Specialist forces deployed

by Andy Bryenton

The orchard, vineyard or horticultural enterprise of today requires more than just your average tractor.

In fact, with the machines used in the open field becoming larger and more powerful each year, it makes perfect sense that the coveted Tractor of the Year competition, held in Milan, Italy, now contains a category just for horticultural machines.

The winner of this category for 2019 is the Same Frutteto CVT 115 S, a compact machine with a whole lot of technology packed into its slender frame.

Slender, of course, to fit between the rows of trees or vines, and equipped with the correct linkages and power take-off to run highly specialised harvesting or super-narrow cultivation and upkeep implements.

The stature of the Frutteto is not where it ends. There’s an innovative FARMotion turbo diesel under the hood, available as either a frugal three or powerful four-cylinder configuration.

It’s good for 113hp at just 2,200rpm and is mated to a smooth CVT transmission, which allows for on-road transport speeds of up to 40kp/h, or a very precise ‘crawl’ at low speeds as the tractor navigates orchard spaces.

Moreover, because many horticulture operations are laid out on hilly ground, there’s even the option to replace the conventional swinging front axle with a new hydropneumatic, independent front suspension system with active control. The damping rate and spring stiffness are automatically adjusted by an electronic module, leading to a very smooth ride and sure-footedness.

No wonder that 25 leading European tractor reviewers agreed to make this their pick of the crop for 2019!