But its not all glitz at show…

11 December 1998

But its not all glitz at show…

ITS not all glitz, glamour and powershift transmissions on the tractor stands at Smithfield. Stock farmers wanting a no-frills, no-nonsense power unit for yard and light field duties also have a good choice of machines.

Smallholder Tractor Co made its Smithfield debut with a range of low-price models, including the companys first four-wheel-drive machine.

Unlike the 41hp Lister-Petter engined ST35 that launched the company from Evesham, Worcs, a year ago, the newcomer uses all-new components rather than a mixture of new and refurbished parts.

"The skid unit comes from a European manufacturer and we clothe it in Smallholder bodywork and livery," explains company director Giles Hirst. "Apart from giving us a four-wheel-drive model, the tractor is narrow enough to be driven through a stable doorway."

Specifications include a nine forward, three reverse speed gearbox, live hydraulics with draft and position control linkage, and two-speed pto.

But there is no cab, just a protective roll bar. It costs an economical £6500.

Renaults latest Herdsman tractor is rather more expensive at £19,210 to £26,050 – but then it is bigger and has a more comprehensive specification.

There are 52hp and 67hp models in two and four-wheel drive, and a four-wheel drive 76hp machine.

Updates include a new cab with improved visibility, fresh instruments giving more precise read-outs of pto speeds, and optional electronic control of the hydraulic linkage.

An adjustable steering column should make it easier to get a comfortable driving position, but gear levers that project from either side of the gearbox make it awkward to get into the seat in the first place.

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