It is a golden autumn day, when we have the opportunity to talk with Richard Johansson on the Västergården farm near the town of Mellerud in Western Sweden. It is sunny, windy and ideal weather to drive in the remaining fava beans. The trailer is being pulled by a shiny, brand-new Fendt 313 S4.
Run by Richard and Anna Johansson together with Richard Johansson’s parents and five employees, the Västergården and Grunsbo farms specialise in cattle and plant production. The Västergården Grunsbo AB farm enterprise has 650 young cattle, from calves up to fully grown young animals, as well as 900 hectares of arable land, of which 600 hectares are their own. Most of the cultivation is done according to organic principles. “We started organic farming on a small scale in 1998 and slowly expanded it. Today it makes up for about 70 percent. We produce forage for the animals on the part that is farmed conventionally,” reports Richard Johansson. For several years now, the enterprise has also been building drainages, both on their own land and, as a contractor, for others.
A large farm, many animals and earth-moving work require a solid fleet of machines. Right now six Fendt models are being used on the two farms: one 936, one 828, two 720 and the two new 313 S4. It was not clear from the very start if the old tractors would be replaced by the new Fendt 313 S4. Since the series was completely new, there were no demo models to test. So Richard Johansson went to the Fendt works in Marktoberdorf to test the prototypes for himself. After clarifying things like the arrangement of the linkage, this visit resulted in two additional Fendts moving onto the farm. “They are used as “all-round tractors” here: they drive straw into the stables, tow livestock trailers and other wagons, and are used for front loader work,” explains Richard Johansson. He estimates that they will be used about 750 hours a year.
With six Fendts on his farm, Richard Johansson is very familiar with the advantages of the brand. “The three major advantages, in no particular order, are quality, fuel consumption and the organisation of sales and servicing, which is provided by Lantmännen Maskin. Our dealer, Nils-Richard Högberg, is very committed and always looking out for our best interests. That makes a big difference,” explains Richard Johansson. Tractors from Fendt have been in operation on the farms for many years now. Richard Johansson has found that there are generally only very few problems with the tractors. They are reliable and do a good job. “Of course, the models are still in the testing phase right now. We’ll see if they have any teething problems,” laughs Johansson, without a trace of concern. “We are very satisfied with the tractors. They make a solid impression and demonstrate good handling when driving on the road. A real plus is the beautiful new cab from Fendt’s own production. Good cab, good visibility and good comfort. The curved windscreen, which provides excellent upward visibility, makes the tractor perfect for front loader work,” explains Johansson.
Fendt is especially well known for its low fuel consumption. One of the most important advantages in Johansson’s opinion: “No one else can match the transmission from Fendt; it is simply unique and lowers fuel consumption. The difference is especially apparent during mixed trips and transport with low loads. If could be that the S4 engine makes the difference even bigger. But we haven’t had the new tractors long enough to determine this for sure. In the meantime, the “all-round tractors” continue to do their job. Agile and efficient, exactly the way it should be,” concludes Richard Johansson. "A real plus is the beautiful new cab from Fendt’s own production."