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On a vegetable farm, planting and harvesting are a never-ending story, because every day is market day. After 100 mm of rain in a few days, however, it can be quite a muddy challenge to move around in any field with a tractor drawing heavy loads.
“Not for our Valtra tractors,” says Robért Venema of Rosaly Farms near Tarlton, South Africa. “They just keep going.
I have another tractor that spins ditches in an attempt to gain a foothold, but just look how easily the Valtras keep on going.” Easily is the word. So easily, the Valtra N103 crawls slowly on its own through the field while the staff harvest the lettuce and load the trailer with crates!
The narrow wheels run neatly between the plant rows and the tractor is high enough to move clearly over the vegetables. A short distance from there, the T191 is used to quickly open up the soil to let it dry off a bit before the next batch of cabbage is planted. With its 138 kW he is just the right horse for the work.
The N141 stands quietly waiting for the planter to be filled so that he can continue with his day’s work. The tractor has a hydraulic three-point hitch in the front making it useful for a variety of other tasks as well.
“One of the big advantages of the Valtras is that you can order the tractors as you want them with any accessories for specific purposes,” says Robért.
A farmer can also choose the colour of his tractor. At Rosaly, most tractors are blue. Robert does not tell why specifically blue, but it is noticeable that the neighbour has a fleet of red Valtras …
In addition to the 800 hectares of vegetables under irrigation, Rosaly also plants 400 hectares of dryland maize, and wheat and oats are also planted for crop rotation and for feeding the Simbra herd.
In addition to the Tarlton farm, Rosaly also cultivates land at Vaalwater. This is why the farming enterprise offers a home to such a wide range of tractors from the Valtra stable. The Valtra team must handle soil preparation, towing, loading, spraying and no-till planting.
The range of smaller N-tractors, an N121, five N103s and two N141s, are set up to move in the furrows between the vegetable beds. All the tractors, even the smaller models, are four-wheel drive.
Robért says: “Our tractors put in many hard hours. The irrigation fields are short, there is a lot of turning and they work non-stop every day. ” The oldest Valtra on the farm, a 2009 model, now has almost 24 000 hours on the clock and although it is currently undergoing some maintenance work, no major work has been needed. Robért says he does not believe they will sell the tractor, because it is now at the point where they want to see how long he can still provide reliable service!
Their only tractor in the S-Series, the S293, is not only the muscle man of the farm, but also has a long history of 14 000 honest working hours behind him. If there is deep work to be done, this is the one that is called upon.
In the T-series Rosaly uses a T171, T151, two T191s and the flashy T213 Versu with its semi-automatic gearbox with 30 forward and 30 reverse gears, crawl speed, AutoTraction for smooth, clutchless switching between backward and forward driving and the popular new Valtra armrest control.
The powerful hydraulic system is also controlled from the armrest, and the lift handles more than 8 tonnes effortlessly. Separate oil supplies are used for transmission and hydraulics, which means there is always power when needed. The best of all is that it is a TwinTrac model: the seat turns around and then the tractor works backward just as easily as forward!
Robért says Valtra is an excellent product, but it is also about the people behind the product.
“Like Valtrac, we are a family business; we understand each other. When I call, I talk to a human and not with a company.”
He says anything can go wrong with a machine, but Valtrac’s legendary service delivery means that no set of wheels on the farm ever stands idle for long. Valtrac’s people hate the word ‘downtime’, and they make a plan, no matter when the problem arises.
Robért’s son, Brian, says the thing he likes most about the tractors is that you can climb into a Valtra any time and everything works! There are no issues: you get in, drive and do your job.
With so many tractors busy with so many different tasks at once, it is also necessary for operators to take responsibility for their tractors. They must be kept clean and any problem should be reported immediately.
It is necessary to train the operators, but the technology is user-friendly and works efficiently without unnecessary frills.
At Rosaly, it is not just Valtrac’s Valtras that work hard. Implements such as the Jumil no-till planter, the Pöttinger series for haymaking, a Kuhn baler and sturdy Tatu disc are also supplied and maintained by Valtrac, and everyone works as hard as the Venema family to to produce food for the people of Southern Africa.
If you are looking for a reliable tractor partner for your farm, look no further than Valtra from Valtrac. Talk to Attie de Villiers at 083-261-9863 or 056-817-7308, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit www.valtrac.co.za.