30 August 1996

Peter the Great aimed at UK…

LOOKING to gain a slice of the high horsepower market is UMO Belarus. Official name of the new 250hp Russian-built giant first seen at the Royal Show is the Turbo K734, but the name chosen for the UK market is Peter the Great.

The design includes articulated steering with four-wheel drive through equal size wheels.

Under the expanse of bonnet is a 14.5 litre, V-8 power plant. The height of the engine compartment is such that ladders are needed to allow service checks to be made.

Ladders are also required to actually get into the cab – there are two doors but the right hand entrance is almost completely blocked by transmission controls.

Once on board, the cab has a spacious interior with a mix of old and new features. The instrument panel, for example, looks dated with information shown on large dials rather than modern electronic graphic displays. An unusual feature is a large lever for priming the fuel lines if the machine runs out of diesel.

Visibility is excellent, helped by a sloping bonnet line and large windows – the windscreen has glass-to-glass bonded edges to eliminate corners and the massive exhaust and air intake plumbing is lined up with the door pillars.

One of the more interesting features is the front axle suspension system. Responsible for supporting 60% of the tractors 15.5t weight, large leaf springs and hydraulic shock absorbers help to provide one of the smoothest rides of any tractor.

Also unusual is the extensive use of air systems to operate front and rear brakes, hand-brake and transmission. It takes a few minutes to get used to waiting for the air pressure to build up after having started the engine.

With full pressure, the transmission operates with a series of switches for selecting forward/ reverse and the four ranges. Each range has four gears engaged through a semi-powershift, change-on-the-move system. There is no shuttle and only the bottom eight gears are available in reverse.

Specification includes an 800-litre fuel tank and a hydraulic lift capacity of 8t. Price is £72,190.

Joining the Belarus line-up is this cabless two-wheel-drive Orchard tractor. Designated the 680SP, it offers an 81hp powerplant coupled to a no-frills 11-speed mechanical gear box. With a 570rpm, 1000rpm and ground speed related pto and a hydraulic lift capacity rated at 2.8t, price is listed at £13,358. A four-wheel-drive. 91hp version is due to make its appearance later this year.

With a 14.5 litre, V-8 engine under its bonnet rated at 250hp, UMO Belarus Peter the Great makes light work of pulling a three-leg subsoiler.