Passing the test
Dairy farmer Walter Roskam and his son Mathew own a 100ha farm in Eureka, Waikato, and have had their Landini Vision 105 for 15 months, enough time to really analyse the tractor’s strengths and weaknesses
Into the third season on the Eureka farm, Walter left his smaller 160-cow Whitikahu farm for bigger pastures, so he could take on a worker and then retire. Situated on the Waikato Plains, the Roskam farm has good grass growing on a peat soil base, and is mostly flat with very gentle slopes. The Roskams do all their tractor and contractor work with their own machinery and buy in around 100 tonnes of maize, but make their own hay and silage.
Father and son do the farm work together, while Mathew and his partner do the milking. Mathew tackles most of the driving around the property, so knows the Landini best. Now milking 280 cows, their 25-aside herringbone shed was recently extended to 32, with the milking machine upgraded at the same time.
Mathew is responsible for the Landini Vision 105, which replaced an old 80hp International 647 tractor that was a nuisance in summer due to a lack of air conditioning.
Compared to the previous tractor, the Vision 105’s four-wheel drive suits the farm, and Walter reckons the Landini floats better over the paddocks, leaving less marks from the tyres due to the position of the gear driven rear axle.
Walter and Mathew like the extra horsepower on tap compared to the old International, as they use a Mole plough to cut very deep but thin drainage trenches in some of the wetter paddocks to allow for better drainage.
"For baling, it is just that much better – 20hp is a lot really, and it’s just humming. The motor is not working hard out and I think the less the motor works, the cheaper the diesel is." Walter is pretty sure he gets more mileage, too. "We go quite a bit further with a tank load," he says.
Not surprisingly, Mathew loves working in the cab as he has spent up to 14 hours per day for several days on end while making silage. He likes the air conditioning unit in the summer, the extra visibility, good space, comfy air suspension seat and said it’s generally more comfortable all-round.
The whole tractor looks great with the curvaceous sloping bonnet and soft blue paintwork. It drives and handles okay, too. It has middle-sized mirrors and, for night work, four lights at the front with another two on the bonnet and four at the rear. Inside the cab is a nice flat floor with more than usual amounts of open space. With a thumb push button entry, the door wasn’t as easy to open as most tractors I’ve driven. (I didn’t check to see if it was adjustable). Mathew likes the CD player and radio unit. The pillar sizes are fairly small leaving good all-round visibility. There is a drop-down blind at the front to keep the sun off the driver’s face and the roof has a retractable cover for the skylight, making loader work that much easier. There’s even room for a small kiddy’s seat. Although it’s not obvious, the seat is somehow mounted further back than normal and is situated directly above the rear hydraulics and 3-point linkage. So it’s very easy to see all the working parts while driving.
Under the bonnet is a four-cylinder Perkins 1100 series 4.4-litre turbocharged engine giving off 100hp and 380Nm of torque. It pulled a full fertiliser spreader like it wasn’t even there, although we didn’t have any hills to give it a really good try. I checked the radiator access out and happily report that cleaning debris from the main radiator is a simple affair. With the bonnet tilting back, all you need is a screwdriver to remove the side panels and a 10mm spanner to unlock the wing nut locknuts. The Roskams leave their Landini in the shed each night with the bonnet up to prevent birds from climbing in under the bonnet and nesting.
I asked the pair if there was one thing they could change, what would that be? Better access to the handbrake came the reply, as it is situated in an awkward position alongside the seat. Another issue came up later on, regarding the position of the three-ratio stub gear lever. This is located on the floor, in front of the seat but, unfortunately, it is also directly in the way of the foot accelerator pedal when in either of the two lowest ratios. With the lever moved hard over to the left, middle ratio means that the driver has to use the hand throttle control to get anywhere.
The Vision 105 three-range, 40kph, 5-speed gearbox isn’t as slick as the Powerfarm model I’ve used before. Although towing a heavy fertiliser spreader, I found it harder than it needed to be changing from first into second. Like most other tractor makes, the rest of the gears are generally much easier to change through. With 30 forward and reverse gears, the 4160kg Vision 105 sports a two-ratio Hi-Lo splitter gear, which makes perfect changes, even under load. Like most tractors of this size, it comes with push button 4WD and Diff Lock switches. I found the power shuttle worked really well, offering smooth take-off and forward/reverse transitions. The brakes worked okay, too.
At the back are three hydraulic outlets with a pump rated with a high maximum flow of 53 l/min, with numbers one and two controlled by joystick. This was plenty for what the Roskams use their tractor for. The PTO offers two speeds, 540 PTO rpm (1944 engine rpm) and 1000 PTO rpm (1917 engine rpm).
Our decibel meter recorded 93dB in the cab at idle and 89db at 1500rpm. The sound reading on the fly was 86dB at 1000rpm, and 87dB at 1500rpm, which surprised me because, while I knew it was quiet on the outside, I didn’t think it would be that low!
Walter bought his Landini 105 from Maber Motors in Morrinsville.
"I reckon they’re real good, excellent. If I had a bit of a problem they’ll be out here within hours or the next day.
"For the money, for what I got for it, I reckon I got a good buy."
Landini is distributed throughout New Zealand by Power Farming.
By Terry Stevenson
Landini Vision DT105
Engine: Perkins 1100C044T series 4-cylinder 4400cc wastegate turbo charged engine
Max power: 100hp
Max net PTO: 91hp
Torque: 380Nm @ 1400rpm
Fuel tank: 120 litres
Transmission: 30 x forward x 30 reverse power shuttle/pushbutton Hi/Lo, wet clutch 40kph
Lift capacity: 4350kg
Weight without ballast: 4160kg