New look Landini Legend updates its storyline

3 October 1997

New look Landini Legend updates its storyline

Landini aims to offer a

value-for-money package

with its Legend 110hp to

140hp tractors. And a more

attractive one, too, thanks

to a newly-trimmed cab.

Peter Hill tried out the

range-topping 145.

CLIMB aboard the latest Landini Legend and the improvement in internal cab finish and fittings over its predecessor is striking. The previous design is best described as "functional"; all the necessary controls are present but somewhat scattered and housed in poorly cut, assembled and finished trim.

Landini tackled the issue by designing a new cab layout that is both more logical in its layout and more attractive to the eye; then bought the cab manufacturer to make sure it would be put together properly.

The result is an interior which is practical and stylish without excessive frills and fancies, and matches the exterior design of the blue tractors.

The Legend is the first model produced since Landini regained its independence as Italys third biggest tractor maker. Now privately owned with Massey-Ferguson and Iseki (both of whom remain key customers and technical partners) retaining minority shareholdings, the company is re-building its business with new models and new distribution arrangements.

In Britain, says Tony Edwards of UK agent Landini-AMS, the Italians have agreed to invest in premises that will enable more effective and efficient parts back-up. That will provide some reassurance for potential buyers that they are not likely, at some future date, to be left in the lurch.

While earlier Landini tractors in this horsepower bracket owed much to somewhat dated MF models, the Legend is a Landini in its own right, with few components shared with the tractors from Beauvais.

Three models are offered in Britain – at 110hp, 127hp and 138hp – with a 160hp model due later this year or early next. Only so called Top specification models, as opposed to the all-mechanical Techno versions, are imported.

All three models are powered by six-cylinder Perkins engines. Examples destined for North America have the latest 1000-series power units to meet emissions legislation but, since the same requirement is not yet in place in Europe, its the familiar Quadram engine that remains in UK tractors.

Traditional levers

Its a popular and well-proven power unit, coupled to an 18×18 speed mechanical shuttle transmission. Forget multi-speed powershifts; the Legend uses traditional levers to stir the six-speed gearbox and three-speed range box, plus a gear lever mounted push-button splitter that steps down each gear by 20%.

Not the latest technology, perhaps, but more than adequate for a lot of applications and favoured by those who remain sceptical of electro-hydraulics and microchips on tractors.

The only concession to high-tech, in fact, is the Bosch electronic control system for the lift linkage. Arranged neatly in a pod on the right-hand mudguard, there are the usual dials for drop speed, lift height, position/draft mix and working depth, plus a touch-pad for the linkage shock absorber.

Slim rubber topped levers for the auxiliary valves are positioned handily ahead of the electronic controls while another moulded gate houses pto levers for ground or independent pto and speed selection. Drive is engaged hydraulically using a dial mounted prominently on the cab pillar – where it can easily be thumped to stop drive in an emergency.

The hand throttle, tucked down the right-hand side of the seat, could be angled for better leverage (it wouldnt take much force to make a driver mod here) but the similar location for the handbrake is a definite plus in that it leaves a spacious platform to the left of the seat for a toolbox and other oddments.

Four-wheel drive and diff lock buttons – the latter engaging both the front and rear axles – are logically positioned next to each other on the mudguard with the lift-lower rocker switch similarly well placed.

Not most spacious of cabs

The cab structure itself is more New Holland than John Deere or Renault in shape, so is not the most spacious or generously glazed.

But both are more than adequate, with forward visibility maintained thanks to full depth front and door glazing, and an exhaust positioned away to the right-hand side of the cab.

In addition, the narrower tapered bulkhead and instrument panel of the latest design gives a clearer view to the front wheels.

Substantial steps and well-placed grab handles offer secure entry and exit. There is a generous complement of adjustable roof mounted work lights, and the external rear-view mirrors, carried on telescopic arms, are truly gigantic.

One particular novelty is the cab escape hatch which, because it is glazed rather than solid, doubles as a sun-roof and ventilator. It complements the light grey trim in making the Legend cab a bright and airy place in which to spend a days ploughing.

The hatch creates a deep recess in the cab roof, providing an enormous amount of headroom right where its needed – at the front of cab so that drivers can get in without cracking their heads or having to bend double before sitting.

Air conditioning, which fills this void on many other tractors to the detriment of headroom, is housed out of the cab in the front bulkhead.

All-wheel braking

Back to the mechanical specification. Up front, the Landini front axle has inboard disc brakes for secure all-wheel braking in addition to a locking differential for maximum field traction. At the opposite end of the tractor, the pto clutch pack is mounted externally, giving easy service access and minimal drain on the power output. There are interchangeable shafts, retained by a circlip, providing spline configurations appropriate to different speeds.

Fat external hydraulic cylinders give 7t of lift, there is a hydraulic top link, a pick-up hitch with hydraulic latch release and a standard complement of three external services valves that can be set for single- or double-acting operation, with a fourth optional.

All told, the Legend makes an interesting package. It has a familiar engine, albeit powering less familiar mechanicals, and with a decent specification where it counts.

Its light to drive with controls that, on first acquaintance, work easily and logically, with a modern looking cab environment that should please tall drivers.

Likely resale prices have to be considered when weighing up the true ownership cost of a tractor that is less familiar in Britain than elsewhere. But, at prices topping £50,300 for the range-leading 145, it does appear to offer a competitive package for buyers wanting decent power without a complex array of technology.n

Landinis Legend 145 Top packs a Perkins six-cylinder engine and 36 x 36 speed single splitter transmission.

Cab interior is more stylish and better finished than earlier design. Easy-to-use mechanical shuttle lever is to left of steering wheel, range and gear levers just ahead of mudguard-mounted spool valve levers.

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