Video: Furse four tractor test: Fendt 718 Vario

The Fendt 718 is expensive, but it’s a top-quality contractor’s tractor, has excellent fuel consumption and has been the most reliable machine on test. The cab is a bit on the small side, but the drivers love it.

Watch the video and read the full report below.

 

Luke and Lloyd Furse have been putting four mid-horsepower tractors through their paces over the past year. So far we’ve looked at the Case Puma 210, the John Deere 6930 Premium and the Landini Landpower 135. The final tractor on test is the 180hp Fendt 718 Vario.

Throughout the tasks carried out in the first 12 months, the 718 provided ample power, the Vario transmission was smooth and the drivers couldn’t fault it for comfort.

The 718 was the only tractor on test to be fitted with a CVT gearbox, and both Luke and Lloyd agree this puts it streets ahead of the others on roadwork.

“The transmission reduces engine revs, so fuel economy is much better and the combination of the exhaust and transmission brake means you hardly ever have to touch the brakes,” says Lloyd.

Although it was the most expensive tractor on test, the impressive level of features included as standard and the high resale value made it a pretty sensible investment, he says.

Likes

  • Reliable (no dealer visits)
  • Good fuel consumption
  • Driver comfort
  • Fantastic exhaust brake

Gripes

  • Small cab
  • Expensive

     

The Fendt was the only tractor tested to have no visits from the dealer, says Lloyd. “It hasn’t let us down once and it hasn’t cost Fendt a penny to look after.”

The model came with a three-year warranty in the deal, but generally the dealer only offers one year’s cover. “Usually you have to pay extra for an extended warranty and this could be a deal-breaker, as we now want to have all our front-line tractors covered for the three-year period we keep them,” says Lloyd.

“That said, judging by the first 12 month’s performance, we probably don’t need it.”

The Fendt 718 Vario clocked up 2,800 hours on the following tasks:

  • Verge trimming
  • Silage trailer
  • Bunning 12t muck spreader
  • Maize drilling
  • Tedding
  • Topping
  • 30ft triple mowers
  • Buckraking
  • Slurry pumping
  • 6m power harrow

     

Both Luke and Lloyd are convinced the Fendt is the most efficient fuel-burner of the lot and the figures back them up. Running the 6m Weaving Machinery power harrow, the Fendt averaged 17.07 litres/hour, considerably less than the Case Puma, which averaged 29.41 litres/hour on the same machine.

It also measured up well against the John Deere. During a 10-hour shift of umbilical slurry pumping, Luke and Lloyd put the two tractors head to head.

Pumping almost identical headage on the tank, the John Deere averaged 18 litres/hour and the Fendt 13 litres/hour. That said, the average for the two machines across the season is much closer. The John Deere averaging 13.9 litres/hour and the Fendt 12.26 litres/hour.