The Fendt 826: An Easy Tractor To Love

After one test drive, an Iowa dairy family knew they’d found the right machine.

By Boyce Upholt | Photos By Christy Couch Lee

BJ Blanchard has spent his life in agriculture and had always heard that Fendt® made, as he says, the “Cadillac of tractors.” But it wasn’t until 2017, as a 36-year-old, that he finally took a Fendt 826 for a test drive.

“And I loved the tractor instantly,” he says.

The Blanchard family with the Fendt 826.

Blanchard, along with his mother, Mitzie, and three other family members, owns Blanchard Family Dairy in Charlotte, Iowa, and uses the 260-HP tractor to mow the forage they feed to their cows.

“Some of our fields are stretched out—14 miles apart,” Blanchard says, which makes the tractor’s 31-mph road speed essential. Blanchard says he used to use a truck to pull his silage cart for corn, but the Fendt has proved even better, given its speed, along with the maneuverability and traction of its industry-leading front-end-assist technology.

He’s also taken a shine to the CVT, a Fendt innovation. “We’ve gotten so accustomed to that, that it’s become a must-have,” he says of the continuously variable transmission, which he finds incredibly user-friendly, since it ends the need to think about what gear he needs in each situation. The cab, too, has proved popular, thanks to its exceptional visibility and the smooth ride of its mechanical cab suspension. Blanchard says every fall there are arguments over whose turn it is to drive the Fendt.

Back when Blanchard took that fateful test drive at A.C. McCartney Farm Equipment in Durand, Illinois, it was the nearest dealer who carried Fendt products. He was worried at first, because the dealer is more than two hours away. But whenever he’s needed service, a technician has shown up within hours. Blanchard’s salesman, Ryan Raab, is always just a phone call away, Blanchard says. He figures he’ll be back in Durand next time he needs a new tractor, looking at another Fendt.