Practical new option from the East The first tractors from Lovol Arbos will enter service on European farms during late 2017. An attractive price tag is expected from the Chinese owned manufacturer but are they up to the standard UK farmers have become used to? David Williams tried them out. Lovol Arbos displayed pre-production examples of its tractors at Sima in Paris earlier this year. The new brand attracted considerable attention as the tractors are designed to meet the needs of European farmers including a competitive specification and a smart modern appearance. The Lovol name is from China but Arbos is mid-European and was carried until just over 25 years ago on a respected brand of Italian-built harvesting products. Designing the tractors in Italy while manufacturing some key components in the Far East, then assembling the tractors in Europe should mean the tractors stand a fair chance of being accepted by European dealers and customers and so far the brand’s progress confirms this policy is sound. Acquiring the Arbos name was very simple as the brand title had lapsed from currency some years before. The existing Matermacc factory in Italy is the assembly site and the cultivator and drill manufacturer was the parent company’s first Italian acquisition. A full-line manufacturer offering tractors and implements is the long term objective and considerable investment is already being made in Matermacc design and manufacturing resulting in immediate introduction of several new products. Italian-built Goldoni tractors are also now owned by the group following a rescue plan for the ailing business in late 2015 and at the Italian EIMA show in 2016 Arbos, Matermacc and Goldoni products were launched under one banner. By mid-2016 121M euros had been invested since 2012, including the creation of 405 jobs with 64 just involved with Arbos tractors. Arbos tractor product manager Francesco Torreggiani explained that the Arbos tractor family would offer high performance with a simple
operation and that specialty models would also be launched early on.
Full line including combines The full line objective doesn’t exclude harvesting so the Arbos name could soon appear again on Italian-built harvesters. The original Arbos design drawings were acquired by the new owner and prototype harvesters using some original design concepts coupled with modernised control systems have demonstrated performance as good as that of some current leading manufacturers during trials in Italy and China. Pre-production models are likely to be seen in public as early as 2018.
UK dealer appointments Acceptance in Europe will depend on a reliable dealer network and by July this year 35 foreign distributors had been appointed. Twelve importers for 12 countries were in place and distributors are currently being sought throughout the UK. “We would prefer to work with smaller dealers who will give the product the attention it deserves and ensure customers receive excellent service,” explained Francesco. “The Matermacc business is increasing and we see a great future for dealers representing all the products including Goldoni tractors and our implements too.”
Production begins The first tractors to be available are from the Arbos 5000 series, offering outputs from 110–136hp. There are three models, all with power from Kohler 4-cylinder 3.404-litre engines meeting Tier 4 final emissions regulations using Adblue. There are two versions of each model; Global and Advanced and the main difference between the two is transmission specification. Both have powershift with five gears and two ranges but Global versions provide 30 fwd and 30
Initially, only 5000-series tractors covering the 110–136hp range will be available with more powerful 6000- and 7000- series machines coming late next year.
rev speeds with 2-speed shifting under load and mechanical shuttle while the Advanced has 45 fwd and 15 rev and offers 3-speed shifting under load and power shuttle. Maximum speed is 50kph at maximum engine speed and 40kph at rated economy engine speed. A limited slip system offers 50 per cent automatic control through the differential lock with 100 per cent lock-up manually selected. Two and 4wd engagement is by switch through electro-hydraulics. PTO drive is by wet clutch and 540/1,000rpm and 540E/1,000rpm is standard. Activation is by switch with gentle drive engagement. Hydraulics are from a supplier to established European brands so reliability and performance should be comparable to competitor machines. Lift capacity is 4.4t at the rear and 2.0t at the front and maximum oil flow available for the spools is 70 litres/min from a 110 litre/min total pumped supply. Up to three spools can be specified, all offering detent, kick-out and floating functions. The cab has been developed especially for the range and is insulated from the chassis by rubber blocks contributing to a low 72dB operating noise level. Up to eight work lights can be specified and air conditioning is standard. A 7in display provides performance and settings information. Full production starts in December and the target is to sell and supply more than 500 machines from the 5000-series in 2018. The 6000- and 7000-series tractors
will offer 200hp and 220–260hp respectively, 7000-series models powered by an FPT engine running through a Lovol Arbos transmission, and due to be available in late 2018.
UK specification Hitches to suit UK users are in development and mean first deliveries here will be next year, but the manufacturer expects to have machines to view at Lamma, or Cereals 2018. The target market and power sector means front loaders will be one of the most popular accessories and an agreement with Stoll includes factory-fitted and after-market Arbos branded units. continued over...
The cabs are well finished with a modern layout and clear, easy to use controls. The light cream panelling gives a spacious feel, but will show every mark.
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