What do you get for your money? This is what every farmer wants to know when acquiring technology. You can buy a cheap tractor, but the delights of the low purchase price can become a constant nightmare if the tractor is worth more than work and as repair and maintenance costs start to overshadow the few rand you saved on price… and if the tractor has no resale value. That’s why the wise farmer looks at the whole picture before making his purchase decision – and that picture includes the ownership costs of the tractor.

According to the smart guys, deductibles include interest, depreciation, repair and maintenance, labor, fuel, lubrication and insurance. Some aspects of this, such as interest and insurance, are the same for all tractors, but in terms of second-hand value, repair, maintenance, fuel and lubrication, certain tractors stand out above others.

In addition to the smart guys’ list, the farmer also has certain practical considerations when calculating what a tractor costs him. He does not buy a tractor to own a tractor, but to get certain work done. Therefore, he wants to know whether the tractor will do the work, take out the roots for the day to take to market tomorrow, and whether he will lose the fruit on the tractor’s expected labor due to downtime, such as planting or spraying that does not could not be done in time.

With the Valtra tractors that distribute and back up Valtrac in South Africa, a farmer can know for sure: the tractor will faithfully and exemplary do the work for which it was purchased and on top of that retain its value year after year after year so that the farmer later can be disposed of at a favorable price – this is what low maintenance costs, low operating costs and low ownership costs should look like.

One of the reasons for the low operating costs of a Valtra tractor is the simplicity of design, writes the renowned European agricultural machinery magazine, profi.

Hubert Wilmer discusses the service record of a Valtra T173 in an article in this magazine. The tractor was used full-time for 18 months by a contractor who sat on the clock for 1,300 hours with hard work such as towing a large-baler, a round-baler and a 40-m³ maize wagon.

The only repairs that were needed at the time were a little varnish that had peeled off in a spot and a taillight bulb that needed to be replaced. According to professionals, this was the least repair they had ever seen on a tractor that they monitored over the long term.

On the maintenance side, the engine and gearbox oil and filters were replaced at 500 and a 1,000 hours. The total maintenance cost per operating hour was a meager € 1.3 euro. Labor costs are excluded.

What makes Valtra’s ownership costs so favorable?

There are some good reasons why Valtra offers real value for money. It starts with the Agco Power engine designed to deliver brisk power at low combustion.

to supply dust consumption. In the case of the test tractor, the round bale baler required about 10 liters per hour and to tow the large maize wagon required 12 liters per hour, and that for a 132 kW tractor! The tractor easily towed the wagon on the open road at 40 km per hour.

The HiTech gearbox has three stretches, crawl speed, medium speed and high speed, with four gears in each stretch and three PowerShifts in each gear, thus offering a choice of 36/36 gears. This is a proven, reliable drive option that will give the farmer the least hassle, cost and worry.

Other standard benefits of the HiTech range are:

– Hydraulic braking system for trailers

– Diaper speed parking brake

– Reduce engine revs from 950 in Neutral to 650 in Park

– ControlStop sensors automatically switch the tractor to safety mode if the gearbox or engine temperature rises too much. This forces the operator to investigate.

These favorable ownership costs apply to all Valtra tractors in the wide range. In South Africa, Valtra farmers also enjoy the advantage that Valtrac’s people stand firmly on the farm with their feet and can therefore help the farmer from the point of view of a farmer as well as a tractor company to get exactly the number one Valtra for his purpose – and thereby force the cost of ownership even lower.

Valtrac’s legendary service to farmers across the country is limited to the absolute minimum, which means that ownership of a Valtra will always be rewarding for the farmer, as many satisfied Valtra farmers in the country already testify.

For more information on Valtrac and Valtra tractors, speak to Attie de Villiers at 083-261-9863 or 056-817-8006 or email attiedev@valtrac.co.za. Also visit www.valtrac.co.za for more information or to read the full professional article.

Die enjin van die Valtra T173 wat vir die profi -artikel te lees. profi -toets gebruik is. Foto: Stefan Tovornik

The engine of the Valtra T173 used for the profi test. Photo: Stefan Tovornik