Agco had a strong representation in the Tractor of the Year (TOTY) 2021 awards, winning three of the four categories judged.
Recognising the best tractors in the European market, decided on by a jury of journalists from 26 countries, specialising in agricultural equipment, the judging of the awards was conducted in a different way to previous years, given the circumstance and challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
Traditionally tractors would have been driven by all members of the jury, however due to travel restrictions, this was not possible with only a handful of European judges able to travel. Instead, video content showcasing the tractors features, ergonomics and abilities were used, in conjunction with a more objective look at the technical details of each tractor, a jury member said.
The main categories that manufacturers can nominate their tractors for are the overall Tractor of the Year award, best utility (tractors more than 70hp) and best specialised (orchard, vineyard, hill and mountain tractors). All tractors judged in 2020 have to be available to purchase in 2021.
In addition, the judging panel selects a sustainable TOTY award from the shortlisted tractors, placing emphasis on innovative solutions for comfort, safety, efficiency and connectivity.
Scooping the top award was Massey Ferguson with its recently launched 8S.265 Dyna E-Power. With 285hp at maximum power with boost, it is the largest of the new four model range. The manufacturer put the tractor forward for the award with the Dyna E-Power transmission, featuring a 28-speed dual clutch that is said to combine the ‘comfort of a CVT with the efficiency of a semi-powershift’. The manufacturer says power losses are 26 per cent lower at high speed compared to its Dyna-6 transmission, saving up to five per cent in fuel.
The jury said the tractor impressed with its ground up design philosophy, new styling, transmission and cab design, featuring the Protect-U 240mm gap between the engine and cab, setting the 8S apart from the competition. Comfort features in the Exclusive-spec cab and the level of technology also scored high.
Valtra’s G135 Versu was awarded the title in the utility tractor class. Being the first of the manufacturer’s fifth generation of tractors, the four-model range covers 105-135hp, slotting between the firm’s A and N Series. The winning tractor was its highest specification machine with its SmartTouch control terminal fitted.
Having evaluated the G135 Versu’s technical parameters and a combination of field and transport work, the jury said its versatility, manoeuvrability, hydraulic performance and on board tech put it at the top of the pack.
Crowned as best specialist tractor was Fendt’s 211 V Vario. Designed for use in vineyards, the narrow track gauge presented a number of engineering challenges to overcome, according to the manufacturer. However, with a maximum output of 124hp, the smallest range offered by the manufacturer can be fitted with technology, such as the firm’s recently developed FendtOne operating system, while maintaining its compactness.
With an improved working environment for the driver, the jury said the blend of technology and efficiency of the transmission allows operators to work with increased precision.
All tractors nominated for the preceding three categories were considered for the sustainability award with the Claas Axion 960 claiming the title. The 445hp tractor can be fitted with the manufacturer’s self-learning Cemos system, which provides operators with advice for the optimum ballasting, tyre pressure and engine settings for the job in hand and can be coupled to the firm’s CTIC tyre inflation system, automatically adjusting the tyre pressures. The Cemos system in conjunction with the tyre inflation system is said to give 16.8 per cent saving in fuel usage and 16.3 per cent more productivity, according to a recent DLG test found.
The jury commented that together with the onboard technology and its ease of use, the Axion was the standout performer. It particularly commended the ease of use of the Cemos system with regards to setting tyre pressures, leading to fuel savings and more efficient in-field performance across a wide range of working conditions.