NOTE: There's a correction below the tractor will not be at the Farm Progress Show, but will appear at Ohio Farm Science Review.
How time flies. A few years ago - three to be exact - I got the chance to travel to Germany to get a first-look at a new tractor from Fendt, Agco's high-end German-made product lineup. The event was fun, because we were part of an important event both for Fendt and for Bavaria, the state where Fendt lies in Germany.
The dignitaries, the locals, the festive atmosphere, it was grand. Of course, at the time I was writing mainly for our sibling brands at Farm Progress - we weren't bought by Penton until a couple months later. Yet I enjoyed the event, which showed off more than Fendt tractors.
I'm writing about this today because Agco is now bringing the tractor first introduced back in 2012 for the German market to the United States: The Fendt Vario 500. This is a compact machine offers high-horsepower performance in an efficient footprint. And you can get your first look at the machine at Ohio Farm Science Review - you can learn more about it from Agco experts at the fall shows, but it's first appearance will be in London, Ohio on Sept. 21, 22 and 23.
The series offers models ranging from 110 to 150 hp, and the machines are built in a new state-of-the-art plant in Marktoberdorf, Germany. My colleague Mark Moore, profiled the tractor and facility from that German rollout, and offers insight into the factor and the tractor.
And this video from that Germany launch offers more insight into the machine and its features.
In a press release announcing the introduction of the line to the U.S. (you can see it at the Farm Progress Show next week), Josh Keeney, Agco Fendt tactical marketing manager, comments: "The new Fendt 500 Vario features an extensive range of capabilities to meet the needs of operators who increasingly demand more with less." He adds that the tractor "is versatile enough for a wide range of applications work, from light chores to fieldwork."
The machine comes fully equipped with the Varioterminal, which unites both tractor and implement controls in one location, eliminating the need for additional monitors. The terminal is fully ISOBUS-certified by the Agricultural Electronics Foundation and available in 7-inch and 10.4-inch screen sizes.
Some of the features available include VarioGuide automated steering; on-board camera; the VarioDoc documentation system; and SectionControl and Variotronic controls.
The automatic steering system allows for precise driving and the system includes headland management as well. This reduces operator fatigue and can enhance productivity. The Variotronic also allows operators to initiate automatied operating sequences with the touch of a button while working in headlands or making passes in the field. And VarioDoc offers documentation with wireless transfer of all task data.
The tractor's operator platform is the latest design, with a wide 320-degree view cab that features 65 square feet of glass. Sitting in the operator station, you do feel you can see everything pretty easily, perhaps because of the single, undivided curved front windshield called the Fendt ViseoPlus that runs into the roof. That offers plenty of upward angle and sight, great for operating a loader.
In fact, that VarioTerminal, which is standard, can be used to run the integrated loader Agco offers with the Fendt 500 Vario, you don't need to add another joystick, you can control the loader right from controls already in the cab.
And this is one agile tractor, due to its short wheelbase, it has a tight-turning radius. In addition, the tractor has a standard road speed of 31 mph.
The tractor features a standard pneumatic self-leveling cab suspension system for improved ride and comfort too. The cab is supported on four points with integrated self-leveling conid bearing at the front and two air spring elements at the rear. And the tractor offers self-leveling front-axle suspension too. The machine also features Fendt Reaction steering, shock load stabilizing, seat suspension, and automatic steering axle lock.
And the tractor comes with plenty of lighting, with lights designed to provide enhanced visibility.
You can learn more about the new Fendt 500 Vario from your local Fendt dealer, or visit Fendt.com.
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