1 November 1996

From Russia with shove – crawler could fill gap

By Peter Hill

THE VT-100 crawler tractor from the Volgograd Tractor Plant in Russia may not have the sophistication of its latest US counterparts (FW, Oct 11), but importer UMO Belarus believes it could appeal to those wanting to replace elderly steel track tractors.

"There are quite a few old Track Marshall and Fiat crawlers in use farmers will eventually want to replace," notes Bob Norris, sales manager at UMO Belarus, Letchworth, Herts. "The VT-100 would be a good candidate for those wanting a simple and robust tracklaying tractor; the machines we sold in Britain some 25 years ago are still working, which proves their longevity."

At around £46,000, the VT-100 undercuts its US rivals, but makes do with traditional lever steering, albeit with air assistance to give the driver an easier time. But rubber tracks are available, giving the machine the same road mobility.

"In fact, there is a choice of steel tracks, which ultimately give the best traction, all-rubber tracks and a combination of steel with rubber pads," notes Mr Norris. "All have sprocket drive for positive operation, and four pivoting track rollers with coil springing which keeps the tracks in full contact with the ground at all times and helps provide a smoother ride."

The four-cylinder turbo diesel engine can be switched to one of two power outputs – 120hp for drawbar work, 150hp for pto operations – by altering fuel delivery from the injection pump, and the machine drives through a 5F/1R speed box, which can be supplemented with a creeper gearbox.

All-up weight is 7.12t.

The cab design looks to give adequate visibility but is sparsely equipped – although drivers do get a fitted first aid kit and flask with every machine.

This VT-100 crawler from UMO Belarus has pivoting track rollers with spring tensioning and a choice of steel, rubber or steel and rubber tracks.