IT'S AN Agritechnica year and so manufacturers are ramping up their launch schedules for what it now the most important machinery show in the world – and Fendt has gone over board with new additions.

The newcomers include tractors, grain harvesting equipment and technical innovations across the board.

Already on the 'I want one' list for many, the Fendt 900 Vario large tractor series looks like setting new standards again. Launched with a single model at Agritechnica 1995 – the 260hp Fendt Favorit 926 Vario – the range now has five models with a power range of 296 to 415hp and is bracketed between the Fendt 800 Vario and the 1000 Vario ranges.

The new top model is the Fendt 942 Vario and this sees the 900-series venture beyond 400-hp for the first time. The big change is that the Deutz power unit from the older models has been replaced by a nine-litre, six-cylinder, MAN engine tweaked for power between the models.

Part of the reason for this choice has been a longer service interval of 1000 hours, plus high torque at low engine rpm –

rated engine speed is 1700rpm and max torque of up to 1970 Nm is produced at just 1100rpm on the range-topping 942 Vario. On the road, the 900s can hit 60kph at 1450rpm, or achieve 40kph at just 950rpm – idle speed is a highly discernible 650rpm.

So, it packs a lot of punch for a machine which has an unladen weight of just 11.7 tonnes and traction is enhanced if you opt for the integrated VarioGrip tyre pressure regulation system, which makes it ideal for work with low ground pressure and high tractive power, changing quickly to road-going mode.

The engine meets the new EU Stage emission regs by a mix of measures, which sees the exhaust gas 'purified' by an exhaust after-treatment system using a diesel oxidation catalyst, a diesel particulate filter and selective catalytic reduction technology (SCR).

Filtering down from the 1000 series, the CVT transmission has a system which has a separate drive to each axle, which leads to tighter turning and more balance on the road, where it changes to two-wheel-drive (except when braking, or detects wheelslip) above 25kph.

Fendt's cabs usually sets it apart from the norm and the 900s go further again. What it calls the Life Cab has all the latest connectivity and gizmos to display machine data from the 900 Vario in realtime and has a basic 'ready' telemetry package.

Fendt Connect is the central telemetry system from parent company, AGCO’s Fuse smart farming portfolio and this reads, stores and evaluates machine data, sending data via the mobile network. This information helps you to manage your fleet wherever you are and optimise your machine settings.

In work conditions, the latest Isobus set-up means that implements really work in tandem with the tractor, telling it what is the optimum forward speed, for instance.

The system also collects extensive CAN bus data from the tractor and from a PC or smart device, owners can retrieve a wide range of information, including a map view showing the position and driving route of the tractor, fuel consumption, speed and working time of the machine, as well as machine use. It will also show error messages and service intervals.

An option, operated from the tractor terminal, is a new high-end hands-free speaking system, which uses eight inter-communicating microphones integrated into the sunroof, suppressing interference and making speech clearer. This provides excellent call quality, even during field use, said Fendt.

An upgrade to the 'infotainment' system is also available, with something called a subwoofer integrated into the soundbar!

Hydraulic power comes from two load-sensing pumps with 165 or 220 litres of flow capacity. A high-performance unit of 430 l/min, with two independent hydraulics circuits, is an option.

Electric, telescopic mirrors also feature as a driver aid, actuated by a hotkey (button or touch) on the terminal. A mirror heater is also an option.

As well as a conventional locking system, the new series will also be offered to customers with a safety locking system and combined immobiliser. This system ensures the highest level of security against machine theft and unauthorised fuel siphoning. This unique coded key is for the cab door, ignition lock, bonnet and fuel tank

The new Fendt 900 Vario series will be available from July 2019 for delivery from the second half of 2019. An extended warranty of up to eight years, or 8000 operating hours can also be added.

Range leading 300 Vario

The new top-end model in the Fendt 300 Vario series is the 314 Vario, which has 10hp more that the previous range topper and feature new driver aids via a new 12-inch terminal.

This includes control of all the assist systems like Fendt Guide Contour Assistant, SectionControl and VariableRateControl.

Combine without a steering wheel

The Fendt Ideal 10 – its upgrade to the 9 series which launched two years ago – introduces the concept of being the first standard combine in Europe to be operated entirely without a steering wheel.

It is controlled proportionately to the movement of a joystick on the left of the driver, with all the same functions on the joystick on the right armrest. For easy access to the driver's seat, the left armrest can be folded up.

Fendt says this gives the best view of front threshing attachments and offers the perfect overview, even on the road – and it complies with all European vehicle and traffic regulations.

Heading up the range now is a combine offering a max power output of 790 hp thanks to a new MAN 16.2-litre engine.