With grand plans to create larger and smaller tractors, news on Zetor’s TechAgro stand this week is headed by the brand’s first Stage IV-compliant tractor. Steven Vale reports.
The Forterra is the first Zetor tractor to carry a Stage IV engine. Using a combination of a diesel particulate filter (DPF) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR), the four-cylinder power pack shown on the Forterra HSX 140 on the company’s stand at the Brno Exhibition Centre, in the Czech Republic this week is an all in-house development.
Zetor says its solution (for 100-140hp tractors) is equipped with fewer electronics then the competition, and independent tests point to fuel savings as high as 20 per cent, it claims.
The company adds a similar Stage IV solution will be used in other Zetor-powered tractors in the future, and while they are not ready just yet, the Deutz-powered Crystal and Major ranges will also use a combination of SCR/DPF to meet Stage IV.
When the new Forterras go on sale sometime this summer, there will be three levels of specification, and in addition to the HSX and HD models, there will also be a five-model range of entry-level CL (Classic) versions.
All three ranges have a 20 per cent larger fuel tank, additional work lights, and more seat options.
A prototype of what will be a new two-model range of Major tractors was also on the company’s TechAgro stand.
Powered by a four-cylinder 75hp Deutz engine, transmission choices will include a 40kph with 24 forward gears and 12 reverse, operated via a two-stage powershift and a hydraulic reverser (PowerShuttle).
Cab interior has undergone a number of changes and features a new integrated steering column. Series production is planned to start at the end of this year, with the first models expected to arrive with customers Q1, 2017.
A prototype of a three-cylinder 50hp tractor on display at TechAgro this week will form the basis of the fifth and smallest Zetor tractor range.
Dubbed the Zetor Prototype 50, we understand that there will initially only be one model. Available with or without a cab, the tractor will use a mechanical transmission with fully synchronised gear shifting with eight forward and reverse speeds and a top speed of 30kph.
Expected to be popular on small and hobby farms, there will be four variants – 2wd or 4wd - with or without cab. Production is planned for the first half of 2017, and the company is developing a new range of front loaders specifically for this tractor.
Feedback on the Pininfarina design concept unveiled at Agritechnica last year was so positive that the design will form the basis of all future Zetor tractor models.
The plan is to launch a prototype of one of its ranges in the new look sometime towards the end of next year, which suggests a debut at Agritechnica 2017, but the company says it could even be earlier.
Details remain firmly under wraps, and all the company is prepared to reveal is that they only plan to change a few minor details of the design.
Zetor sold 3,773 new tractors last year, down from 4,178 in 2014. It says much of last year’s slump in the numbers was due to the brand selling 7 per cent fewer tractors to European customers.
As such, the company wants to grow the numbers back above 4,000 this year and is seeking to strengthen its distribution network in a number of West European countries, including Germany, France, Benelux and UK.
The Czech tractor maker is also looking to improve its presence in North America. At Agritechnica last November the company outlined plans to not only further develop its existing four tractor ranges but also to create two new ones.
Requiring a continued investment in R and D of about €10 million (£7 million) a year for the next few years, the six ranges will kick off with the three-cylinder, 50hp tractor on the TechAgro stand, followed by the Major, Proxima, Forterra and Crystal, which peaks at 163hp.
The company continues to work in secrecy on the sixth and higher-HP range. Expect to see this in two to three years, is the message.