A Tractor That Fills “All Their Needs”
Fendt 700 Vario tractors serve the farmers and citizens of RM Taché with dependability and adaptability.
By Jamie Cole | Photos By Jordan Popowich
“Some of the local farmers were using Fendt, and we dreamed about it, having it in our fleet,” says Andy Brandt, public works director for the rural municipality (RM) of Taché in Manitoba, Canada. (See more about their story here.)
Brandt and his operators, some of whom have ties to farming, know that Fendt is the class of farm tractors. Many have used other brands, both on the job in RM Taché and on the farm, and “keep coming back to the Fendt line,” says Brandt. The performance, power and comfort of the Fendt line made it as right for the demanding work in the RM as it is for demanding work on the farm, and the return on investment is undeniable. That led to the RM purchasing a Fendt 716 and 718; the former has been at work for years already and the latter is on order.
Just which benefit of the Fendt ownership has the biggest return is a tough question to answer, says Brandt. “They’re all pretty important in my eyes,” he says. The first he mentions might not be as easily quantifiable in dollars as it is in personnel performance, he says, but when he approached the RM Council (similar to a county commission or city council in the States) about the purchase, he made the case effectively. “Our operators are much more comfortable in the Fendt, and I tell my council that if we can provide a better work environment for our operators, they are going to perform at a higher rate.”
He mentions one operator that told him he could work hours more in the RM’s Fendt than the John Deere that had been their primary tractor. “Where it was really evident,” Brandt says, “the guys would mow in the Fendt for 12 to 14 hours a day. They would come out of that Fendt tractor and would walk up to me and say, ‘You know what? I can go another few hours, if you want.’”
Ken Manaigre, whose family farms in RM Taché, agrees. “The creature comforts are second to none,” he says, but notes that some other aspects are indeed more quantifiable. “The transmission system is very unique to it, as far as helping with fuel efficiency,” he says. All the operator has to do is set the speed, and the Tractor Management System adjusts the transmission and engine to its optimal performance for fuel economy.
The result has been about a 30% savings in fuel over the John Deere, or some $700 a month based on the intense workload the Fendt carries. (See more about how RM Taché uses the Fendt tractor here.)
Meanwhile, Manaigre calls working with their dealership, AgWest Ltd., “seamless. Any issues we’ve had, they’ve taken care of us.” Down time, Manaigre says, is not an option; taxpayers have expectations, especially in wintertime when roads need to be cleared of snow quickly.
Kris Bezditny of AgWest says he knew reliability and service made Fendt right for RM Taché, and the brand brings the same benefits to farmers. “The Fendt does come with a standard 3-year warranty, along with the maintenance package. So fixed costs are set for three years.”