6 November 1998

Zetor goes west west

with a bargain…

With the introduction of its

restyled UR1 Super range,

Zetor offers the price-

conscious farmer its first

westernised design of tractor. Ian Marshall

drove the biggest

model in the range to find

out how it performs

EAST meets West – Czech technology is clothed in western styling in Zetors UR1 tractors introduced to the UK earlier this year.

A three-model range covering the 60 – 84hp bracket, it is unashamedly aimed at the price-conscious livestock and smaller-acreage arable farmer who, says the company, is looking for value for money in terms of £/hp, ease of maintenance and simplicity of operation.

All are offered in two and four-wheel-drive with power across the range coming from the 4-cyl direct injection long stroke engine used in the 40 series – turbo charged in the 84hp model.

This drives through a 5-forward/2-reverse 40kph transmission with high and low ratio and sychromesh on all gears other than first.

Zetor admits that previous models have lacked a touch in styling and driver comfort. Those points have been addressed through reshaping the bodywork, fitting a new flat floor cab and repositioning the main gear lever.

farmers weekly caught up with the most powerful model in the range, the 84hp 7341 Superturbo, in Suffolk, where it was able to get a fair idea of its performance in pto and draft work by putting it through its paces firstly with a power harrow/drill combination complete with 1.8m (6ft) front linkage mounted furrow press, and then a 4-furrow reversible plough.

No doubt about it, the first thing to strike you about the UR1 is the new shape, which, says Zetor, sets the tone for the next generation of tractors coming out of the Brno factory.

Gone are the straight lines of the bonnet, replaced by curves with a slightly drooping nose. The exhaust stack has not been moved to the cab A-pillar, but it is slim and does not impede visibility to any noticeable degree.

As to the cab, it would sit comfortably on any other up market make of tractor. Wide opening doors give access to a cavernous interior – there is plenty of elbow room and a vault of space above the drivers head.

Floor to ceiling glass means excellent visibility to the front and sides. To the rear there is good sight of the implement – and a wide opening window – but a panel at the bottom section of the cab does obscure sight of the link arms.

Also, the downside of a large glass area on a warm day is that the cab gets hot. The air conditioning option would have been welcome.

A final concession to operator comfort is a fully adjustable KAB seat, fitted in the UK. There is no tilt or telescope on the steering wheel, but it does not get in the way when entering and leaving the cab to any extent.

As to the transmission and hydraulic controls, take a couple of steps back in time. A feature of the UR1 range is its simplicity and straightforwardness of operation. So there are no dials, switches or buttons: just levers, whose positions are such they are easily reached and worked but do not encroach on cab space.

To the drivers right is the main gear lever. Its been moved from its previous position between the operators knees to get a flat floor design. Behind it are a bank of three quadrants for hydraulic operating mode – with position, mixed and draft settings – link arm lift and lower, and the hydraulic services.

Twist lever

Speed of link arm response is set on a twist lever located below the seat and high/low ratio selection is on a stubby lever protruding from the transmission cover bulkhead down by the drivers feet.

In the well to the left of the seat are the handbrake and pto engagement lever. Below them is a short ground/engine speed pto selector. This also comes out of the transmission cover bulkhead, as do two auxiliary service control levers which are higher up, level with the drivers left calf.

It does not take long for an operator to locate and get familiar with the controls; definitely points in the tractors favour.

Then it was down to the nitty gritty of driving.

It is accepted that safety cut outs are a necessary evil to prevent a machine being started accidentally. The Zetors certainly does that. To fire her up, it is a case of holding the gearstick, in neutral, with the right hand to the left of the gate, then reaching under the steering wheel and across to the key on the right hand face of the dashboard console bulkhead.

At tick-over, the cabs 82dBA rating keeps noise on the outside where it belongs.

Nothing complicated about gear selection, foot on the clutch and engage. Second and fifth are in an H-pattern with the even numbers on the bottom; for first and reverse it is across the gate to the left and up and down, respectively.

In the field, the 7341s quoted lift capacity of 4t had no difficulty handling the 3m (10ft) power harrow/pneumatic drill combination, low ratio 4th at 2000rpm giving a comfortable working speed of 4mph.

Keeping the machine in a straight line and turning at the headlands are easy, the fully hydrostatic steering is light but precise; although hydraulic levers have to be pushed and pulled firmly and positively, they are responsive.

Working at a depth of 27.5cm (11in) in a fairly heavy clay loam with 1t of reversible plough set at 15.4cm (14in) showed that the engine is a good plodder with plenty of guts. In four wheel drive and low ratio 4th at 2000rpm the tractor fairly sang along. You know it is working, but only from a steady uncomplaining growl.

It took dropping to around 700revs before the engine started to struggle, with pick up smooth and immediate as soon as the power was turned on.

With its new look, the UR1 7341 Superturbo is a comfortable, honest workhorse with style but no delusions of grandeur.

Yes, the tractor is still more basic than its Western counterparts, but that is the price you pay for the price you pay – and at a net £19,000 it can be considered a bargain.

New flat floor cab provides good visibility, lets in plenty of light and gives plenty of elbow room to reach basic control levers.

&#8226 Engine: 4-cyl turbocharged

&#8226 Max power: 84hp at 2000rpm

&#8226 Transmission: 10 forward/2 reverse (synchro 2-5), 40kph

&#8226 Max lift capacity: quoted 4t

&#8226 Pump output: 50 litres/min

&#8226 Pto 540/1000 rpm with selectable ground/engine speed synchronisation.

&#8226 Price (net): £19,000

New look UR1 7341 Superturbo is a comfortable, honest workhorse with style but no delusions of grandeur.