Finnish manufacturer Valtra’s new G Series of tractors are aimed at livestock farmers and incorporate lots of ‘digital’ extras
Valtra have long based their product range on four reasonably distinct series, the A, N, T, and S with size and power ascending in that order. Last week the company departed from that format and inserted a new line of machines between the A and N types with the launch of its new G series.
These latest tractors are aimed squarely at the livestock farmer: they are designed from the ground up to carry a loader, with mounting brackets integral to the frame. Power levels on offer range from 105 to 135hp in 10hp increments all from the same 4.4L engine which is being produced by AGCO in China before being shipped back to Finland for assembly at Suolahti.
However, Valtra are keen to focus attention on the digital package and buyers are now promised a semi-online experience, with the initial interest in buying being made via the website followed up by a call from the dealer to discuss final requirements.
There are also four different specification levels available, based on the degree to which the tractor is equipped with Valtra's 'Smart' digital technology rather than the driver's environment and the operating features. Following the basic mechanically operated model comes the Comfort package, which is equipped cab and front axle suspension.
The third level is called Technology, which has the SmartTouch arm-rest controls, while the fourth is known as Technology Pro, offering a greater spectrum of digital ability.
Despite the company wanting the new G-series to be seen as a smaller sibling to the N-series, the cab itself is based on the A-series frame with a completely new interior to reflect and accommodate the move to greater data orientation of the farming process.
The windscreen is now one piece with enhanced all-round visibility, although the clear roof from the forestry package is not available on these models. Other items such as a 180-degree swivelling seat are.
Overall, the G series would appear to be something of a mix between the A and N type tractors but with a greater emphasis on bringing the digital world to the small to medium sized stock farmer. Whether such farmers are receptive to all the advanced features now being laid before them in the small to medium sector of the market will remain unanswered for a while yet although they are available in Ireland from October onward.
Four models make up the new range all powered by the same four cylinder engine found in the N series which is stage V compliant without exhaust gas recirculation. Following the refreshing trend of including the power levels in the model designation, the G105 has 105hp as standard, the G115 has 115hp and so on.
All the models have Sigma power boost for working with high PTO loads adding a modest 5hp across the board except for the G135 which generates an extra 10hp when active.
The rear linkage has a lift capacity of five tonnes while a three tonne front linkage and PTO is also available as a factory fitted option. Up to four hydraulic blocks are fitted as standard at both the front and rear with an extra one available at the rear as an option.
The transmission is from GIMA of France yet Valtra note that it is made to their own specifications and is designed to create a tractor ideally suited for front loader work. It has four ranges of six gears in either direction. The shifts from B through to D range are automated, relieving the operator of another task.
Sound level in the cab is 73 decibels and we are promised a selection of storage areas for everyday items like a lunch box which is a surprising omission in many modern tractors. It now boasts 5.7 square metres of glass with priority being given to forward vision for loader work. The turning circle is 4.36m which is convenient for tight yards and confined buildings. All up weight is limited to 9,500kg with the bare tractor weighing in at just over 5,000kg depending on model.
Further options include the usual air conditioning, heated mirrors and a floor level heater.
Innovation in tractors usually starts at the top of the range and work its way down and this latest launch adheres to the rule. The G Series is the first tractor in Valtra's 100–145hp range to offer SmartTouch controls as well as full precision farming capabilities. This means that the digital armrest and associated capabilities are now available down to 105 hp which begs the question as to whether it has any use in tractors of this size?
Valtra are obviously confident that a demand will arise and with the greater adoption of such developments as 24m fertiliser spreading and ground level slurry application, precise positioning is becoming ever more important, so they may well have a point.
Agrirouter, the neutral data transfer platform backed by AGCO, is the cloud based system upon which the Valtra telemetry is built around so all the benefits of such information exchange is now available to buyers of 100hp tractors and up. What is not available at present is TIM (Tractor Implement management) for which we will have to wait until next year sometime.
Valtra is keen to sell the new G series an super modern and forward looking tractor that fits its vision of how the relationship between farmer and machinery supplier is going to evolve over the next few years. There is much talk of partnership with the emphasis being on sharing the workload of decision making with the customer rather than just shifting machines out of the factory and then forgetting about them once they are on the farm.
The company is also keen to stress how it can customise tractors beyond the basic factory options with 27pc of all machines passing through its Valtra Unlimited workshop.
This is something rather unique to the company and originated in the late 1980s when they first offered the tractors in five different colours and the idea has grown to encompass most aspects of the tractors since then.