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Ploughing ahead with Nordic changes

This year, Valtra celebrates 60 years of tractor production in Finland, effectively started in various converted armaments factories after WWII.

Owners AGCO continue to invest in their Nordic, and latterly Brazilian, facilities and products, which is certainly positive for the tractor and engine manufacturer. On the product front, Valtra has just launched a new high-spec A-Series, while the T-Series undergoes an emission-led transformation.

A-Series upgrades

Valtra's A-Series has been the firm's basic specification tractor, ideally suited to stockmen and smaller farmers, but has perhaps got a little left behind for some as farmers and farming evolves. The firm says that the A-Series has a long and distinguished tradition as a very popular range in the Nordic countries as a strong, light and manoeuvrable tractor in both field and forestry applications.

There are two new models in the new HiTech A-Series, the 88hp A83 and the 101hp A93. The most significant change to be introduced on the new high-spec A-Series is an electric controlled forward/reverse 'HiTech' shuttle, which the firm says is closely related to the traditional Valtra shuttle. The firm also claims it is considered the best in the business. Valtra says smooth, positive forward/ reverse shuttling makes light work of loader work in particular and assists manoeuvring in farmyards and on headlands. Integrated into the shuttle lever is a hydraulic handbrake, which should be useful on a tractor like this, where it is likely that there will be a lot of traffic in and out of the cab around the feed yard. Also included in the higher specification A-Series is an oil-immersed, two-speed pto operated by a rocker switch in the cab or as an option, externally on the mudguards.

Power for the A-Series is provided by a 3.3-litre AGCO Sisu Power engine, which is equipped with common rail fuel injection, an unusually high specification in this class and power of tractor.

Valtra says the combination of a viscous fan and common rail injection reduces both noise and fuel consumption and it will, no doubt, have a positive effect on engine power and torque. Cruise control is also available as an option on the common rail models.

Additional electronic control will also be available for transmission and rear linkage, according to the firm. Controlling the three-point-linkage is Valtra's Autocontrol, while Valtra's AutoTraction function helps ease tasks requiring repetitive stops and starts. Proline instruments, found on the accessory list, provide a wealth of information according to the firm.

The cab gets a major make-over too, with noise levels reduced and pedal controls now moved to the pendulum position, making for a more comfortable operator's environment. Wider doors make cab access easier and both the steering wheel and seat have greater ranges of adjustment. For those with forestry ambitions, a larger footwell at the back of the standard cab means that there is no need for a separate forest cab.

The tractor can also be equipped for forestry operations with a rear accelerator pedal and a rear window designed for crane hydraulic valves. A low roof version is also available.

Valtra says that although the A-Series is equipped with numerous new features, the basic concept remains familiar, emphasising that it is still a reliable, cost-effective, light and versatile tractor. Ground clearance remains high and the underside is free of pipes and wires. Even though it is equipped with a larger fuel tank, it is still manufactured from steel and protected inside the intermediate body. For loader work, the front axle has been developed to endure even harder front-loader use, states Valtra.

The original A-Series will still be available, including the A72, A82 and A92 Classic, while the power shuttle-equipped HiTech will become available sometime in the middle of 2011. For many, the new features will be a welcome addition and will certainly open the door to many customers who prefer a higher specification tractor.

T-Series transformation

Valtra has used the latest round of emission regulations as a starting point for further development of the T-Series. At the core of the T183 (188hp) and T203 (204hp) Direct models and the T183 (188hp) and T213 (215hp) Versu models is the 7.4 litre AGCO Sisu Power SCR engine. All of these models feature power-boost, bringing them to 205, 215, 202 and 225hp respectively.

Utilising Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) to treat the exhaust gases with urea or AdBlue on the new T-Series, Valtra claims that the SCR engines consume about 5-10pc less fuel than a corresponding engine without SCR technology. It also claims that SCR technology reduces the engine's cooling requirements, while reduced deposits keep lubricants cleaner. The SCR engine's fine particle emission is now only 3pc of emissions. NOx emissions are also down to only 20pc of pre-regulation levels, according to the manufacturer.

Emissionising the engines has produced more torque gain, while the nominal speed has been lowered to 2,100rpm. The T213 Versu has 15hp more power than previous models and has been added to the top of the line.

With the power and torque characteristics of the engines remapped as a result of the addition of SCR, the firm has also reworked the software between the engine and transmission controllers of both the Versu and Direct models.

Valtra states that with new software, tractors equipped with stepless or power shift transmissions provide performances that meet all operational requirements.

Also new on the T-Series is a colour screen incorporated into the armrest, which has separate settings for day and night use. The joystick on the arm support can be used for front hydraulics, rear hydraulics, or both.

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The settings of headland management and cruise control can be modified more precisely according to the company, while pto and four-wheel drive rocker switches are now incorporated in the new arm rest.

The new T-Series is available with factory-installed automated steering readiness, or with System 150, an autopilot based on satellite radio determination capable of steering the tractor to within a few centimetres. AGCOMMAND tracking system is also available as a factory installed option.

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