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Cousins working together on our family owned farm with the aim of running a commercial modern farm producing high yielding, high standard crops while maximising wildlife diversity. Brian is said to be the farmer and conservationist, whereas Patrick is a conservationist and farmer. This mix has given a new direction for the farm, building upon the work that our fathers and grandfather has done to improve the overall success of the farm business. The farm has gone from strength to strength with the farm being recognised at a national level winning the coveted National FWAG’s Silver Lapwing Award for farming and conservation in 2009 and then Patrick and Brian were named Countryside Farmer of the Year by the Farmers Weekly in 2010.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Fendt 820

Name:  Fendt 820
Driver: Nick Light for the majority of the cultivations; Patrick and I use it during the summer when Nick is on the combine.
Visual Description: This is our largest tractor with the stereotypical four wheels : larger radius wheels at the back and smaller at the front. The wheels have red centres and the majority of the tractor is green with a white roof. The cab sits on top with the exhaust and air intake for the engine running up the corners of the cab.
Size: The Fendt 820 is smaller than the Cat Challenger and it is power rated at 205Hp. It is a good sized tractor for the jobs that we what it to do on the farm as it is flexible, with good weight to power ratio, fuel efficiency, and it is excellent on the road.    

Weight:  This tractor only weighs seven and a half tons but we have to add weight to the front to increase its efficiency when it is working with an implement that it has to lift out of the ground. All tractors need to be balanced when in work, so that every bit of power is transferred through all four wheels when working in four-wheel drive, so that the tractor pulls the implement forward equally. To balance the Fendt when it is ploughing we must have a large one and half ton weight block on the front to counter balance the heavy weight of the plough that stretches a long way out from the back of the tractor. If we did not have the right weight on the front, the front wheels would not touch the floor and we would not have any steering or grip.
Controls: The Fendt has a very sophisticated cab to improve the driving experience and gives the operator lots of flexibility to improve work rate and reduce fuel consumption through its on-board computer. The tractor does not have a gear stick but has a hydrostatic joystick, which means if you push it forward it moves forward and pull it back it slows and then goes into reverse; the more you hold it the faster you go. This means that the drive can range in a step-less or gearless manner from 0km/h to 55km/h. There are lots of dials in the cab that change flows of oil to the implements but what makes this tractor clever is that you can programme the computer to memorise a sequence of jobs; press one button and the tractor will then carry out this set list of jobs: e.g. lift plough up to a set height at a set speed, turn plough over at a set speed and then drop plough into the ground at a set speed, all the while the driver is just turning the tractor around. It also has cruise control, which can be set to the correct speed and the tractor gets to that speed as quickly as possible and then drops off the engine revs so the engine, through its unique design, maintains speed, therefore reducing unnecessary fuel being burnt.   
Cost: This tractor was the first tractor I chose on the farm. I was looking for a tractor that would replace two old ones and do all the jobs of those two it replaced, plus some more. This meant that when we traded them in with the local dealer they took a value for the other two off the asking price. The two old tractors only came to just less than half the value of the new one, due to their age and hours, so to change we had to finance £50,000. It was more expensive than other similar sized tractors of a different brand name but, with the fuel savings, we have seen this extra outlay returned by reduced litre per hours worked.    
Jobs it does on the farm:
This tractor is also doing 500hrs a year and its main work is all the ploughing needed over the farm after harvest. Once this is completed, we have it cultivating the fields in front of the Cat which is pulling the 6m Drill. Once this is completed, it does the snowploughing, if we are called out by the Council, and any trailer work that we do through the spring. Once spring comes, it is used in the cultivations of the spring Oats, Grass and Beans. Then, once harvest arrives, it pulls a large trailer carrying 14 Tons of grain back to the farm from the combine.   BWB

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