Hover over the title of this article to join in with one of the most famous songs by Laurent Voulzy... the magic of opera? Does it uncover long-lost memories? There is a 100% risk that this report will seriously influence your next choice of holiday destination...
With its 85 km2, Belle-Île-en-Mer emerges as a vast ridge overlooking the ocean at an average altitude of 40 m. Nicknamed the Pearl of the Atlantic, this territory between sky and sea, 14 km from Quiberon, is the largest of Brittany's islands. Battered by the waves, its black cliffs mainly consist of shale, every so often giving way to beautiful beaches that offer a wonderful panorama for summer sunsets.The island is home to just over 5,000 permanent residents which multiplies in the summer months to a population of 40,000. Decked out in its lavish natural landscapes, the island attracts a number of very important tourists and must look its best every morning! To keep it looking shipshape, the council of Bangor has armed itself with a valuable ally to maintain the roadsides and paths: a new Fendt Vario 300 Stage 4.
Fresh off the Marktoberdorf production line over the summer, the Vario 310 Stage 4 spent its first months at Espace Agri, the dealer having completed the sale of the tractor and equipping it with a grass cutter and a frontal grinder to fulfil its future purpose of mowing roadside hedges. Once completed, the Vario 300 began its career with a baptism at sea!With plenty of daily connections between Quiberon and Belle-Île, for its first crossing the Vario 310 found a place on an Océane du Morbihan liner. Placed in the bowels of this ocean giant, the Fendt aroused the curiosity and interest of all the passengers, especially when it was unloaded. Not least because of its orange paintwork, the tractor stood out among all the passenger cars and was not going unnoticed.
Led by the municipal employee of Bangor, Patrice Danic, the tractor ploughs on to the technical plant located about 15 minutes from the port for the equipment's first job in situ. The municipal team took advantage of this brief stopover to explore their latest acquisition. The sight of the tractor provoked a unanimous reaction:
"This is a really nice bit of kit and will replace our old equipment which after many years' loyal service was no longer fit for purpose." Some added: "working on the specifications and tender process was a long, drawn out affair but it allowed us to compare similar offers and I think we made the right choice".
Beyond the purely commercial relationship, the commune also wanted to ensure a seamless quality of service bearing in mind that the geographical position of the island requires a certain knowledge of the sector. Espace Agri had that knowledge, already having several customers in Belle-Île. After all, behind the picturesque scenery, the island still has 40 farms and several livestock farms, including sheep farms that mostly sell direct and through local businesses.
After the theory comes practice; accompanied by the communal employee, members of the Espace Agri team and the Fendt commercial inspector, the tractor headed for the Goulphar Lighthouse in Bangor to show off the equipment's dynamic handling. A historical French monument; this lighthouse towers 52.25 m high and boasts a scope of over 27 miles thanks to a halogen lamp of over 1,000 W; houses a museum inside.
This is a tourist destination where the Vario 300 will also come and work several times a year to make its surroundings look impeccable.In the cab the discussions are well underway with people forming their first impressions on its use. For the driver, the difference is striking: "the silence in the cabin is remarkable. I was used to working with the noise but I think I'll be able to shelve the ear protectors I used to wear in the old tractor", he goes on to say: "And the transmission is also impressive; flexible, precise, and I love the fact that I can change my forward speed without changing the engine rpm, giving me a stable rotor speed for the grass cutter".
"The arrangement of the controls and the 5-level cab give me excellent visibility over the grass cutter barrow without having to focus too much on the right side of the cab. I also like being able to change gears with a pedal, leaving my right hand completely free to control the grass cutter.With tens of kilometres of roadside to maintain, the Vario 310 will work in the commune of Bangor, the largest municipality on the island.
Let's just put that into perspective Several hundred hours of use over the year and for the driver the satisfaction of working in one of the most beautiful parts of France at the wheel of one of the best tractors in its class.Now that you have found your next holiday destination... once you're on the island, spare a thought for the Fendt 310 which has done its part to maintain this awe-inspiring landscape.
Facing the ocean, it is easy to imagine the power of the waves crashing down on the cliffs in stormy weather: