Farming

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New low-tech Zetor Major will benefit family-sized operations

The first versions of the new Zetor Major can now be seen in a number of dealer outlets across the country.

Viewed as a few-frills, low-tech value for money machine, the Major is aimed at owners of smaller, family-sized farms and those in the market for a second run-around tractor that will be less costly and less technically challenging to operate and maintain.

Powered by Zetor's own four-valve engine, the Major is seen as a timely addition to the Zetor range whose appeal in recent years has been enhanced by the success of the more-powerful Proxima, Forterra and Forterra HSX units.

Set to compete in a market segment that currently accounts for close on 15pc of tractor sales, the new 80hp four-wheel drive Major comes at an introductory price of €31,000, inclusive of VAT.

In terms of specifications, it has a simple, synchronised, four-stage, 12 forward/12 reverse gearbox with a three-stage reduction and reversing capability.

Mechanically regulated hydraulics stand out in terms of lifting strength. They have a high lifting force and a smooth operation with a lock function that comes into play when the tractor in on the road transporting attachments.

Fitted with either bi-sectional or single sectional switchgear, its standard offering includes a Dromone hitch and a two-year warranty cover. There is an option to buy an extended warranty for an additional two years.

A spacious but basic cabin comes with a roof window as standard. According to customer needs, it can be retrofitted for air conditioning, radio and roof light installation.

For many, the introduction of the new Major will rekindle memories of the first Major model introduced by Zetor in 1960.

Renowned for its robust performance, those early models were powered by three- and four-valve engines in the 59-84 horsepower range and came in two- and four-wheel drive versions, with and without a safety cabin.

Modified in 1992, it remained a common site on Irish farms until it was later rebranded in 1997 under the name Super and was sold in that guise until production ended in 2006.

Welcomed by dealers, the new Major is expected to fuel an anticipated increase in Zetor sales in 2013.

It will be helped in this regard with the arrival later in the year of a two-wheel drive version powered by the same 80hp engine.

Zetor is also determined to protect Ireland's position as one of their top-10 markets worldwide – a goal they plan to achieve through an even more competitive approach to pricing with reductions expected in some cases.

Irish Independent