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 the 2015 Farm Progress Show.
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.