The first Fendt Vario 200VFP range tractor to be fitted with tracks in the UK was on display on N P Seymour’s stand at this year’s Fruit Focus.
Tracks by their very nature have a larger area of contact with the ground, providing improved stability and traction. As well as being well known as a much safer option when working on extremely steep banks. Tracks can also lower ground compaction, reduce soil damage and provide operators with more options for getting out in the vineyard over the winter and spring.
Designed with flexible working in mind, these tracks have been added to the Fendt 200V as a ‘bolt-on’ extra allowing vineyard managers to fit the tracks over the winter months and then convert over to standard wheels and tyres once the weather conditions change and improve.
Having previously spoken with Nick and Claire Seymour about their need for a tracked vehicle which could cope effectively with some of the site’s exceptionally steep slopes, Rathfinny Wine Estate in East Sussex were the first to demonstrate the tracked machine.
“We have some steeper slopes on our property which we are potentially looking to plant in the future,” said Cameron Roucher, vineyard manager at Rathfinny. “They are too steep for tyres, so this new tracked option would open up new possibilities for us. As well as avoiding wheel ruts on heavier soils, the beauty of the system is that we already have a number of Fendt tractors and could easily swap between the tyres and tracks depending on what we were doing in the vineyard.”
Alongside the tracks, the Vario S3 range, which launched earlier this year, have been also been updated to comply with the latest emissions and other regulations. The engine air flow and circulation has been improved, the flat floored cab has greater comfort, options including guidance systems and Vario active steering have been added and transmission across the Vario range operates from 20 metres/hour to 40kph smoothly with an easy to operate joystick with no cumbersome gear levers or heavy clutch work needed.
The tractor management system ensures the engine and transmission are always working efficiently to give the best fuel economy possible. As well as fuel savings, this also provides potential for saving valuable work time as the ease of increasing and decreasing speed and returning to a pre-programmed speed (using the cruise-control) means a higher working area is covered, along with reducing the travelling times to and from jobs.
Combined with the fact that most specialist machinery manufacturers design and build their tractor mounted implements and equipment to fit the Fendt, makes the range an ideal option for out in the vineyard.