A Busy, Reliable Fendt Fleet
Lippy Brothers Farms converted their tractor fleet to Fendt to work a massive row crop operation, among other diverse work, and haven’t looked back.
By Jamie Cole | Photos By Jamie Cole
Lippy Brothers Farms has one of the most diverse operations anywhere, and put a lot of hours on their equipment. (See the full story of their operation here.) Farming up to 10,000 acres a year of corn, soybeans, wheat and snap beans, along with a 400,000-bird laying operation and the usual land maintenance work around the farm, would be demanding for any fleet. Brad Rill of Lippy Brothers says efficiency and reliability are what set Fendt apart from other brands.
Rill admits he always associated Fendt tractors with dairies, “hauling a big manure tank,” he says with a smile. “We started to see Fendt tractors at farm shows, and then at the National Corn Growers Association convention we got a look at the Momentum planter,” he says. “So it intrigued us to look.”
“The Fendt tractors have made some design changes and became, I would say, more user-friendly for a row-crop-type scenario,” says Rill.
Working with Derek Weaver at Agriteer in Leola, Pennsylvania, Rill began to demo Fendt tractors to replace a fleet of John Deere equipment of similar size. He said he noticed immediately the difference in how the Fendt equipment goes about getting the job done. “The transmission and power source combined together really make it very fuel efficient, it’ll run at a lot lower RPM,” he says. “And the performance is still there.”
Rill also cites “top-notch technology” and the ability to communicate with equipment of all brands as another bonus. “I’ve got the best technology out there,” he says. Meanwhile, the Fendt Gold Star warranty means uptime and no surprises for three years; “that was huge for us,” says Rill.
Weaver helped them convert their fleet in 2020. “They run three of the 900 Series, two of the Fendt 700 Series, two of the Fendt 500 Series and one Fendt 1000,” says Weaver, noting that the Fendt 1050 “has allowed them to go to a 24-row Fendt Momentum planter,” the biggest they’ve ever had.“It’ll run at a lot lower RPM, and the performance is still there.”Click To Tweet
Rill notes that tight corners and hilly terrain had convinced him that 12-row planters were the best they could do, until he saw the Momentum. “It was a game changer,” he says, with the toolbar that can flex to the terrain and the technology to plant more efficiently in tight spaces. “We map all our fields, all our waterways,” he says. “With the Fendt planter and Fendt tractors, when we hit those waterways, each row shuts off our seed, our fertilizer… and so it’s created a huge savings and just awesome technology that has worked really well for us.”
Meanwhile, he says, it’s also the first planter they’ve had with hydraulic down force. “The combination of those things, the way the toolbar maneuvers and moves, the weight distribution from the center… We can definitely see some of the best stands we’ve ever had.”