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Something special for high horsepower tractor

Home Agriculture Something special for high horsepower tractor

DIETER Schroder, owner of DT Farming Trust in Winterton, along with son-in-law Ross Braithwaite, were looking for something different when they were in the market for a new tractor for their newly acquired 3t fertiliser spreader.

They turned to their long-term equipment supplier Drakensberg Agricultural Services (DAS) for advice and guidance. DAS Co-Director Sven Rohrs, along with his father Leon Rohrs, used AGCO’s unique ASK system (AGCO Sales Configurator) to help their customer find that “something special” they were looking for in their quest for a new high horsepower tractor.

Schroder established the farm Noodhulp in Winterton in 1989. “Back then I was leasing the land mainly for grazing for beef farming and a bit of cropping. Our needs were growing and thus our need for mechanisation grew to a healthy size,” he said.

“A few years ago, the ongoing drought had forced me to look at irrigation farming and thus our needs changed and so our equipment needs changed along with it. The land that we cultivate now currently under irrigation is about 1100ha a year.”

Braithwaite recalled how chuffed his seven-year-old son Carter was when he told him he was about to purchase a new brand of tractor for the farm. Carter, when asked what colour the tractor should be, chose black, which was possible thanks to AGCO’s ASK dealer tool configurator to customise a tractor.

After a consultation between dealer and customer to spec their new high horsepower tractor, the order button was clicked to automatically book a build slot at the Beauvais factory in France. The customer and dealer subsequently received weekly updates on the build process. The result was that the striking black MF 7720 S arrived in Durban harbour a mere 12 weeks later. Upon arrival on the farm, Carter nicknamed the tractor the ‘Black Beast’.

Fewer middlemen

AGCO changed from a three-tier distribution model to a direct to dealer distribution model for South Africa in late 2020. “There are fewer middlemen and a direct interface with AGCO Africa and our own customers,” said Sven Rohrs.

“When a customer is prepared to invest a good amount of money for a new piece of equipment, it is critical to specify it from the outset in terms of the application and the customer’s preferences. This new business model has allowed us to get closer to the customer and OEM.”

DT Farming Trust is no stranger to the MF brand and DAS, having bought implements like slashers, spreaders, and planters from DAS in the past. For Noordhulp, this is the farm’s first MF tractor.

Sven said the AGCO ASK system used to specify the high horsepower, high-spec MF 7700 S series enabled a dealer like DAS to be fully responsive to specific customer requirements, from tyre sizing to hydraulic oil flow and different guidance options for precision farming. The specific model acquired by DT Farming Trust features the AGCO Power 6.6 litre six-cylinder engine, which has come a long way since the MF 6400 series with a Sisu engine, and in particular the single row shutoff used on both maize and soya planters.

“More and more farmers are moving to precision farming,” said Sven. For example, Noordhulp has single-row shutoff on its soya crop. DT Farming Trust’s major requirement when approaching DAS was for a six-cylinder tractor powerful enough to pull its 3t spreader. Another differentiator for MF is its high hydraulic flow and pick-up capacity on the rear linkage, which makes for smooth handling over any contours.

MF has made major changes to the guidance and precision farming systems of the S series, one of the most technologically advanced tractor ranges on the market today. It features a Fieldstar 5 terminal with a Trimble 382 receiver and full RTK unlock for an accuracy of 3.2 to 3.8 cm. Full guidance ISOBUS allows for intuitive section and rate control. “The spreader was plug-and-play installable within minutes and worked like a dream.”

The cab layout features a terminal for precision-control functions on one side and the tractor itself on another to assist the driver in distinguishing between the two operational aspects. Another novel feature is the multi-pad, multifunctional joystick. The multipad lever controls the rear linkage, PTO, headland management, spool valves and cruise control, as well as operating the transmission. All operations are easily at hand for greater comfort.

“While the black colour no doubt stands out most, what makes this tractor unique and speaks to the power of the AGCO ASK system is that every little detail can be changed and modified for the customer’s specific needs. We can sit with a client like DT Farming Trust and literally build a tractor from the ground up and customise it to their level of functionality and comfort,” says Leon Rohrs.

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