2 March 2001

Tough hybrid more than just a people carrier

By Andy Collings

ATV performance with tractor capability, is the claim for the Goldoni Quad tractor now marketed by Colchester-based BSG Tractors and Machinery.

"The ATV was never designed as anything more than a people carrier," says BSG director Graham Godward. "Even though companies have developed add-on equipment it will always be a compromise situation."

Sterling words which several may take issue with, but when such machines are compared with the Goldoni Quad, it seems a plausible argument.

A similar size to an ATV, the Quad is an articulated unit having a turning radius of 2.25m. The driver sits on the rear unit which is connected to the front section by a linkage which can also pivot to allow ground contact with all four wheels to be maintained. Steering is mechanical but there are plans for later versions to be equipped with a hydrostatic system.

Power is provided by a 21.5hp Lombardini air-cooled, two-cylinder diesel engine driving through a 6 x 3 mechanically selected transmission. The machine is in constant four wheel drive and there are differential locks front and rear.

All pretty straightforward so far but now we come to the two key features which set the Quad apart from the ATV. Firstly there are two ptos – one which is engine driven for 540 and an "economy" 750 rpm, and another which is ground speed related. Then there is the three-point linkage which, rated at 500kg lift, would appear to be well set to handle anything the 21hp machine is likely to handle.

Driving the Quad is not a lightning, knees-in-the-breeze experience – Mr Godward concedes that the ATV could knock spots off the Quad if speed was all it was about.

The two-cylinder diesel plods at seemingly impossible low revs as the machine climbs and descends steep slopes at will. Machine control is reasonable – the articulated steering takes a bit of coming to terms with – and the drum brakes are more than adequate.

Operators with large feet could find the foot plates border on the small side and the gearbox, with its abundance of neutral positions, initially perplexing, but most will find the range of tasks the Quad can perform appealing.

"It takes the ATV market into a more functional league," says Mr Godward. &#42

GOLDONI QUAD

Engine: 21.5hp Lombardini

Transmission: Mechanical 6 x 3

Wheel widths: 985cm – 1200cm (spacers)

Steering: Articulated 2.25m radius

Price: from £5495