Kevin Finnemore runs vineyards at Tooleybuc in the picturesque western Riverina district of New South Wales. The home block has been in the family since 1958 and two other parcels of land were added after Kevin took over. All up there are about 400 acres, with a quarter allocated to dried fruit – currents, sultanas and muscat – on trellises, while the rest is given over to wine grapes.
The conversation turns to the ideal tractor for his operation.
“We’ve had a fair few tractors over the journey and one of the best had variable speed,” says Kevin. “We really liked the versatility; you didn’t have to muck around with the PTO to get your ground speed. Then we went with Kubota but lost the variable speed.”
Hence, after inspecting a Deutz-Fahr 5110.4D TTV at the Mildura field days last year, Kevin’s interest was piqued. Its compact and narrow frame – only 1.8 metres wide – is ideal for fields with tight headlands, municipal operations, orchards and vineyards, all the while retaining a conventional sized cabin. In stepped Anthony Miliado from Farm & Diesel in Swan Hill.
“We knew Anthony from his previous role,” says Kevin. “He said to me, ‘How about getting back into a green one?’ So, as soon as the TTV became available I ordered it. I was in love with it straight away. The normal size of the cabin means you don’t have to compromise, plus it has variable speed and a truckload more options – say no more, really.”
It does have plenty of options. From its 4-pillar pressurised cab with a CAT 4 filtration system, Max Com armrest and silent block cab suspension, to the closed centre 100l/min hydraulics, the 5D TTV smacks of class-beating technology. It is underpinned by a 113 hp 4-cylinder FARMotion common rail engine.
And now it is being put to work. Kevin’s dried fruit harvester is a tow behind, so the Deutz-Fahr tractor is perfect for negotiating the narrow rows. As an added plus, it will be used during the year for towing a three-row fungicide sprayer.
“You need 750 PTO speed and it’s a fine line,” Kevin explains. “Half a kilometre per hour difference is a lot when picking fruit. You must be able to match your gears to your PTO speed, so with the TTV you set your PTO where you like and do whatever speed you like.
“After I’d done ten hours behind the wheel, I texted Anthony and said, ‘This is the best tractor I’ve ever purchased’. It really is that good.”