New Valtra T4 Series showcased at NAMPO

With the theme ‘Unfold the Future’, this year’s NAMPO Agricultural Show in Bothaville, South Africa once again lived up to its reputation as the exhibition for innovation, technology and information exchange.

Valtra farm equipment was out in force on distributor VALTRAC’s stand. “The centrepiece for us this year was the launch of the 165-235 max hp (121-173 kW) Valtra T4 Series tractors,” says Bronwyn Dedwith, General Manager at VALTRAC. “With a live demo, we aimed to show the sheer utility of the T4 gearbox. Also showing its paces was a Valtra S353 tractor pulling a 39-row planter. Both demonstrations received a lot of interest and positive feedback from customers. Indeed, the new T4 Series is working extremely well for us. All the stock we order is actually sold before it lands in South Africa!”

“There was much good feeling among farmers and suppliers in the agricultural sector at the show. After the bad weather in 2016, conditions have improved and growers are looking forward to 2017 production.”   

“NAMPO is getting bigger and better. It’s so relevant and inclusive. It’s great to be at a show where everyone is so positive,” adds Bronwyn.

Aimed at medium to large-scale farming businesses, contractors and agriprojects, the Valtra T4 is the fourth generation of this successful six-cylinder cab tractor range and a winner of the prestigious international Red Dot Design Award and the 2015 Machine of the Year Award.

 

New regional structure set to drive expansion in Africa

Valtra’s parent company, AGCO has announced a new regional structure for Africa which will see an increase in its on-the-ground presence and further expansion of the Company’s already impressive operations on the Continent.

To support the realignment and further boost service to customers and distributors, key moves include the opening of a new AGCO regional headquarters in Johannesburg in early 2017 and a new Future Farm in French-speaking West Africa. These initiatives will complement AGCO’s existing parts distribution operation and training centre in South Africa and Future Farm in Zambia.

The newly-formed Asia Pacific and Africa (APA) region will enable AGCO to maximise the advantages of similar market dynamics in the two territories. Among these are the emergence of a growing smallholder farmer segment, product and application similarities, shared consumer finance patterns and growing trade between the two regions.

Farmers in Africa will continue to enjoy the benefits of the Valtra product range sourced from a global network of manufacturing facilities including tractors, combines, sugar cane harvesters and generators.

As a result of the regional restructure, Gary Collar has been appointed AGCO Senior Vice President and General Manager, APA. Gary has been responsible for all AGCO’s activities in the Asia Pacific region - which includes China, India, the Far East, Australia and New Zealand - since January 2012. He brings wide experience and in-depth knowledge of the African market to his newly-expanded role having previously held the position as AGCO Senior Vice President and General Manager Europe/Africa/Middle East for seven years.

Reporting to Gary, the AGCO Africa team will be led by Nuradin Osman who has been promoted to Vice President and General Manager Africa. Nuradin has been with AGCO for 12

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Valtra wins the prestigious Red Dot Design Award 2016

The Valtra T234 has won the prestigious Red Dot Design Award in the Product Design category (Red Dot Award: Product Design 2016). The Red Dot Design Competition is the biggest and one of the most respected design competitions in the world. Over 5200 products from 57 countries were entered in this year’s competition, and the jury comprised 41 independent design industry professionals from around the world.

“On behalf of the entire Valtra company, I would like to say how proud we are to receive the most internationally recognised and prestigious honour in the field of design,” states Jari Rautjärvi, VP and Global Brand Lead, Valtra. “The award is recognition of the high level of Finnish design, innovation and quality.”
The Valtra T4 Series is the result of seven years of research and development. It is also the first product in the completely new model generation in which the latest technical innovations and the new generation design language have been brought together. In addition to creating the clean lines of the exterior, the design work focused especially on usability, ergonomics, safety, durability, serviceability and productivity of the machine.

“Our systematic focus on industrial design that we began many years ago is now bearing fruit. This design focus allows our new generation of tractors to take customer needs into consideration even better than before and to create a truly world-class product. Winning the Red Dot Design Award also reflects the excellent team spirit that we enjoyed throughout the entire development project among all team members, without which this kind of success would not have been possible,” says Kimmo Wihinen, Design Manager at Valtra and chief designer of the T4 Series.

Valtra has a long tradition of employing advanced industrial design in its products since the 1960s. In addition to creating attractive tractors, industrial design has always been applied to improve the working conditions of tractor operators and productivity. Over the decades the basic principles of Scandinavian design have played a vital role in creating Valtra’s high-quality and respected brand.

Valtra’s fourth generation tractors have been sales successes since their launch and won numerous international awards. The N4 Series was named Machine of the Year 2016 and won the Golden Tractor for the Design 2016 award, while the T4 Series was named Machine of the Year 2015. Valtra last won the Red Dot Award in 2011 for its ANTS concept tractor.

The Red Dot Design Competition began in the 1950s and awards are given in three categories: Product Design, Communication Design and Design Concept. This year’s Red Dot Design Award will be presented on 4 July at the Aalto Theatre in Essen, Germany.

Video: https://youtu.be/DQhhr5blKk4

Video: https://youtu.be/2uwdBVGKQM4

Red Dot Design Competition 2016
Red Dot Design Competition: http://en.red-dot.org
Product Design Category: http://red-dot.de/pd/?lang=en
Members of the Jury in 2016: http://red-dot.de/pd/red-dot-jury-2016/?lang=en
Adjudication Criteria in 2016: http://red-dot.de/pd/jury-2015/adjudication-criteria/?lang=en

Unlimited Studio transforms tractors

When a tractor rolls off the assembly line and is sent to the Unlimited Studio, it undergoes a complete transformation. The team of experts in the Unlimited Studio don’t just fit options and equipment to tractors; they design them, test them, source parts, install them and document the entire work process to ensure that everything is legal and compatible with the tractor’s other equipment and that spare parts will be available also in the future. Three of the seven team members are mechanics, while four work in the office.

Last autumn, for example, the Unlimited Studio created a new version of the T174 Active tractor that four-time World Rally Champion Juha Kankkunen used to set a new world speed record for tractors earlier in the year: 130.165 km/h. The replica was ordered for the Agritechnica agricultural trade fair in Germany last November.
One in ten tractors are customised in the Unlimited Studio
Almost ten percent of all new Valtra tractors manufactured in Suolahti are sent to the Unlimited Studio for further customisation. Basically, the Unlimited Studio continues where Valtra’s already comprehensive list of options ends. The Unlimited Studio promises to fulfil all the wishes that customers may have for their new tractors so long as they are technically feasible and legally compliant.

“Visual enhancements, such as graphics, special paint jobs and customised interiors, are very popular. Sometimes they are requested for very pragmatic reasons, such as by contractors who want a particular safety colour or by military customers who need camouflage,” explains Petri Loukiala, head of the Unlimited Studio.

Other popular refinements include changes to the hydraulics, forestry equipment, specialty contracting equipment such as graders and front linkages, auxiliary lights, heaters and even breath alcohol ignition interlocks. One customer wanted customised steps to prevent his dog from getting its paws stuck between the steps. The Unlimited Studio team found a solution to this problem too.

“Even though the Unlimited Studio has existed for only a few years, we have experienced tremendous growth. Last year we completed 652 tractors. In our first year we delivered tractors only to Finland, but these days they go all over the world,” Loukiala adds.

Tractors customised by the Unlimited Studio differ from other customisations in that all the options have the same warranty as the tractors themselves, they are fully compatible, and they are all documented, allowing spare parts to be ordered in the future using the tractor’s serial number.

The Unlimited Studio moved into new and larger facilities last autumn, allowing it to handle more than a dozen tractors at a time. The new studio has six lifts, an engineering workshop, a small paint shop for parts, and an additional workshop for making hydraulic hoses. The new facilities also make it easier to welcome visiting customers.