A pair of Fendt tractors rated at 99hp and 124hp respectively are helping groundstaff at Leicestershire's Loughborough University maintain 20 high-profile sports pitches along with extensive areas of ornamental and amenity grass located across the university's 214ha campus.
Internationally recognised for its sports and sport-related teaching, research and development programmes, Loughborough University carried out detailed evaluation before deciding to give Fendt tractors the task of keeping its surfaces in prime condition throughout the year.
According to head groundsman, Mark Freeman, the addition of the two tractors to Loughborough's machinery fleet has improved significantly the efficiency, economy and comfort of a wide range of grounds maintenance and transport operations.
"Having the right equipment for the job makes all the difference," he said. "Thanks to the two Fendts, we are now seeing sustained reductions in the time, effort and costs involved in carrying out a range of grounds and pitch-related tasks."
Mark explained that the grounds maintenance team considered a number of makes when the time came to change the university's two existing main tractors.
"Since my days in agricultural research, I have been aware of Fendt's reputation for producing high quality, reliable and cost-effective tractors," he commented. "I was keen, therefore, to include the brand in the list of tractors we wanted to evaluate. Operators, Alan Washington and John Kendall, were most impressed with the tractor that was demonstrated and, after due consideration, we decided to go with Fendt, budget allowing."
The decision was rubber stamped when local Fendt dealer, G and R Pykett Ltd, pointed out that Loughborough could have its two new Fendt tractors on a special three year college lease arrangement. "Deal done and within budget," recalled a delighted Mark Freeman.
The Fendt models selected were a 312 Vario rated at 124hp, to be used primarily for sports pitch maintenance, and a 210 Vario, Fendt's first sub-100hp tractor with continuously-variable transmission (CVT). Rated at 99hp, the latter tractor was specified with a Fendt 3X front loader for its main role of lifting, loading and moving bulky materials around the university campus.
Optional features selected for the larger 312 Vario include front axle and cab suspension systems and Fendt's Tractor Management System (TMS) which provides an intelligent electronic link between the tractor's engine and transmission. In practice, TMS lets the driver set the ideal working speed, leaving electronics to maintain the most economical engine speed and transmission settings for optimum power delivery, fuel efficiency and ride comfort.
Mark Freeman commended the after-sales support provided by Fendt and its dealer, G and R Pykett, which included a direct line to the dealer's technicians, so any query could be quickly resolved as the groundstaff got to know their two new tractors.
"Such back-up gives peace of mind while ensuring that we get the best out of two tractors that have lived up to all expectations," said Mark. "The quality of the brand is widely known within agriculture but our two tractors are proving they can do a very effective job in grounds care also. We will certainly be buying Fendt again."