isn´t likely to be the last Fendt I own.
19-year old Nikolai Utne Helminsen has already spent a considerable number of hours behind the wheel of a tractor. He has been working since his early teens, first with a mower with a snowplough fitted to it, and now with a Fendt 516 Vario, and as an eager football supporter, he likes the fact, that the wheels are in Frederikstad red.
"I’m an apprentice at a landscape gardening company during the day, and will complete my certificate of apprenticeship before the summer. And then I also work privately during the evenings and at weekends,” explains Nikolai Utne Helminsen. Before Christmas, he got a Fendt 516 Vario, which he uses in is job as a landscaper gardener and contractor. During the winter, the tractor is used to clear and grit municipal gritting routes. But don’t let Nikolai’s young age fool you.
“My father is a landscape gardener, so I’ve experienced a little bit of everything over the years. I first started with a mower with a snowplough fitted to it, which I used around the neighbourhood. Then, when I went to secondary school, I bought a park tractor, and then I had a couple of other tractors before I invested in the Fendt."
Besides the tractor, Nikolai has a 5.5 tonne digger, a road sweeper attachment and a trailer. His father served as a joint guarantor for the Fendt, but it is his son who pays the loan. And this is enough to be going on with. “I came to an arrangement with the company where I’m an apprentice so that we weren’t working on each other’s patch. During the day, it’s mostly major construction projects, apartments, schools and nurseries. During the evening, it’s mostly private clients. The tractor is used both for transporting things such as loads and pallets and as a work tool. “I use it for everything really. It has a factory-fitted 4X80 Fendt Profi front loader with a weight and camera, which is very easy to use. I’m also pleased with the front hydraulic and front PTO.
It was in the autumn of last year that Nikolai first got to try the Fendt 516 Vario, and he was cnvinced immediately. “I bought a demo tractor from Eiksenteret Sarpsborg and have no regrets. It was the best of all worlds! I can’t imagine anything better in terms of comfort or driving capability. I’m also pleased with Eiksenteret. They answer all of my questions if I need to know anything, even if I ring during the evening.” The top model in the Fendt 500 series has 165HP and a four-cylinder engine with SCR technology, which gives it raw strength and makes it compact and good on emissions.” “As a contractor I have a variety of needs, and the Fendt has a good turning radius and can get into tight spots, while at the same time having the lifting power I need.”
Nikolai has quickly grown used to the stepless Vario transmission, which helps provide improved driver comfort and most importantly, lower fuel costs. “Acceleration is all that’s required. The stepless gearbox is so good that you hardly notice it. Everything just flows,” he says enthusiastically. “I use the multifunction lever all the time, and have saved the functions I need to control the tools. Everything’s in the armrest and is very comfortable. I can reduce the speed using the drive control, and generally drive using only the accelerator pedal. With the engine brakes, I hardly use the wheel brakes unless it’s for something special.
It is no coincidence that Fendt is doing very well in Norway at the moment. The combination of quality and technology makes it extremely effective and the overall ownership costs are favourable. “As this was a demo tractor, it came with GPS control, and I also have the Vario terminal 10.4”. I wasn’t used to the suspension compared with other tractors I’ve driven, but with suspension both on the front axle and on the driver’s cab, this is incredibly comfortable, especially on rough Norwegian roads.” Nikolai is now looking forward to taking his certificate of apprenticeship and is looking to the future. “So far, there hasn’t been anything go wrong with the tractor, so this isn’t likely to be the last Fendt I own.”