Valtra Customer Magazine • 1/2006
around the world
Managing Director Matti Ruotsala:
Valtra should renew
itself every year
Biodiesel is suitable
for most Valtra tractors
A passion for
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
Farming in the heart
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
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.
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, www.valtra.com
Layout Juha Puikkonen
Printed by Acta Print Oy
Photos Valtra archive if not otherwise mentioned
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
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-
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-
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,
ready for market.
to manage slow
speeds in the
fi eld and have
a high road speed
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-
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
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
“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,”
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
expertise. The cornerstone of AGCO’s strategy,
however, is that its different tractor brands
are, and shall remain, separate,” Ruotsala
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
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
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
English, German, Swedish, Finnish
wife Satu and two grown-up daughters
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.
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
– 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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
■ 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.
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
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
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.
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.
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-
■ 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
– 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
– 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
– 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
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
– 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
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 www.valtra.com
and your local Valtra showroom.
Selections may differ according to location.
PO Box 62
Banner Lane, Coventry
Tel: 02476 694400
Fax: 02476 852495