Dozens of Fendt tractor owners, dealers and enthusiasts attended Fendt Field Days at Arlington Research Farm near Arlington Aug. 7-8. It was the only field event held by Fendt in the Midwest this year.
"It's good for the interest level and enthusiasm for Fendt tractors," says Reid Hamre, Fendt brand manager who was on hand both days to answer visitors questions about new Fendt tractors on display and available for field demonstrations.
"The dealerships bring everyone here including parts people and bookkeepers who don't always get to see the tractors," Hamre adds. "They get a chance to see them close up, along with the farmers who attend, and have the opportunity to run the tractors in the field."
Fendt tractors are made in Marktoberdorf, Germany. The company was started by the Fendt family 85 years ago. Agco purchased Fendt from the Fendt family in 1995. In addition to Fendt, Agco sells Massey Ferguson, Challenger and Valtra tractors and Hesston hay equipment.
Hamre notes that Fendt was the first to use a joy stick to operate their tractors.
"With a joy stick, you can simplify operation," Hamre explains. "A tremendous amount of what you are doing is in the joy stick."
Fendt tractors feature a continuously variable transmission.
"CVT technology gives you any speed you need," Hamre notes. "They go more than 30 mph, which makes them favorites of custom operators. They give operators a big feeling of comfort."
Hamre says Fendt tracts are quite popular with dairy farmers and custom operators.
"Where there is dairy and hay there is Fendt," he says.
Potato growers and farmers who grow row crops like Fendt, too, Hamre says.
"Custom operators are a very important market for Fendt," he says. "You see the labor savings and fuel savings faster. The custom operator gets work done faster and more reliably and it makes workers more productive."
Hamre says the No. 1 benefit of Fendt tractors in operators realize after a long day they're not as tired after driving a Fendt.
Fendt tractors are available in the standard green or you can order them in custom colors including jet black, fir green, steel blue and black cherry. Custom-painted tractors come with a chrome grill and exhaust stack.
Hamre says there are a number of features on Fendt tractors that are standard that are only available as an option on other tractors if they are available at all including front suspension, reactive steering and stability control.
But having a tractor with CVT is what Hamre says defines Fendt tractors.
"With Fendt, the operator can decide he wants to bale a field of hay at 6 mph," he explains. "The tractor can adjust the RPMs to save fuel and make the PTO turn at the proper speed without the operator having to do anything. This technology makes the average operator a good operator and a good operator a superior operator."
Mike Hanson, who works at Lindstrom Equipment in Modena and Menomonie, says Fendts are a tremendous tractor.
"We have quite a following," Hanson says. "They're smooth riding, easy on the operator, they turn sharp and they have very progressive technology."
Jon Wyttenbach, who grows 1,050 acres of corn and finishes 25,000 hogs per year near Sauk City, says he is sold on Fendt.
"We own two Fendt tractors," Wyttenbach says. "We bought a Fendt 926 eight years ago and we bought a Fendt 933 last spring. We use them for tillage and liquid manure hauling. We haul a lot of manure. They're great on the road. They do about 34 mph on the road. They're designed for road travel and they have air brakes like a truck."
Wyttenbach test drove the Fendt 724 at the Field Days.
"We would like to update our 926 with a 933 which is the biggest tractor Fendt offers. It has a 330 HP engine."
Wyttenbach says his Fendt tractors are very fuel efficient, but his favorite thing about Fendt tractors is the comfort.
"We'll put 18 hour days in these tractors," he explains. "It's nice not to feel completely beat up at the end of the day. The technology is so advanced in these tractors, it makes my job enjoyable."
Dave Bowers, who milk 200 Jersey cows and farms 600 acres near Marion with his 33 year old son, says he rented a Fendt 933 last fall.
"We bought one this spring," Bowers says. "We're using one-third less fuel than we were with our Case IH that we bought new in 2009. If you want hired help to drive a tractor, you need a Fendt. You set the cruise control and it goes. It's quiet and you have an air-ride cab. Air brakes are standard on a Fendt, which is nice when you're hauling manure on the road. I also like that they are well lit."
Bowers says another thing he likes about his new Fendt 933 tractor is dealer support.
"When the maintenance is up, they are out there," Bowers says.
Bowers test drove a Fendt 724 tractor at the field days.
"Our loader tractor is in line for replacement. This transmission is great. We saved five gallon per hour with our Fendt vs. what our Case IH was using. That's a family vacation. We calculate gallons per acre. We get more acres done per hour. We're happy. I guess if we buy another tractor it will be a Fendt."