We talked with a Czech farmer about his experience with the FORTERRA HD. How does he rate ZETOR tractors, what does he appreciate about them and what jobs does he use the tractor for? Mirek shared with us his experience with the FORTERRA.
Mirek K. works on a farm in Central Bohemia. The cooperative farm he is employed with manages 1,400 hectares of own land and leases another 120 hectares of meadows. As for crop production, they grow wheat, rye, barley, radish, mustard, corn, alfalfa and other grass species. They keep 300 head of cows and 100 head of bulls on the farm. The cooperative farm has a large fleet comprising machines of different brands and power ranges to manage such a large area of land.
“As regards the older ZETOR models, we have ZETOR CRYSTAL 8011, 12145 and 12111, and the Unified Range I, namely 7011, 7745 or the old 3011. As for the new ZETORs, we use two FORTERRAs HD 150,” explains Mirek.
And for what kind of jobs are these most powerful FORTERRA machines (up to 150 Hp) and the most sophisticated 4-cylinder tractors in the ZETOR portfolio used?
“We use them for nearly everything, from transporting bales of straw or hay, ploughing stubble, through sowing with a three-meter long sowing machine, hauling a container chassis, removing silage and haylage, spreading both industry fertilizers and manure, to compacting silage and haylage, etc. The tractors are also able to handle a lot of work mowing meadows or working at the composting plant,” says Mirek.
With such a large volume of work, the two robust machines complete 1,500–2,000 engine hours per year on average.
“What I appreciate most about the FORTERRA HD is the suspended front axle and hydraulic control which is really cool,” says Mirek. He refers to the fact that the FORTERRA HD is equipped with Hitchtronic, a system for automatic control of the rear three-point hitch. The tractor can therefore adapt to the terrain, facilitating operator control and saving up to 6% of the operating costs for the owner.
The heart of the FORTERRA HD is an efficient four-cylinder ZETOR engine with a 16-valve head with a volume of 4,156 cm3, which was developed in-house by ZETOR TRACTORS a.s. The drive unit meets the STAGE IV emission standard using a proven mechanical injection pump. ZETOR is one of the few engine manufacturers in the global tractor industry that meets the strictest emission standards without using the common rail system, and is now ready to meet the next, stricter STAGE V emission standard. It is able to fulfil the standard thanks to the special shape of the combustion chamber, where more efficient fuel combustion occurs thanks to a DPF filter and the SCR system. The customer thus benefits from a powerful and resilient engine that reduces operational costs and is easy to maintain. In addition, ZETOR engines are recognized for performance features such as high torque and easy starting even at low temperatures. Independent testing at Mendel University in Brno found that engines with STAGE IV emission solutions have 15–20% lower fuel consumption compared to engines of the previous generation, depending, of course on the task performed.
ZETOR also develops and manufactures transmissions for the ZETOR FORTERRA model series. It uses high quality materials that ensure durability, efficiency and a long lifespan. The FORTERRA HD is equipped with a transmission offering the customer five speeds in two ranges with a PowerShift three-stage multiplier and PowerShuttle hydraulic reverser. The PowerClutch – the clutch button on the gear shift – makes tractor operation easier. The transmission offers up to 30 forward speeds and 30 reverse speeds. In the most frequently used range of 4–12 km/h alone, the transmission has 13 speeds, even when the tractor is loaded. The upgraded FORTERRA HD, to be launched this autumn, will also be equipped with the energy efficient ECO transmission. With the new transmission which keeps the engine within an optimum rpm range, customers will see additional savings in operational expenses (up to 18%), once again depending on the job. The maximum speed of the tractor is 40 km/h at an efficient 1,750 rpm. The savings were confirmed by a test conducted by the tractor manufacturer.
The FORTERRA HD is equipped with a suspended front axle. The suspended front axle is a priceless feature during field work or in traffic and increases the level of comfort for tractor operators. The axle is structurally comprised of two separate and independently suspended half-axles. The axle’s lower sprung mass gives it a higher absorption and damping capacity, which results in a lower vibration level. The independent wheel suspension mechanism is technically very similar to multilink car wheel suspension. Customers can now also purchase a central lubrication system for the suspended front axle.
The tractor’s Bosch hydraulic system makes working with coupled implements easier. Two auxiliary hydraulic cylinders ensure uniform tractor loading and a maximum lifting force of 85 kN (8,500 kg). The Forterra HD is equipped with the unique HitchTronic system, which measures soil resistance during ploughing and automatically regulates the rear three-point hitch to fit the current level of resistance.
In terms of ergonomics and comfort, the machine is equipped with a spacious cabin and a multifunction panel, which combines all important controls in one place. The tractor is also equipped with a 100% differential lock or headland automatics which reduces the number of operations each time the tractor turns on the headland. This simplifies the operation of the machine, providing for better manoeuvrability.
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