The U.S. tractor market remains the global jewel in the crown for any equipment maker. Sure there are other markets, but none so rich in farm equipment and large farms as the U.S. Add in the acreage owners who have small parcels to tend and this is a "target rich environment." Yet not every company that plows into this fertile tractor ground succeeds.
During the National Farm Machinery Show, the Farm Industry News team came across the Yanmar display in a new area that had once been the Family Living Center. This area was now dedicated to a tractor lineup that looked pretty different from Yanmar machines of old.
Yanmar is rolling out the YT3 lineup of tractors and this is an aggressive design for the compact and utility tractor market. "We have a world-renowned industrial designer on our board who has been involved in working with Ferrari on automobile design," says Keith Wainwright, business unit manager, agricultural equipment at Yanmar America. "This is a new take on what tractors should look like with lines that look more like a larger ag tractor for smaller farm use."
That designer is Ken Okuyama, who not only worked with Ferrari but also on the Maserati, and he's put his design stamp on these machines.
The Yanmar name has been subsumed in the past as the company has built its fair share of machines for others to carry their paint livery and logos. Yanmar has been there but the company has played a secondary role. As the U.S. market crawls out of the Great Recession, Yanmar is poised to work toward getting your business. And the YT3 will be the start of that new relationship.
These are sloping hood machines with an aggressive new logo from Yanmar. There are two models in the lineup the YT347 which has 46.6 engine hp; and the YT359 with 59.7 engine hp. Those Yanmar diesel engines - known for their dependability in a number of industries - are mated to a powertrain with a new kind of transmission. Called the Integrated Hydro Mechanical Transmission - i-HMT for short - that brings the power of a mechanical transmission along with the flexibility of a hydrostat.
Wainwright explains that with all transmissions you have friction losses, and with a hydrostat, you also have pumping losses which drain power. This transmission solves that, and it is up to 25% more efficient than a hydrostatic transmission, he adds. It does this by reducing frictional and pumping losses. "We give the smaller tractor the versatility of a larger ag machine with this transmission," he explains.
Yanmar is also branching out with the YT3 line since it will be the first for this company to have a cab option in the U.S. market. "This has been a long time coming and something our dealers have wanted," Wainwright says. "This is a big, open cab with great sight lines. We're not cramming a box on an open-station tractor this is integrated into the tractor's design."
Add in that Yanmar builds everything - from front axle to final drive - and Wainwright says his company has an advantage in quality control too. The company even offers integrated loaders built to work with cab, and non-cab, tractor models.
The company has areas of the U.S where it has strong representation, and it's actively looking for more dealers today. If you want more information about Yanmar and its tractor line, start on the web at yanmartractor.com.