Serious pulling power
When used for transporting manure and slurry, the prototype demonstrated not only its pulling power but also its performance on the road. “The tractor’s stability, the visibility from the cab and the layout of the controls were very good,” says technical manager Tero Nenonen.
The same positive initial impressions were backed up when attaching implements. “The hydraulic and brake couplings are now much easier to use, as is the light socket. They are well nicely arranged and better designed,” Tero adds.
The tractors were used approximately equally for field work and various transporting tasks, such as carrying slurry and manure for the biogas plant. The hilly Karelian terrain was ideal for testing the performance of the new T Series on the road. The Versu transmission and other advanced systems were really put to the test in Kitee. The engine, brakes and cab were also evaluated along with driveability and safety aspects.
“The Versu transmission has really improved a lot. The automated transmission works really fast and well with the engine. Even when pulling heavy loads, it was easy to climb hills in automatic mode. The overall impression was of a really tough machine,” Pauli Tolonen comments.
The other new features also proved easy to use. “Combining the AutoTraction function with the brakes was an excellent solution, and the speed pedal felt good. The cruise control is also really simple to adjust,” Tero Nenonen continues.
The hill-hold function was especially praised, proving a big help in slippery conditions or otherwise challenging situations. “The system prevents the tractor from rolling backwards when starting off, which is a huge asset when coming off fields and waiting to join the traffic on the road. It makes it a lot simpler and safer,” Pauli Tolonen says.
The excellent visibility from the cab was also noted, especially at intersections and in traffic in general. “The lack of a pillar on the right window provides much better visibility at intersections, which is a big bonus in terms of safety,” Pekka Partanen says.
The importance of safety is highlighted in the farming cooperative’s collaboration with the local agricultural school. Essentially, testing prototypes is all about ensuring the reliability and safety of new products. “Any surprise that pops up at the prototype stage saves customers a lot of trouble later on,” Pekka points out.
The small community of Koivikko in Kitee, a town in the North Karelia region of Finland, is home to a cluster of enterprises that includes the private dairy farm at Koivikko Manor. The farm provides a training centre for the eighty students of the local agricultural school, and it also breeds cattle. Other services include a riding school and restaurant. Another local enterprise at Koivikko is BioKymppi, which produces heat and electricity from biowaste and slurry collected from across Eastern Finland. The company also produces biogas from manure that is used for organic production on the farm.
Text and photos: Matti Kallio