31 October 1997

Kverneland aims for full line

By Geoff Ashcroft

TOP of Kvernelands agenda for the next millennium is becoming a full line implement manu- facturer/distributor.

"We want to increase our product range, introduce many new and improved machines and achieve 25% market share in everything we do," says Atle Eide, president and chief executive of the Norwegian firm.

"To achieve our ambitions, we intend to further improve machine quality, reduce delivery times and provide value for money," he says.

And as part of this wide brief, Mr Eide also sees his firm gaining a stronger position in grassland tackle over the next few years, while developing a broader range. He also has his sights on acquiring strong brand names in the sprayer and fertiliser spreader markets.

Kverneland already claims the number one spot in Europe for ploughs, pneumatic drills, combination equipment and mower conditioners, and next to achieve the number one spot, says the firm, is its latest range of power harrows.

The UK power harrow market is an area in which the company admits it has been weak. Kvernelands sales are about 175 units a year, while market leader Kuhn is reported to sell about 800 a year.

Built at the firms Maletti factory in Modena, Italy, the NG (New Generation) models include rigid and folding versions with working widths from 2-6m (6.5-20ft). All replace the companys PHB line.

Five variants are available: NG12 covers 2m, 2.5m and 3m (6.5ft, 8.2ft and 10ft) widths for tractors up to 120hp; NG14 is 2.5m and 3m (8.2ft and 10ft) models for tractors up to 140hp; NG18 includes 3, 3.5 and 4m (10, 11.4 and 13ft) machines for tractors up to 180hp; NG25 is 4m (13ft) and 4.5m (14.7ft) models for tractors up to 250hp; Fold 400, 500 and 600 are hydraulically folding units of 4m, 5m and 6m (13ft, 16.4ft and 20ft), respectively.

Among the improvements is the use of closer spaced tine rotors and angled blades, to achieve a lower power requirement. An even number of rotors across the working width means the end rotors turn inwards to prevent a ridging effect at either side of the machine.

Each tine rotor is shrouded so only the tines can run in the soil. It makes for easier blade replacement says Kverneland, as the bolts are not worn away, and captured nuts on lock plates above the rotor means tine changing is a single spanner operation.

The rear packer roller has a greater range of adjustment and the use of square locking pins – compared with round ones – is said to reduce pin wear and result in more accurate depth adjustment. All the scrapers can be adjusted to the packer roller in one movement, while individual scraper blades are reversible.

On 3m models, the side boards are mounted on a cranked arm, which enables the machine to fit within the transport limit by folding the side boards on to the main trough. Wider rigid models can be fitted with an end-tow kit.

Prices are expected to start at £6035 for the NG models, with folding versions from £19,000. &#42

Above: Kvernelands NG power harrow range is expected to net the firm a bigger slice of the UK market. Right: Kvernelands Atle Eide:"We are looking for 25% market share in all product ranges."