MENTION Valtra tractors to any farmer or forester and undoubtedly the words of response would include reliability, powerful and operator friendly.

Brand Valtra has been on an incredible journey of existence since it’s formation in 1951, albeit under the original Valmet guise and this year celebrates its 70th anniversary.

Unsurprisingly, the technology that exists in today’s Valtra tractors has come a long way since the basic early tractors but Valtra says there is a lot more to come in terms of precision technology.

When Valtra emerged 70 years ago the focus was on the mechanisation of agriculture, and later on that focus shifted to for instance improvements in working safety, to growing farms and the success of rural businesses.

Jari Rautjarvi, Valtra managing director, reflected on what the past 70 years has achieved for the tractors. He said: “The advancements that began 70 years ago keep on going and accelerating. Thanks to persistent product development work, our tractors have now reached their fifth generation.

“Now our customers expect smart solutions from Valtra. We are making big investments in our factory in Suolahti, Finland. The new logistics centre was just launched, and a new paint shop will begin construction this summer,” he said.

Valmet was born

Valtra, then known as Valmet, began series production of tractors in 1951 in Jyvaskyla, Finland. The first model was the Valmet 15 that, as the name implies, had 15 hp and was designed to replace a horse on a small farm.

One of the early Valmet 15s, now restored

One of the early Valmet 15s, now restored

As time went on larger tractors, such as the Valmet 20, powered by a 20hp engines, were produced which proved a huge success on Finnish farms and further afield.

Valtra says it has always had a particularly close relationship with its customers, as demonstrated in the early 1990s when the customer order system was introduced.

This meant that no tractor was manufactured at the factory for stock and was instead built for a specific customer. Thanks to this pioneering customer order system, the tractor factory always had accurate information about customer needs.

Customers were integral to how fourth generation tractors and the award-winning SmartTouch armrest were developed. Both the fourth generation machines and the easy-to-use SmartTouch have been bestsellers, collecting an incredible array of awards in the industry.

A colourful line-up reflecting the fact that you can choose the colour of your tractor purchase

A colourful line-up reflecting the fact that you can choose the colour of your tractor purchase

Today, Valtra’s customer focus can be seen in the wide range of accessories and options available, as well as in the Unlimited Studio, where one in three tractors produced at the Suolahti factory are now tailored to the customer’s exact specification.

Custom-built Valtra solutions are used in a wide range of applications including farming, contracting, airport maintenance and even defence services. The customer-centred approach can also be seen in the development maintenance services and digital services such as Valtra Connect.

Future ambitions

It is a company that is always planning for the future and is keeping a close eye on new regulations such as the EU Green Deal, global environmental standards and changes in weather and farming conditions which will have an impact on customer requirements in a tractor.

Is this the future? Valtras take on tractor design in the coming years

Is this the future? Valtra's take on tractor design in the coming years

Mikko Lehikoinen, Valtra's director of sales and marketing, said: “Reductions in fertilisers and spraying and the need to improve soil productivity are drivers for precision farming which in turn improves profitability.

“Our customers need smart machines and seamless data transfer between machines and farm management software. Valtra solutions, such as SmartTouch, Valtra Guide auto-guidance and smart farming services such as Valtra Connect, help farmers achieve these goals.”

Dealer role

A critical component of customer experience are professional service, parts supply and tractor sales provided via the Valtra dealer.

The introduction of the new digital tools started at selected Valtra dealers in Germany, France and Great Britain in 2020 with development and implementation of the tools across Europe continuing this year.

There have also been changes in the Valtra distribution network and the company is increasing its proximity to customers through the appointment of new distributors in France, the United Kingdom and Iraq.

Anniversary model

To mark its 70th anniversary, Valtra is manufacturing 70 specially equipped ‘Limited Redition’ tractors. These anniversary models are available in the T Series (T174e to T254) and will be sold worldwide.

The specially equipped anniversary models feature a deep red metallic paint reminiscent of Valtra’s roots 70 years ago. The red colour is also highlighted in the details of the tractor, including in the stitching of the leather interior and the interior light.

The anniversary model has black rims and a stainless steel Limited Redition badge.