This year marked the first of the Lamma show’s new era at Birmingham’s indoor National Exhibition Centre.
The event is showcasing not just large machinery manufacturers, but also smaller agricultural engineering and machinery firms from across the UK.
We look at the latest tractors and telehandlers, some of it on view for the first time.
Fendt Ideal Combine
Following its glitzy launch in Breganze, Italy, back in September 2017 and a summer of demos last year, Agco’s flagship Ideal rotary combine is set to do its first proper harvest this summer.
As the Ideal is a joint Agco project, the three-model range is being offered in one graphite colour scheme and will have the choice of Massey Ferguson or Fendt badges in the UK and Challenger in the US.
However, with Agco deciding not to have a Massey presence at the show – sparking further industry rumours that the brand could go up for sale – visitors were only able see the Fendt-badged version.
The biggest of the bunch is the Ideal 9, which Agco reckons has the ability to outperform the highest-capacity machines from New Holland and Claas.
Power comes from a 15.2-litre, six-cylinder MAN engine developing 647hp. Threshing is carried out by a pair of helical threshing cylinders running the length of the machine.
Other headline figures include a 17,100-litre grain tank with a high-output unloading auger that can wind out a full load in about 1min 30s.
The slightly smaller Ideal 8 gets its power from a 12.4-litre MAN block – the same one used in Fendt’s 1000-series tractors – and has a similar twin-rotor setup to its bigger brother.
That just leaves the Ideal 7, which is fitted with Agco’s own 9.8-litre engine and has a single version of the rotary separator.
List prices start at £390,790 for the base-spec Fendt Ideal 7 and go up to £530,860 for the top-spec Ideal 9 fitted with tracks.
As well as the combines, Fendt was showing off its latest Squadra 1290 ultra-high-density big square baler.
Built in the firm’s Hesston plant in the USA, it has a 120x90cm chamber and can achieve bale densities of up to 245kg/cu m, thanks to a more efficient gearbox and drivetrain.
There were a few faces missing from this year’s event, with the likes of tractor makers John Deere, Massey Ferguson, New Holland, Case-IH and Kubota choosing to focus their marketing budgets on other areas.
Similarly, Amazone, Kverneland and Horsch were just three of the implement makers that chose to give it a miss this year.
Instead, most are promising to put on extra roadshows during the growing season to give punters a chance to see kit at work.
Armatrac 1254 LUX
Taking pride of place on one of the largest stands at the show was the 1254 Lux CRD4 from Turkish tractor maker Armatrac.
The new tractor churns out a heady 120hp and takes over from the 1104 as the new range-topper.
However, unlike its smaller sibling, the 1254 uses a Deutz powerplant instead of a Perkins. It’s no surprise that the changes have been largely driven by the need to comply with the latest emissions laws.
Other details of note include the same ZF 16×16 speed transmission and axles, along with a two-year warranty.
McCormick X7 Series P6-Drive
Italian maker McCormick was one of the few tractor brands to make a splash at the show with its new range of four-cylinder tractors.
The X7.440 P6-Drive on stand is part of a three-model line-up of higher-spec four-potters with maximum power outputs from 141hp to 176hp and a new powershift transmission.
All versions are powered by a 4.5-litre FPT engine with an SCR plus DOC emissions control package. The smallest X7.440 has a maximum power output of 141hp for draft work, which automatically increases to 150hp under load in the upper gears (for transport applications) and with a pto-driven implement being operated.
Similarly, the mid-sized X7.450’s 155hp output rises to 165hp for these non-draft applications, while power for the X7.460 goes from 166hp to 176hp.
The new P6-Drive transmission – which is already doing service in the six-cylinder X7-series Tier 4 Final tractors launched at last year’s Lamma show – offers 30 forward and 15 reverse speeds with the standard transmission format or 54/ 27 with the creep option.
Auto shifting offers hands-free shifts through all five ranges and six speeds, but there is also the option of a VT-Drive stepless setup.
Features common to all three models include a 123-litre/min hydraulics system, which on base-spec Efficient versions can be exchanged for a lower-cost 88-litre/min open-centre gear pump setup.
Prices for the X7.440 P6-Drive start at £88,627.
The pick of the JCB stand was a new series of Loadalls fitted with a redesigned cab and improved lift performance.
According to JCB, the new cabin is roomier, has a neater control layout and provides considerably more storage space.
Visibility to the front wheels has been improved by a low-set dash panel and there is now uninterrupted glazing that sweeps up and over the operator’s head.
The new III-series JCB Loadall range comprises four models with up to 200kg increased load capacity over their predecessors – the 6m lift 538-60, 7m 532-70 and 542-70, and the 9.5m high-lift 536-95.
Big Bale CTF Transtacker 4100
If you are running a military-precision controlled traffic system, having balers and chasers hurtling across untouched soils can be enough to give you sleepless nights.
But Big Bale may have the answer with a new version of its popular Transtacker, which is now fully CTF compatible with the addition of a bump bar on the front linkage.
This allows the operator to nudge bales sitting on the tramlines out of the tractor’s path and into the lane of the collecting arm of the Transtacker, which stays behind the tractor rather than running offset.
This way, the tractor and Transtacker stay on the tramlines and it’s only the bale that is moved onto the cropped area.
Along with the CTF option, the 4100 can now handle part loads, which removes the need for a telehandler to pick up stray bales. Collecting a variety of bale sizes and tying them together in the stack is also possible.
As standard the 4100 comes with air brakes, floatation tyres and a height-adjustable drawbar for an entry price of £95,000.