9 July 1999

Still host to plenty of ideas & launches

WHILE it cannot be denied that the machinery lines at the Royal Show continue to shrink in volume – replaced by subjects perhaps less dear to the true agriculturist – this years event still managed to produce a crop of new developments.

For some manufacturers the Royal remains the show to be seen at, others are clearly not so sure and choose to exhibit at some of the more specialist events held throughout the UK.

Even so, there still remains an air of occasion at the Royal – one which has been cultured over the 150 years the event has now been running.

Capturing this aura in true Royal tradition was Valtra Tractors which announced the launch of a new tractor – the 135hp 8350.

Slotting midway in the companys current six-cylinder Mega range, the new model has the same hydraulics, transmission and cab features as before.

What is different, however, is the six-cylinder, 6.6 litre engine which has been set up to operate at 28% lower rpm than standard engines. Its rated output of 135hp is achieved at 1800 rpm and maximum torque of 650Nm at just 1250 rpm with torque reserve set at 23%.

Advantages of a slow running engine are listed as fuel economy, reduced engine wear and quieter operation.

According to UK company boss, John Nichols, the 8350 is a strange animal to drive, commenting that there is a feeling that the tractor is only running at half throttle.

"It is a peculiar feeling at first," he says. "But once youve become used to the operational speed of the engine you start to appreciate the incredible lugging power it has."

While lower operational engine speeds undoubtedly offers some advantages, it requires the drive to tractor functions such as hydraulic pumps to be reassessed. Engineers have had to increase the gear ratios to increase pump speed to maintain sufficient hydraulic flow and arrange ratios so 1000 and 540 pto is achieved at 1750 and 1595 rpm.

Furthermore, the 8350 is fitted with a 50kph box to create a true 40kph road speed at full throttle.

Available in Valmets range of body colours – and the new metallic paint option, the 8350 has a list price in the region of £54,500.