Fendt Tractors Mean Quality, Efficiency

Fuel efficiency and a warranty program that “makes it easy”: Just two reasons that Ramona Dairy transitioned to Fendt tractors.

By Jamie Cole | Photos By Jamie Cole

Dermot Coll of Quinn Ag Products in Bakersfield, California, says his dealership introduced the Fendt tractor line to Ramona Dairy just 18 months ago. Recently, Ramona owner Josh De Jong and his crew took delivery on its eighth Fendt tractor. Quite the commitment to a brand for the San Jacinto, California, dairy, in just the space of a year and a half. (See the full story of Ramona Dairy here.)

It was quality that first attracted Ramona Dairy to Fendt, says Andrea Van Hattem, who runs the front office at the dairy and minds its books. Air quality, that is. California’s FARMER program—Funding Agricultural Replacement Measures for Emission Reductions—provides financial incentives for upgrading to newer equipment with better emission ratings. Meanwhile, Ramona’s existing equipment from a competing tractor line “was falling apart on us,” says Van Hattem.

“Man, it’s all plastic now,” says Josh De Jong, owner and manager of Ramona Dairy, when describing the competing tractor brand the operation ran previously. “We really like the sturdiness of the (Fendt) equipment and how well it’s built,” says Van Hattem. “We put our equipment through rigorous daily activity.”

Josh estimates, for instance, the tractors that run their feed wagons work at least 4,300 hours a year. They’re feeding a half million pounds a day. Sturdiness is a requirement, but the real difference showed after comparing fuel use to their previous brand of tractors.

“I think Fendt was a good fit for the Ramona operation because of the fuel efficiency that they’re seeing when they’re running feed wagons,” says Coll. De Jong agrees, adding, “Just the fuel difference alone makes the payment on the tractor.”

“What they’ve seen here at Ramona is, you’re turning a feed wagon and mixing feed,” says Coll. “It’s not going from point A to point B as much, but it is constantly being used 10 to 12 hours a day. The Fendt runs at about 1,600, 1,650 RPMs compared to some of our competitors who are running at 2,200 RPMs while that feed wagon is turning.”

The lower RPMs not only help the engine last longer, but also contribute to the fuel savings De Jong sees.

“The models that Ramona has currently here are from the 500 series, 700 series, and the 900 series,” says Andy Lack, the sales representative for Quinn who works with Ramona on their tractor purchases. “They all have their certain jobs.” While the 900 series tractors run the feed wagons and vacuum the lanes (water restrictions in California don’t permit flushing like in dairies further east), the lower horsepower models keep corrals clean.

Constant operation means constant need for operators, so creature comforts and ease of use are important to Ramona. “From an operator standpoint, it’s a fun tractor to run. Nice cabs on them,” says De Jong.

Meanwhile, De Jong appreciates that the Fendt Gold Star maintenance program “makes things easy for us,” he says. Meanwhile, “Quinn Company has been great. They always take great care of us,” he says.

While the Fendt line is fairly new to the region, Coll says Fendt is already setting a high bar. “Whether you’re using it in a dairy application or using it in row crop, or you’re using it to pull heavy tillage, the durability, the reliability, and the efficiency of the Fendt tractor is world renowned,” he says.