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Ville Kari, a farmer in the South Ostrobothnia region of Finland, tested the new Valtra T Series in summer 2013. Between April and October two prototype tractors accumulated over 2000 hours in testing. Both tractors were Direct models with a stepless CVT transmission.

Ville Kari
Alajärvi, Finland

Test machines: Two Valtra T Series Direct models
Main tasks: Dairy and beef cattle farming

A well-balanced tractor to operate and control

 The tasks in the spring began with slurry spreading and soil preparation. “Right from the start I noticed that the tractor is very agile when turning yet stable to drive,” Ville reports.

The impression of a well-balanced and comfortable tractor was further reinforced the more he used the tractor. It proved to be particularly stable when pulling a self-loading trailer. “The new T Series pulls very steadily on the field, and on the road it goes like a train.”

The agility of the T Series has been further improved with a tighter turning radius and a new feature that allows steering sensitivity to be adjusted variably. This proved to be especially useful when handling bales with the front loader. “You don’t have to turn the steering wheel so much anymore, and it is very precise when driving straight. The new steering system is really great!”

The cab is now even more spacious and brighter. “Visibility has been improved in all directions. All the controls, such as the switch for the four-wheel-drive system and locking differential, are easy to find. There are also plenty of sockets, storage areas and additional space for optional equipment,” Ville says.

The powerful work lights make it easy to work in the dark. All of the switches for the lights are grouped together on an illustrated panel. “The reverse-drive system too has taken a big step forward. The new electronically operated system is very convenient,” Ville says, having used the TwinTrac system for mowing and tilling tasks. Altogether, Kari was extremely impressed with the new T Series, pointing out that driveability and controllability have been taken to a completely new level. 

Ville Kari, 34, has been a farmer for 15 years, during which time he has enthusiastically developed his farming operations. Alongside the old dairy cattle barn, a new beef cattle barn and robotised milking barn have been built. New fields have also been taken into production, and around 250 hectares are now used for organic farming.

The farm has two to three employees. In addition to cattle farming, field work and forestry tasks, Ville also finds time for contracting. In summertime his main contracting tasks include clearing land and threshing, while in wintertime he chips trees for energy production.

Ville has been testing Valtra’s prototype tractors since 2007. “The key is to use the prototypes for real tasks and accumulate as many hours and as much practical experience with the tractor as possible. Sometimes I am also instructed to focus on particular areas of development,” Ville says.

Surprises and changes are common when testing prototypes. “Some prototypes are used just for one day, others for months at a time. Some perform flawlessly, while others spring surprises,” Ville admits.

A good tester has to be alert and be able to question any given solution. Valtra’s prototypes are fitted with continuous data collectors and a direct connection to the factory. The tester records his own operations and observations into the system while sitting in the cab, when everything is still fresh in his mind. Each observation and comment is processed thoroughly back at the factory.

“The documentation is systematic; Valtra has a good system in place. All of the feedback is actually used to help develop the tractors. It is really rewarding to notice how my own input has influenced the end product, also in the new T Series,” Ville says.

Text and photos: Matti Kallio

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