Landini is determined to make headway in the arable sector and aims to capture 8% of the total UK tractor market, a share the firm already claims in Ireland.
If the Italian manufacturer is to grab such a large slice, then its new high horsepower tractors are going to have to compete in the predominately arable areas.
We took the largest unit – the 214hp Powermaster 220 – to the heavy clays of St Neots, Cambridgeshire, to see how it would handle a seven-furrow Lemken mounted plough.
Having spent time working this land in a previous life, experience tells me that seven furrows is perhaps a tad ambitious, but we focus on the job at hand.
|Landini powermaster 220|
Engine 6.7-litre Iveco 6-cyl common rail
First things first.
Good practice is to check oil levels before setting off, something that is drilled into you from a young age when working with machinery.
But checking the big Landini’s engine oil is not straightforward.
Common sense would suggest the dipstick would be found to either the left or right of the engine block.
But five minutes of wandering from side to side brought only frustration.
Hidden is the best word to describe its location.
It was eventually found on the left-hand side near the cab, tucked neatly away behind a plastic cover for the front axle suspension accumulators.
Pre-flight checks complete, it is off to the field.
With a heavy seven-furrow on the tail, there is little weight on the front wheels, giving a sense that the tractor is a bit light for 214hp.
The cab is bright and airy and allows plenty of headroom.
It is a pity that poorly finished grey plastic trim takes such prominence over the other good features, which include a fitted passenger seat, flask holder and the fold-out document wallet.
Landini has chosen a four-post set-up for the cab, meaning that the two doors swing wide, making for easy access and good visibility when seated.
Gearbox operation is simple enough.
Flicking a rocker switch on the main armrest-mounted joystick results in a change through one of the eight powershift steps.
Shifting between the four ranges requires a trigger button on the front of the joystick to be squeezed as the rocker switch is flicked.
During range changes this button must be held for three seconds, which sounds like a short time, but in practice is too long.
It causes frustration when changes are missed because you have let go of the button too soon.
Back to business and to how the tractor copes with the plough.
The linkage controls are set – simple, straightforward stuff – and the transmission is in range two, powershift step three.
Dropping the plough into the ground, the tractor pulls away strongly and shows no signs of burying itself.
Working up through a couple of gears, it puts up a decent fight even as we hit the tough stuff.
Working somewhere between 5-6kph (3-3.5mph), in reality we need to drop a furrow off the back to really be getting over the ground, but this is not boys’ land, it is very heavy going.
Easing the workload for headland turns, it is possible to use preset “work” and “headland” engine speeds and set four-wheel drive and diff-locks to work automatically in conjunction with the linkage.
This means that both are knocked out as the link-arms reach 40% lift height and re-engage as they drop.
– Cab visibility
– Oil dipstick location
This tractor has a huge mountain to climb if it is to help Landini capture market share in the arable sector.
Convincing owners and operators to switch from their favoured model is no easy task, but the machine certainly offers an alternative to the other 200hp models on the market.
The transmission works reasonably well, but needs a few minor tweaks.
Hydraulic performance is as good as it needs to be and, with a 50kph option, it has got flexibility.
Lightweight and compact, it is the sort of machine that can be lugging a cultivator in the morning and hauling grain in the afternoon.
It boasts a degree of technological sophistication, but nowhere near Fendt or Deere standards.
At nearly seventy grand, it is priced competitively in this sector.