18 September 1998

Renault adds to its family

Renault has spent the last

five years revitalising its

tractor ranges. But the story

is not yet complete.

Andy Collings reports from

Bordeaux on the companys

latest developments

ATTRACTIVE new products, released on a regular basis, are the life blood of the machinery manufacturer.

Renaults latest batch of introductions should ensure the firms health, at least on this score.

Recognising that power is the order of the day – if only to create a flagship following – Renault has now topped its Ares range with a 185hp model, with the intention of soon extending it into the 250hp zone.

But while having powerful tractors in the portfolio is important, the bread and butter income must come from smaller models. On this basis, there is now the Herdsman range – three models offering 52hp to 76hp – and the similarly-powered orchard and vineyard Dionis and Fructus ranges.

But first a look at the new Ares 735RZ, a model which brings the range to a total of 12 models. Built in the same style as before, weight distribution is spread equally between front and rear axles.

Power comes from a high torque, 6-cylinder DPS intercooled engine rated at 185hp while the transmission comprises the companys Quadrishift – 32 forward and 32 reverse gears achieved through the use of four ratios, two ranges, with four powershift ratios in each.

Beefed up axles – the front has steering angle detection – are included in the specification. Hydraulic circuitry has an output of 110 litres/min and maximum lift at ball joints is 11,330kg.

Fitted with Renaults RZ cab, hydraulic push-back pick-up hitch, and an on-board systems managing, fault finding diagnostic computer, the 735RZ costs £62,175.

A new option for 500 and 600 Ares models is a clutchlessly-operated shuttle facility. Designated the Revershift, it comprises two hydraulic clutches. When reverse is selected, hydraulic pressure transfers the engine torque to a planetary gear train to turn the output shaft in the opposite direction. The unit fits immediately behind the engine tail shaft and before the tractors Twinshift or Quadrishift.

The design is such that forward or reverse directions can be selected in any selected gear; the speed is matched equally. A lever just below the steering wheel is lifted out of its retaining indent and moved to another. It is an operation which can be achieved without having to let go of the steering wheel.

Smooth in action, a change of direction calls for the tractor to slow gently before taking the drive up in the opposite direction. While use in higher gears could be limited, if at all possible in top gear, tasks such as loading or round baling will be eased. The Revershift adds another £800 to the price.

The Herdsman 210, 230 and 240 models at their respective 52hp, 67hp and 76hp are aimed, as their designation suggests at the livestock sector and the vast variety of work demanded there.

Built to produce the Renault "family" look with a rounded bonnet, these workhorses are powered by 3-cylinder (52hp) and 4-cylinder (67hp and 76hp) engines. Features include a digital readout for engine speed, theoretical tractor speed, pto speed and hours. Renault also provides TCE5 electronic lift system for these tractors to manage among others, position control, draft control, height control and quick entry facility. &#42

ARES 735RZ

&#8226 Engine DPS, 6-cyl intercooled 185hp.

&#8226 Transmission 32 x 32.

&#8226 Hydraulic lift max 11,330kg.

&#8226 Price with computer and hydraulic hitch: £62,175.

HERDSMAN 210, 230, 240

&#8226 Engine 3-cyl 52hp, 4-cyl 67hp and 76hp.

&#8226 Transmission 8 x 8 with creeper option.

&#8226 Hydraulic lift max 3578kg.

&#8226 Price TBA.