi cial collision test and

was separated from the chassis using rubber

bushings. With an upholstered interior, sealing

and rubber mats, a relatively low noise level of

N95 was achieved. At the same time, the sealed

interior allowed for a fresh-air heating unit to be

used, which could also remove condensation

from the glass.

The dashboard was car-like and included

switches for the wipers, headlight, heater, work

lights and interior lights, plus an integrated lever

for the lights, horn and indicators. There were

gauges for fuel, temperature, oil pressure and

battery charge. There were also plenty of spot-

lights, as well as a hand throttle and ignition

switch. The Valmet 900 was the fi rst series pro-

duction tractor in Europe that included hydro-

static Orbitol steering as standard equipment.

The similarity to cars continued with the

location of the gear sticks on the right-hand

side of the driver instead of on the fl oor

between the driver’s legs. Other tractor manu-

facturers soon began to copy this innovation.

Signifi cant “human engineering” resources

The Valmet 900 was big compared to other

tractors of the time. It had a wheelbase of

2.31 metres and weighed 3 200 kilos, and

the back tyres were 16.9-34 in size.

The transmission was fully synchronised

and offered eight forward and two reverse


were also devoted to designing the dimensions of

the driver’s seat, the position of the steering wheel

in relation to the seat, the movement of the switch-

es, and visibility out of the cab. These days we refer

to this as ergonomics.

The exterior appearance of the tractor was

unique, and it was clear that the cab and engine

cover had been designed at the same time. The tra-

ditional Valmet colour was also changed. Instead of

red, the Valmet 900 was yellow and brown.

The powertrain was entirely new and manu-

factured in-house by Valmet. The transmission was

a fully synchronised 8+2R unit. The PTO had three

speeds: 540, 1 000 and engine speed PTO. Stopping

power was provided by dry disc hydraulic brakes.

Hydraulic output exceeded all standards of the

time, offering 65 litres per minute, of which twenty

litres were prioritised for the steering. The work

hydraulics had three types of setting: by position,

by pulling resistance and by pressure. The lifting

power at the ends of the pulling arms was 2 500

kilos. The tractor itself, including cab, weighed

3 200 kilos.

The engine was the four-cylinder 4.18 litre 411A

that was built at Valmet’s Linnavuori factory. The

engine delivered 89 horsepower (SAE) at 2 300 rpm.

When the Valmet 900 was fi rst introduced to the

public in spring 1967, the entire tractor world was

stunned. Few tractors, before or since, have been as


■ Hannu Niskanen


Looking forward to summer

Enjoy the sunny spring in quality recreational

clothing designed for the entire family.

This season’s Valtra products can be found at

the Valtra online shop at

and your local Valtra showroom.

Selections may differ according to location.

AGCO Limited

PO Box 62

Banner Lane, Coventry


Tel: 02476 694400

Fax: 02476 852495

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