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Test Driving Deutz's Agrotron Tractor
Hailed as a "tractor for the 21st Century", the futuristic-looking Deutz-Fahr Agrotron tractor has created excitement at every European farm show where it has appeared since its introduction a little over a year ago.
Agrotron tractors range in horsepower from 79 to 156 hp., with five 4-cyl. models and seven 6-cyl. models available with full synchro-mesh or powershift transmissions. All have water-cooled engines, unlike previous Deutz tractors which were air-cooled.
The British magazine Farmer's Weekly recently visited with a buyer of one of the first models sold in England. Malcolm Newton of Devon is a custom contractor who has put more than 1,400 hrs. on the Agrotron he bought last year. It's a 100 hp. 6-cyl., turbocharged model with 24-speed powershift transmission. There's a button-operated forward-reverse shuttle.
Newton, who has owned Deutz tractors since 1985, is impressed with the Agrotron's engine. Although new to the farm market, the water-cooled engine has been used in commercial machines for years.
Newton says the distinct styling of the tractor - with sloping hood and tapered cab - is a big part of what makes it unique. "You either like it or hate it. From a contractor's point of view, it certainly stands out from other makes and gives us a bit of extra publicity."
He notes that the sloped hood and large cab design give good all-around visibility. "I particularly like the thin pillars and careful positioning of the exhaust pipe in line with the corner of the cab. However, the large glass area does place considerable demands on the air conditioning system and there were times in midsummer when it seemed rather under-capacity."
He also has reservations about the cooling of the engine, noting that the radiator, oil cooler and air conditioning cooling unit are all mounted in a limited space under the sloped hood. "I think there's too much crammed into a small space. I believe everything runs hotter and dustier than is ideal," he states.
One other negative on the tractor is the seat, which he calls uncomfortable. A $70,000 tractor should have an air suspended seat, he notes.
Newton is pleased with the transmission and hydaulics and says the driving position, controls and instrumentation are excellent. "The tractor is also easy to service," he adds.
If he were in the market for a new tractor, Newton says he would definitely buy another Agrotron.
Agrotron tractors are expected to be on the market in North America soon. For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Deutz-Fahr Agrartechnik GmbH, D-51057 Koln, Germany (ph 0221 822-400).
(Reprinted from Farmer's Weekly Magazine)

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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #3