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MAY 2007

The harvesting specialist’s journal

PARIS, EUROPEAN SPRINGBOARD FOR THE RED COMBINES Great interest in the innovations of the range from buyers at the Sima trade-fair. Meanwhile, the sales network grows in France, as in Italy


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Gruppo Industriale ARGO

The situation by Mario Scapin

Ready for a good harvest Mario Scapin managing director

As the crucial moment draws near, we’ll be right beside our customers, day by day A farmer’s fate has always been bound to the weather factor, but also to good farming practices and respect for the environment. Unfortunately, this last aspect has not always been held in great consideration by man, especially in periods of strong industrial growth, when the race to achieve well-being at all costs made people forget certain of the fundamental rules of the nature that surrounds us and that is a source of indispensable resources. Fortunately, we are now becoming aware of all this and it is beginning with agriculture that man is commencing the renewable energy recovery process that will give respite to both the environment and the economy. The European Union recently approved a series of guidelines concerning renewable energies and biofuels. The aim is to bring the use of biofuels to 10% of the total consumption of petrol and diesel fuel in each member state within 2020. Italy already began to establish indicative domestic targets in the 2007 budget, with the following percentages of biofuels obtained from renewable sources, to take over from the fuels currently in use: 2.5 percent within the end of 2008, 5.75 percent within 2010. Along with other important initiatives, such as use of new installations for producing biodiesel and bioethanol in almost all the member States, these measures will lead to an increase in the demand for oil plants such as wheat, barley and especially corn in the case of bioethanol (Italy and Hungary being amongst the countries more greatly involved). Such policies will certainly lead to benefits for agriculture, at least when it comes to using the land to a greater degree, something that will give a boost to income. These are forecasts that will

involve everyone, as we must ensure that the results of a year’s farming work are always satisfactory, without losses or waste due to carelessness or lack of prevention. At Laverda, we’re all convinced that today’s success is the result of having worked well yesterday and that it is the condition for enjoying peace-of-mind tomorrow. This is why we have launched training activities and arranged for a logistic service with equal attention and expertise, so as to guarantee a “non-stop” harvest for our customers. We had already spoken of great changes in our after-sales service, as management of the Assistance and Parts division has been entrusted to a single, considerably experienced and capable person: Pietro Dal Santo. He is assisted in the technical assistance service by three area

managers for Italy and abroad while for the parts service, Dal Santo can count on the staff members within the actual service, which already stands out for its excellent work, appreciated by both Italian and foreign customers. Getting back to prevention, we would like to point out that Laverda works non-stop, especially during the so-called “low season” periods, on a series of activities that allow the user customers to prepare their machines in the best possible way and obtain a harvest that can truly be the happiest conclusion to a whole year’s work. One of our little known yet essential activities is the attention that our “service” pays to problems in the field. Every complaint or suggestion is examined, analysed and processed so as to offer solutions and propose improvements or innovations to the products. When it comes to statistics, we analyse consumptions of spare parts, how the machines are set at work and the degree to which the quality of the products and the way the machines work in the fields are perceived. Everything is conducted on an international scale. It’s clear that this analysis phase is followed by synthesis and decisions that enable us to offer excellent machines in all fields when the markets and volumes make it worthwhile. These services are obviously backed by an enterprise that, with its various different divisions, namely quality, manufacturing, administration, purchasing, communication, product and sales marketing, takes an active part in achieving that excellence expressed by the product. We are also convinced that Laverda’s industriousness can only achieve good results, just like your harvests, if we are able to base our mutual relations on healthy collaboration and reciprocal trust. Good harvesting to everyone.

The harvesting specialist’s journal Year VII, n. 1, May 2007 Quarterly periodical Registered with the Court of Vicenza n. 1017 dtd. March 5th, 2002

publishing management Mario Scapin Angelo Benedetti Simonetta Lambrocco director in charge Claudio Strati art work Andrea Rosset Piergiorgio Laverda the following persons collaborated: Patrick Fantinelli

parts purchasing office

Fabrice Rondeau

sales director for France

Mike Garwood

Laverda importer for Hampshire

Andres Moradas Lopez

Laverda sales manager for Spain

Piergiorgio Laverda

curator of the “Pietro Laverda” historic archive

photographs Archivio Laverda spa © by Laverda spa 36042 Breganze (VI) Italy via F. Laverda, 15/17 tel. +39.0445.385311 fax +39.0445.873355 Printed by Tipografia Campisi

V.le dell’Industria 13 - 36057 Arcugnano (VI) Proprietà letteraria riservata. È permessa la riproduzione di articoli e immagini solo citando la fonte.

To all journal subscribers NOTIFICATION AS PER ART. 13 OF DECREE LAW D. LGS. 30.6.2003, N° 196 Your identification data have been acquired by Laverda S.p.A. from either you yourselves or from public lists and registers, thus from documents accessible to anyone, for our marketing activities in the future. Laverda S.p.A. will deal with these data on paper and/or by computerized or telematic media. The information will solely be used in our company for postal purposes, in relation to our need to acquire new customers by sending commercial proposals, also in the future. Laverda S.p.A. guarantees that the data will be treated in the most confidential way and that, upon your request, your data may be cancelled (or corrected) from our archives free of charge. You are therefore entitled to exercise all the rights established by art. 7 of Decree Law D.lgs.vo N° 196/2003 and in particular, to wholly or partly allow the data to be used.

Italy by Simonetta Lambrocco

The sales network gets bigger in Emilia Agri-Moto, the Modenese company with almost 50 years of history, joins the Laverda team Agri-Moto srl of Villafranca di Medolla, the company run by the Bozzali and Calzolari families, joined Laverda’s Italian sales network at the beginning of the 2006-2007 campaign. And at the end of February, during the traditional open-day that Agri-Moto has been organizing every two years since 1996, the customers were able to examine the entire Laverda range, on show in the Emilian company’s display area. «We concentrated on presenting Laverda’s products to our customers», explained co-proprietor Sandro Bozzali, «and we were more than satisfied with the number of visitors that came to our open-day, around 800 persons according to our reckoning. We’re now reaping the results of our efforts in terms of sales». As always, the open day gave the proprietors the chance to entertain the customers and visitors in a pleasant way: «We sampled a few delicacies and drank a toast to mutual future successes in good Sangiovese wine along with many of the visitors» the entrepreneur continued. Agri-Moto is one of the “oldest” trading enterprises of Modena and its province. The founders actually began their business by bartering the implements they marketed with livestock, even before they went into partnership together.

The company was actually established in 1960 by the two families, Bozzali and Calzolari, who are still co-proprietors. Inspired by a specific vocation for implements, over the past few years the company has also become highly specialized in the tractor and harvesting machine sectors, which have added to the initial business activity. In 2006, the company achieved a turnover amounting to over 4 and a half million Euros. As always, Agri-Moto’s strong point is its vast and ultraassorted spare parts store, where customers can find everything they need for farming work. Four people are employed full-time in this department. The sales department has six staff members who carry out their work in the area by supplying information about the machines and dealing with the sale of tractors, harvesting implements and combines. Moreover, anyone who needs second-hand equipment will be sure of obtaining all the help required from an expert exclusively dedicated to this branch of the business. The after-sales service is entrusted to four staff-members, two of whom deal specifically with the Laverda product. Last but not least, four office workers dedicated to the administrative management of the business complete Agri-Moto’s staff, as well as a driver who ensures that the machines are delivered as fast as possible.

Top: visitors at the open day. Below, from left to right: proprietors Alfredo Bozzali and Cesare Calzolari, Giuseppe Bozzali, Giuseppe Zanasi and Paolo Diegoli, producers, and Sandro Bozzali, proprietor.

REV, a shower of requests from numerous markets And the series becomes more comprehensive with the new 200 model Following the increasing demands for combines in the “economy” category from markets like Turkey, Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan and Romania, where Laverda’s medium segment models, i.e. the REV, 256 REV, 255 REV and 225 REV Series, have given proof of their superior characteristics, appreciated to a greater extent than those of their direct competitors, Laverda is now proposing a new entry to the range, namnely the REV 200 model. This machine is at the top of its segment as to reliability and performance because it boasts a chassis, transmission and threshing apparatus that are identical to those installed in its bigger brothers. But it will be more able to comply with the growing need for a convenient price thanks to certain features like the mechanically engaged threshing components, the 5,200 litre capacity grain tank and the power rating of the 133 kW Tier III NEF engine. Characteristics like these are also perfectly able to satisfy the needs recently voiced by the more mature markets, such as France, Germany, Poland, Spain and Finland, where small family-run enterprises are now developing a part-time farming business that’s conducted as well as the other activities but needs the same productivity and fast harvesting performance as the more modern and organized agricultural practices. Besides featuring the new belt transmission to control the cutting table, the 256 REV, 255 REV and 225 REV combines sport new colours: grey for both the tyre rims and grain tank cover. The interior and platform of the Elegance cab have also been re-vamped, thus the operators will be able to work in increasingly more comfortable conditions in 2007, thanks to a better space arrangement, improved ergonomics and superior functionality.

Andrea and his fleet of combines D’Ippoliti, model-maker from Ferrara, makes perfect scale reproductions. And he’s founded a club Although Italian agriculture has seen better times, agricultural machinery in general is a subject that arouses considerable interest and enthusiasm in all farmers and farm-contractors. And the passion for model farm machines testifies to the great attention paid to this sector. This hobby is attracting an increasing number of enthusiasts, as we were told by Andrea D’Ippoliti of Argenta, in the province of Ferrara. Andrea is a farmer. He was born and still lives on the family farm, to which he dedicates body and soul. Right from the time he was a child, he has dealt with the various jobs required on his farm, switching from manual work to the use of machines, using implements and driving tractors and Laverda combines. When he was still very young, the fascination exercised by the world of farm machines led him to collect their miniature replicas. As the years went by, so did his desire to discover the ever more perfect model. «At the present time,» Andrea enthusiastically told us, «my collection includes more than 240 models carefully arranged in showcases. They almost always amaze everyone, even people who are not interested or involved in the world of farm machinery». These models are exhibited alongside the ones that Andrea makes himself, entirely of wood. Real masterpieces that only time, familiarity and a true passion for Laverda machines can create. Although there may be some imperceptible imperfections, these are unique models that still possess a certain value as they are not moulded industrially, but are created out of nothing, or rather from bits of wood or recycled pieces of varying kinds. With just a file, filler and sandpaper, our second “master Geppetto” transforms these materials into models like Laverda’s M120, M132, 3890, M 306 and L 521 combines. These latter actually have headlights, blinkers and a

cutting bar that functions. Everything must coincide once the job has finished: the dimensions, scale (1/20 in this case), the individual details and their positions, the decals and the colour. «The workmanship is very complicated» explained Andrea D’Ippoliti. «It begins by choosing the model to make. This must be followed by a detailed drawing with precise measurements taken from photographs and documents that reproduce the machine». A few machines and lots of hand tools help Andrea to construct and assemble the models, but the real help comes from his patience and pride in showing off the final result, tangible evidence of so much work and all the long hours passed in his workshop. D’Ippoliti has always stood up for his hobby along with other collectors. So much so, he recently founded the “Gaima” club together with his friend from Budrio, Sandro Poli, and others, an initiative that involves and will be happy to involve anyone who wishes to join and share in this passion. «Our club» Andrea proudly tells us, «is organizing a national meeting that will take place this year in

Budrio, in the province of Bologna, on 9 April. Important Italian collectors will be taking part and will be exhibiting thousands of craftsman’s and industrially made models of tractors, combine-harvesters, seed drills, trailers and the like. The festival will also host an exhibition of farm machinery, tractor gymkhanas and tractor-pulling competitions. I’ll be there with my Laverda corner, where I’ll be exhibiting my wooden models, proud to let the visitors see them with their own eyes». Simonetta Lambrocco

The marckets by Simonetta Lambrocco

An English farm-contractor “spills the beans” about the 255 REV “It fully came up to my expectations during its first 150 hours of work” Relations with combine-harvesters at Hilltop Farm began in 1979, when my father bought a brand-new M 132, with a 3.6 metre cutting table from Power Farming Ltd. of Stamford. This machine was to provide many years of honourable service and reliable harvests right until 1992, the year in which a hefty increase in harvesting land, which rose from 240 to 420 hectares, and our desire to sample the more comfortable work environment provided by a machine with a cab, led us to replace our original machine with a two-year old 3750 model featuring a 4.8 metre cutting table, which we purchased from Burgess of Melton Mowbray. This machine also proved to be highly reliable and economical as to running costs. At that time, we were working over 600 hectares of land, but no technician ever had to be called because the machine had stopped during the harvest. It was actually thanks to the simple routine maintenance and the ease with which the machine could be used that we were always able to deal with all the operations required during the harvesting jobs ourselves, except for recharging the air conditioner in 1996. It was this undeniably simple operation (and low running costs) and reliability that made us decide to purchase another Laverda for our farm. The 255 REV with its 5.4 metre cutting table arrived just in time to thresh the 2006 harvests. It was supplied by C&M Tractors Ltd. of Oakham. We had LH Agro Ltd. install a GPS mapping system in it. All the draw-backs of the 3750 combine have been resolved with the REV Series. The mechanical clutch has been replaced by the hydrostatic drive, and it was really easy to get used to this and the electrohydraulic clutch assemblies, the system for controlling the cutting table and the cab, soundproofed in a much better way. The low power we often noted with our 3750, when we unloaded while on the move on hillsides for example, or when we chopped straw in a harvest heavy with grain, has been completely overcome by the 255 HP Iveco

engine. And the fuel consumption is lower, 15 litres per hectare with wheat and when shredding the straw, and 10 litres per hectare with beans. But other things have also been improved. For instance, the greasing points are much easier to reach (there are fewer points and their accesses have been enlarged). Access for the cleaning operations is also decidedly better: the rotating filter with fast release mechanism allows the radiator to be easily reached. The increased grain tank capacity means that one tractor and trailer can still keep up with loading grain to the store. Reliability during the first season was excellent. The only fault was a broken cable in the automatic self-levelling system. We just switched to the manual mode until the next morning, when the new cable arrived straight from Italy. It was installed before the

dew had time to evaporate. The quality of the threshed crop was excellent, as with all Laverda’s machines. The straw shredding and spreading operations have been greatly improved thanks to the simple way the straw chopper and chaff spreader are engaged and disengaged. The quality of the straw left in windrows for the successive baling phase is still very good, even in very dry harvesting conditions. All in all, the new Laverda 255 REV came up to our expectations during its first 150 hours of work and will certainly continue to do so for many years to come. Robert Allen

Below: the 255 REV combine at work in the English countryside.

«Savings and quality with our M 304 LS» The satisfaction of English farmers David and Tim Mendus-Edwards David and Tim Mendus-Edwards run their family farm in Alton, Hampshire. «Ours is a family-run farming enterprise» explain the two farmers, father and son. «We purchased our first Laverda M 304 Levelling System combine from Mike Garwood Ltd. for the 2006 harvesting season, after we had witnessed an extremely successful practical demonstration the year before. We work with our combine in an area measuring 325 hectares, with a great variety of crops: wheat, beans, oats, rape, spring and winter barley. We used a New Holland combine for many years and one of the main advantages we immediately discovered was undoubtedly the considerable saving on fuel we now obtain with our Laverda M 304 LS». The Mendus-Edwards family is very satisfied with the way their Laverda combine harvests. «The quality of all the crops harvested with our Laverda combine is truly excellent» confirm the two farming entrepreneurs. «The adjustments we must make so as to thresh the different crops and the cleaning system are very simple and require very little time. Apart from anything else, some of our land is rugged and slopes steeply, with difficult soil but our M 304 LS is fantastic, with its tractive force. It easily climbs up and down every slope». Maintenance proved to be one of the machine’s salient features for the English customers as well: «Laverda’s combines are very easy to keep clean. During the harvesting period, the best solution we found was to open the large side doors and give the machine a regular blow with a petrol-fuelled compressor. The air conditioner is also extremely efficient». In short, all-round satisfaction. «Our decision to purchase a Laverda combine has been a success from all aspects» underscore David and Tim. «It has allowed us to reduce our running costs, obtain a high quality crop and conduct a fully satisfactory harvesting campaign, without difficulty and without problems». In the photo, father and son pose proudly in front of their Laverda combine.

Spain, the sales network plans further growth The annual appointment in Breganze with the dealers from Agriargo Iberica Agriargo Iberica’s sales organization and the national network of Laverda dealers visited the combine-harvester factory of Breganze in February and took part in its annual meeting, which was held in the prestigious Hotel Villa Michelangelo of Arcugnano, in the province of Vicenza. The dealer network’s annual meeting is always a very important venue for all. Firstly, the dealers enjoy the chance to meet and get to know each other as the great distances that separate them and the demanding work they do are an impediment to routine meetings. Secondly, they are able to obtain first-hand information about the developments undergone by the brand over the past few years and, even more important, are able to learn about the industrial projects involving the product and about the sales strategies. The meeting got off to a start with a welcoming speech from Angelo Benedetti, the sales and marketing manager, who greeted the organization and the dealers and presented the programme for the day as well as certain of Laverda’s important innovations. After this, Antonio Esteve, director general of the Spanish branch, took the chair and presented the organization chart of Agriargo Iberica, the financial statements of the last 10 years and a few details of interest for the Spanish market, such as the renovation plan. The next person to speak was Mario Scapin: the director general of the Breganze plant described Laverda’s historic evolution of the past few years, underscoring significant changes such as that of turning, in 2000, from a simple manufacturing unit of a multinational into a true industry again, the only one of its kind in Italy, dealing with the development, production and marketing of combine-harvesters. The process for re-launching the historic and prestigious brand coincided with a constant growth in sales volumes, with hefty industrial investments and with the recruitment of new employees, all of which took place in a climate of economic stagnation and a difficult market. All this was made possible thanks to the entrepreneurial abilities of the Argo Industrial Group, to the dynamic management, the professional skills and renewed enthusiasm of Laverda’s collaborators. Strategic investments, the rationalization process that affected the existing installations, research and development combined with constantly upgraded products were the first activities faced with passion, professionalism and painstaking attention to the market demands. Mario Scapin concluded by illustrating the big investments made in Breganze to improve the manufacturing system. These have included the modern automated laser cutting station, the various different selfstanding welding robots, the modern mechanization systems and the sophisticated electronic instruments installed in order to improve the quality controls. Andres Moradas, sales manager for the Spanish market, spoke about the way the brand had developed in his country over the past six years. Moradas analyzed the sales targets achieved during the first season, the 2000 - 2001 sales campaign when results near to a 3% market share had been obtained, and concluded by emphasizing the important growth experienced by Laverda in the last campaign of 2006, when it topped 8% of the market share in the areas in which

 it is present. A very interesting result and rich in promise for the future sales campaigns, especially if one notes how 70% of Laverda’s sales are obtained with the high product range or top range, mainly designed for professional users or service enterprises. Product manager Luciano Parise illustrated the innovations for the 2007 campaign, speaking at length about the new M Special Power series combines, the new LCS series and the M 304 Special Power Levelling System Integrale combine. The innovations include GSAX, the new electronic system for adapting the cutting table to the ground, the 7.60 metre bars, the new Sisu and Iveco Tier III engines and the 20% increase to the separation surface for the M series. After this, Gianfranco Dal Santo, the person in charge of the technical service for the Spanish market, underscored the importance of collaboration in his department when it comes to back-up for the product in the field, technical training, the

guarantees, the specific technical documentation and the spare parts. The company’s communication programme was described by Simonetta Lambrocco, the communication and public relations manager. The instruments, forms and communication levels created and used to date have contributed towards increasing the standing of both Laverda and its products in the territory. A complete communication programme, Lambrocco explained, is achieved by using all the media: advertising, press releases, articles, interviews, press conferences, meetings with journalists, meetings with the customers, visits to the factory, participation in both national and international trade fairs. Before accompanying the guests on a visit around the factory and to the manufacturing departments, Andres Moradas spoke of the initiatives to be developed in Spain for the next 2007 campaign, substantially based on three fundamental actions: develop the image, increase the

know-how and be successful in the territory. He concluded by briefly outlining the work plan and targets for the future campaigns, particularly directed towards increasing Laverda’s coverage throughout the country by recruiting new dealers in zones that are still without, and proceeding with the growth process at the same rhythm as the previous campaigns so as to increase Laverda’s market share in the Spanish market. It was a very pleasant day of work with lots of satisfied and motivated guests ready to face new challenges.

And Laverda reaps success in Paris The specialized public was fascinated by the new combines on show at the Sima trade fair After a period with a steady market, Laverda’s management for France concentrated its expectations on the 2007 Sima trade fair. In a currently favourable economic situation and with the morale of both farmers and farm contractors in a fairly high state, we can express a certain satisfaction with the outcome of the fair and for the quality, diversity and number of contacts we made. In actual fact, the main visitors to Laverda’s exhibition booth at the important Parisian trade fair had previously always been customers who had remained loyal to the brand and who were intrigued by seeing the Laverda logo on the market again. Nowadays the situation has changed. The competitors coming and going to and from out booth proved that Laverda’s combines are “disturbing”. Until just a few years ago, not many people believed that these machines would make a comeback, even though they were built with the skill of an exemplary tradition acquired throughout decades of work in the factory of Breganze. Numerous visitors, farmers, farm-contractors, journalists and professionals from the sector stopped by and spent a lot of time in our booth in an endeavour to get to know the ranges on show while asking a lot of questions about our products. The ultra-new LCS 296, a machine with 6 straw-walkers, the M 304 SP Levelling System 4WD Integrale and the M 306 SP kept the visitors rooted to the spot. There was not a moment’s rest for our sales staff and technicians as they had to keep on answering the visitors’ questions and satisfying their curiosity. Sima 2007 concluded with a considerable number of potential customers, many of whom appeared to be strongly desirous of making a purchase during the next few months.

There were also lots of requests from dealers wishing to represent and promote the Laverda brand and products. We can now humbly affirm that Laverda is back on the scene and is fast becoming the great brand of the past. The appointment at the next Sima fair is in two years time, in 2009. Fabrice Rondeau

Top: the M 304 SP Levelling System combine aroused lots of interest in Paris. Bottom: Laverda’s booth was always crowded with professional visitors.

Interesting steps forward in France New dealers for an increasingly more specialized sales network Last season’s sales campaign allowed Laverda to win back a significant share of the French combine-harvester market. «We are fully satisfied with our results for the 2005- 2006 business year» declared Laverda’s sales manager for France, Fabrice Rondeau «and halfway through the 2006-2007 sales campaign, in a favourable climate thanks to a series of positive elements that should support and encourage the investments (grain prices on the upswing, well directed prices for beef and pork), Laverda’s sales balance is now in black». Laverda uses many different strategies to maintain this growth and the trust the French customers are now manifesting again. From the sales aspect, the additions to Laverda’s dealer team will soon allow the network to be managed in a better way, with a more reactive response and greater familiarity with marketing instruments of both the practical type and regarding relations with the end customers. A specific, direct promotion and marketing policy will boost Laverda’s image and the way the products are distributed. An intensive technical and business training scheme will also be developed so as to adapt the dealers’ skills. «We must create our own specificity in a rapidly changing farming world» maintains Rondeau, «one that adapts very quickly to any new data from the market». Performance, efficacy, relations, reactivity: these are the key words. When it comes to the network, Laverda intends to become even more present. By recruiting new dealers during the last business year and considering the interest in developing the Laverda brand shown by many new candidates, the French management, in direct contact with the parent company, is preparing to nominate a considerable number of new dealers for the current business year. «We carefully evaluate all our options and all requests for distribution in areas that are still without dealers, or with Laverda dealers who are not developing our brand in a satisfactory way on the long term» declared Rondeau. «Our independence allows us to choose who to recruit: the newcomers must necessarily possess the tough fibre of those who deal with harvesting, something that didn’t always occur in the past. Development synergy» added the sales manager for France, «functions, and remains a priority

with the rest of the Argo Group if there is a possible nomination and the feasibility is checked out with one of the tractor brands and products of the group». Speaking of the product, the exemplary quality and reliability of Laverda’s combines are features that are acknowledged everywhere. «This is what triggered off the renewed trust we’ve found in France, from users of all makes of combines» said Rondeau. Thanks to the work that has been done from the time the Laverda plant was taken over by the Argo Group in 2000, we are now able to propose an extremely articulated variety of products: 4 ranges with 20 models available in 34 versions allow us to meet the demands from France and from the rest of the world when it comes to

conventional machines. Indispensable “partners” in regions with steeply sloping land, the Levelling System combines represent a real reference point for their users in terms of reliability and profitability. The medium range, the LCS Series launched during the previous season, now includes model 296 LCS, which has been very well received by both the network and the customers. «Laverda’s combines» concluded Rondeau «are reliable machines that provide a high performance and are simple to use. Machines that, along with these qualities, combine the undeniable advantage of truly low maintenance costs. They now allow us to “make the difference” on the fields and will continue to do so in the future».


The events

Technology viewed with Tibetan wisdom Samdong Rimpoche, the exiled prime minister, visits Breganze It was a moment of profound spiritual depth, the meeting that took place in the Laverda plant just before Christmas, on 15 December 2006. The guest was a very important personage, the exiled Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government, prof. Samdong Rimpoche. Designated by the Dalai Lama in 1991 as member of the House of Commons, prof. Rimpoche desired to add a visit to the Laverda plant to his tight schedule, even though he had to deal with a multitude of institutional commitments during his trip to the Veneto area. The invitation to visit our region was submitted by the Mountain Community from Astico to the Brenta, and by the Makalu 2006 expedition organized by Luciano Covolo, during which the Olympic torch reached the summit, borne in the last part of its journey by barefooted mountain-climber Tom Perry, and was signed by the Dalai Lama. It was actually during Samdong Rimpoche’s visit to Veneto that the torch was put up for auction. The proceeds will be used to build a school in Dharamsala (India) for Tibetan orphans. The reason for Samdong Rimpoche’s desire to visit Laverda lies in the historicity of our company and the type of products it manufactures, i.e. combine-harvesters. As the Tibetan monk explained during the conference that took place during the morning, the world possesses two different types of technology, i.e. “bad” technology that exploits the resources without contributing towards the progress and well-being of mankind, and “good” technology, which contributes towards developing and improving man’s condition both by lightening his tasks and by helping to produce food. Laverda rightfully belongs to this second category. It’s worthwhile remembering how the Breganze enterprise has always led and laid the course for the development of farming machinery in Italy: the first self-propelled combine was produced here in 1956 and gave

rise to the great turning point towards mechanization. Received in Laverda by director general Mario Scapin, the marketing and sales manager Angelo Benedetti and by the communication and public relations manager Simonetta Lambrocco in the presence of the local institutional authorities, Samdong Rimpoche listened carefully to the presentation of Laverda’s history and the description of the exclusive techniques featured by the products, and showed a sincere interest in the planned visit to the factory. The morning’s conference concluded with the customary words of thanks, after which a parchment was signed by the director general and the prime minister in memory of the event. The programme proceeded with the visit to the factory, at the end of which, the professor climbed into a combine-harvester and not only asked for details about how it operated but also wanted to start it up. During the afternoon, Samdong Rimpoche met several of the local entrepreneurs, also guests of Laverda, and was interviewed by journalist Claudio Tessarolo.

Samdong Rimpoche’s most significant and touching message can be summed up in his request to preserve the resources of the land as they are not unlimited and in his plea to take up and overcome the great challenges of mankind, which involve four important subjects: economic inequality, violence, environmental degradation, intolerance. A message expressed with the utmost simplicity, but charged with profound significance

Samdong Rimpoche with Mario Scapin, Laverda’s director general, and the customary group photo in the factory’s display yard as a souvenir of the visit. On the other page, Tom Perry’s extempore performance.

11 And Tom Perry climbs barefooted up the combine Tom Perry, the famous barefooted mountain climber, certainly could not have failed to be among the many persons present during Samdong Rimpoche’s visit to Laverda last 15 December. It was he who carried the Olympic torch, now being auctioned for charity, right to the top of Makalu where it was signed by the Dalai Lama, after 140 kilometres of barefooted trekking. The likeable ranger couldn’t wait to kick off his shoes at the Breganze factory and “climb” barefooted up one of Laverda’s combine harvesters. «I’ve known the Laverda brand and products since I was eight years old» said Tom, «and I used to see a reaper-binder and one of Laverda’s motor mowers at work in the field alongside my home. I feel a strong bond with the land and with the products it supplies, thus with agriculture and with the technology that allows man to work in the fields without the backbreaking effort of yesteryear. This is why I’m also fond of companies which, like Laverda, have always worked towards mechanizing farm work». But why climb mountains or volcanoes with bare feet? «If you’ll pardon the pun, walking without shoes “keeps your feet on the ground”. It reminds you that you’re a man, that your origin is the land and it is to the land that you’ll return. It makes you understand that simple things are the most important and authentic ones. It helps you understand that men are all equal with just one father under the same sky». A simple but highly significant message that Tom Perry also imparted on Thursday 9 March from the summit of one of the most famous active volcanoes in the world, Etna. Among other things, he underwent his new exploit, which got him climbing once again with bare feet, in order to honour the European year dedicated to women. The barefooted mountain climber symbolically dedicated his feat to the widow of Inspector Raciti, killed while in service at the stadium of Catania, and to the widow of free flight champion D’Arrigo, who died last year in an accident. The volcano climbing exploits will continue in Japan in May, when Tom will carry the ashes of Etna to Fujiama, in a sort of symbolic twinship.

Argo informs

Gruppo Industriale ARGO

TechnoFarm in the “Europa” version an open-field Utility range The new Technofarm “Europa” series tractors are an innovation for the international markets, a range of true “utility” machines for open-field work launched by Landini during the 2007 Sima trade fair. In the 60 to 75 HP power bracket, the Technofarm Europa family features an optimum balance between tough and reliable construction combined with efficacious technical solutions that tend to minimize the cost impact: an increasingly more pressing need in many European countries. Landini’s new range is equipped with the same engines as the Rex series. This means: 3-cylinder aspirated engines for “Technofarm 60”, 3cylinder turbo engines for “Technofarm 70” and “80”, and 4-cylinder aspirated engines for “Technofarm 75”. The suspended semi-platform keeps the noise level to within 86 dBA, the limit imposed in European Union countries. Available in versions with 2 and 4-wheel drive, the Technofarm Europa series has been designed to deal efficiently with open-field jobs depending on the weight and power of the machine itself. It is also ideal for preparing seed beds, for jobs that require the power take-off and for transport work. It’s a versatile range that targets on facing all the soil working and handling jobs in a simple and economic way. All this is achieved thanks to the dimensions, typical of open-field tractors with a 2030 mm wheelbase for the version with the 3-cylinder engine and 2140 mm for the one with the 4-cylinder engine. The machine weighs 2300 kg and there’s a wide variety of 8” and 30” tyres to choose from, through to the 16.9-30 size, which is the reference tyre for the more powerful model. The transmission complies with market requirements and features a double dry clutch, 24+24 gearbox with a fully synchronized mechanical reverse shuttle. The transmission is complete with epicyclic rear final drives. The generously sized cab and side levers confirm Technofarm’s accurate layout project that also reflects in the large wrap-around mudguards fixed to the folding rear safety frame. The 65-litre capacity fuel tank installed between the engine housing and steering wheel is true to the typical conformation of the Utility tractor as are the pedals, which are connected straight to the linkages of the oil-cooled multiple-plate brakes. A new look for the McCormick range which matches anthracite grey with the well-known red colour McCormick presented the new colours and decals that will identify all the brand’s families of products in the future at the 2007 Sima trade fair. The colour used for the chassis of McCormick’s tractors will be different from that of the bodywork so as to make the machines more attractive as to appearance. The bodywork will still be painted in the McCormick red colour, while the chassis will be given a new look in anthracite grey. Moreover, the decals will sport a more modern design to reflect the brand’s stylistic developments.


“Italy that works” reaches Breganze Laverda gets an award and special mention for over 130 years of history Laverda won the “Italy that works” award for 2007. This occurred during the conference organized by Pragma Grandi Congressi at the conference centre of Russot Hotel in VeniceSan Giuliano on the subject “Small and medium-sized enterprises, a dam against the crisis”, that was particularly dedicated to companies in the Triveneto area. The prize was awarded thanks to the hard-working, serious and ethical dealings that have distinguished the Breganze company since 1873, the year in which it was established. Qualities that have made it the emblem and driving force behind the development of the economic and social framework of the NorthEast. Requisites that the technical commission of experts noted and awarded in their decision to encourage the efforts of men and enterprises that contribute with their work towards the growth of our country’s economy and prestige throughout the world. In front of over 800 guests from the various different provinces of Veneto,

Trentino Alto Adige and Friuli Venezia Giulia, the two speakers, Gianluca Versace, television journalist, and Giovanni Agretti, expert in matters concerning small and mediumsized undertakings, underscored the importance of these enterprises as “bearing axle” of the national economy. Mariolina Cannuli, the vivacious TV compère, was patroness and coordinator of the event.

Laverda gadgets, a fresh and pleasant line There are lots of new gadgets and clothing articles in the new catalogue, presented during the 2007 Sima trade fair in Paris. And the public appeared to be extremely interested in the products. Please contact the parts division of Laverda spa, in Breganze, for further details.

The conference was crowned by the prize giving ceremony where awards were presented to the representatives of more than 100 enterprises. Laverda spa obtained a special mentioned for over 130 years of history and was the first to be awarded. Simonetta Lambrocco, Laverda’s communication and public relations manager, collected the prize on behalf of the Breganze company. Left: television journalist Gianluca Versace consigns Laverda’s award to communication and public relations manager Simonetta Lambrocco. Below on both pages: a few of the articles in the new gadget catalogue.


Make way for women in the plant More women employed in the Laverda factories After a few months of planning, the “Women in Laverda” project launched by Mario Pretto, Laverda’s human resources manager in collaboration with the Thiene branch of Adecco, the temporary employment agency, with the Labour Exchange and union representatives, got off to a start. The programme began in January 2007 with a professional training course dedicated to learning assembly techniques. This was followed by a stage in the factory, which led to a fixed-term employment contract. The recent crisis in the textile sector has created considerable difficulties when it comes to female employment, and has inevitably affected the Breganze area. This initiative by Laverda and Adecco has a doubly positive outcome as it provides employment in a fairly flexible way for people who have lost their jobs. Laverda’s objective is to create an already trained work force to be employed by the company in a cyclic way and to face seasonal peaks when the production must be increased

in certain periods of the year or for particular market situations. Thanks to this flexibility, the women Laverda employs by virtue of this project will be able to organize their jobs to suit their family commitments. In view of the success enjoyed by the project and the difficulty in finding specialized male workers, other companies in the area have also decided to recruit their employees in a similar manner, by offering women the chance to work in areas that were traditionally the prerogative of men. «After the Argo Industrial Group relaunched the Laverda brand» explained Simonetta Lambrocco, Laverda’s communication and public relations manager, «we are again witnessing a characteristic for which the Breganze company has always stood out. I’m talking about a special sensitivity towards the problems that affect the area. There’s also a renewed sense of belonging amongst both male and female workers, who now feel proud to be part of a winning enterprise. One should also remember that the “Women in Laverda” project

also complies with the European Commission’s directive defining 2007 as the year of Equal Opportunities». At the present time, there are twenty women who benefit from the “Women in Laverda” project, and they are shortly to be joined by eight more.


The album

A roaring “monster” in the wheat fields The M 182 was first tested 27 years ago and paved the way for the “red” giants

Breganze, summer 1980. A strange looking monster was moving through the wheat fields to the south of the town, not far from the big new Laverda factory that had recently begun full production. The dark red colour, the funny letters formed by green dots, the large beak at the rear with its alarming eye, a cloud of dust and straw and a deep rumble: it looked more like something out of the realms of science fiction than a farm machine. But the human beings that flocked around it soon shed a light on this fantastic scene. Dressed as always in a white shirt, tie and boots, Chev. Pietro Laverda controlled every movement. His planning engineers rushed to and fro. The mechanics from the “experience department” all dressed in faded green overalls, brandished their tool boxes while a photographer took snaps as the machine proceeded step by step. Laverda’s gigantic new M 182 combineharvester made its debut on the fields.

The following year, painted in the traditional and certainly more reassuring red colour, it was tried out in fields over the half of Europe so as to fully test its qualities and defects. It was exhibited in public in September during the corn day organized in Caorle (Ve) by the Farming Development Authority of Veneto, where it was acclaimed by the farmers. Lastly, in November of the same year, the new M 182 was the pride of the Eima trade fair in Bologna. Let’s try to understand the reasons for this immediate interest. At the end of the ‘70’s, the growing needs of modern grain cultivation encouraged the manufacturers to create increasingly more powerful and bigger machines. Laverda, then unrivalled leader in Italy and also well placed in important markets like those of France and Spain, couldn’t just remain an onlooker. At that time, the top of the range was the M 152 model with 5 straw-walkers, the utmost development of the M 120 project. The strategy chosen

was to create a conventional combine-harvester without limits as to cost, despite the tendency towards axial machines that was rife at that time. But this machine was to provide high performance and possess decidedly innovative characteristics as compared to the other products available on the market. Thus, a large machine with an adequate power rating, but one that, for the very first time, featured a massive use of electronics to control the various different functions. This was a true revolution in the sphere of farm machinery and a real challenge in view of the suspicious way in which the traditionalists viewed the machine. In the big cab set at the side, complete with air conditioning and heating system, a control panel with as many as 45 functions included all the electronically controlled electrohydraulic commands, with a digital display that kept the operator informed about the drum’s speed and revolutions. Moreover, the

A lovely shot of the revolutionary M 182 at work.

15 standard equipment also featured the leak monitor, hour counter and hectare counter. A 1600 mm drum, the widest of its category, six straw-walkers with an overall 8 sqm cleaning surface, a 7000 litre capacity tank, a cutting bar of as much as 7.60 m, 225 HP engine with hydrostatic transmission and 3-speed gearbox: these were the main technical features of the machine. On the outside, the line was both imposing yet attractive. It had been designed by architect Olivieri from Studio Nizzoli of Milan, a big name in Italy’s industrial design sphere who had already worked on the M 120 and its evolutions. This machine, which was to be called the 3900, immediately proved to be equal to its task. It soon overcame the inevitable difficulties due to the sort of running in period the new electronic technology had to undergo. Since it was so powerful and productive, the 3900 combine was perfect for use in farms that cultivated grain crops or by farmcontractors. This was also due to its versatility, always a feature of Laverda’s machines. This combine could be quickly adapted for harvesting rice and with 6 to 8 row corn apparatus. It remained in production until 1985, after which it was substituted by a lower powered model with simplified components, i.e. the

3850, but above all to make way for the top of the range, Laverda’s newly created “unconventional” machine. This was the MX 240 which, despite its interesting characteristics, was never as successful as was hoped. But the path marked out by the M 182 project, with technical solutions that were truly innovative as compared to the other combine-harvesters on the European scene, allowed Laverda’s range of machines with 5 and 6 straw-walkers to be totally renewed within just a few years and enabled the company to become established on the markets. Piergiorgio Laverda

Above: the first prototype of the M 182. Above: the innovative cab with the electronic control panel. Left: the M 182 combine at work in a paddy field.


The history, the stories

The different skills that make the most of work Cooperativa Verlata of Villaverla and the partnership (since ‘90) with Laverda Veneto and the province of Vicenza have lots of undertakings that operate in the social sphere. Just think how, according to recent estimations, of the over 700 enterprises in Italy, as many as 623 are situated in the Veneto Region and 105 in the province of Vicenza. In Italy, there are extremely eloquent statistics that testify to this situation: in 2005, the overall turnover was well over 400 billion Euros, involving about 200 thousand workers, amongst whom the chance offered to more than 23,000 disadvantaged persons (disabled, with problems c o n c e r n i n g drug addiction, mental health, exconvicts, persons suffering from social hardship, etc.) was of great significance. An important social initiative was accomplished by Cooperativa Sociale Verlata. Established as an association in 1984 in Villaverla by a group of people who had been doing voluntary work for years with disabled persons, helping them to integrate in schools and in the recreational activities that took place in the area, this Cooperative’s goal is still to promote wellbeing and to integrate these persons. This is done by helping to reduce the effects of the various different handicaps, to increase personal autonomy, and to improve skills that could be used to advantage at work. Over the years, the project became

specialized and led to the establishment of Verlata Lavoro, a social cooperative that prepares people for jobs. This enterprise operates like any other undertaking on the market and deals with work in the fields of mechanical assembly, carpentry, ground care and computer services. The partners of the cooperative deal each day with the business aspects, production, relations with the customers and assist the persons who have been given jobs. The work done by Verlata is

extremely positive and the cooperative has been able to expand to an increasing number of new areas. The stability of the cooperative’s structure confirms the image of a company that has been able to strike a happy balance amongst commitments, difficulties and its mission. The jobs are offered to persons suffering from social hardships (owing to disabilities or some other form of disadvantage), the purpose being to prepare them for future employment outside.

Laverda S.p.A. via F. Laverda, 15/17 - 36042 Breganze [VI] Italy t. +39.0445.385311 f. +39.0445.873355

Employment in the Cooperative, with direct experience in a job, has proved to be an efficacious way of preparing people for work: more than 110 persons have taken part in a training scheme over the years, and have actually found jobs outside at the end of the course. In 2006, Verlata’s overall turnover amounted to one million 850 thousand Euros with 33 worker partners provided with employment, and with an equal number of regularly engaged disadvantaged persons to be added to their number. One of the first companies in the area with which Cooperativa Verlata collaborated was Laverda spa, in a partnership that began way back in 1990. The Cooperative actually carries out certain processes concerning the packaging of parts for the Breganze company. Ground care for the areas around the Breganze plant is another significant service. It has been going on for fifteen years and provides employment for three persons. Collaboration that upholds social values but that also testifies to Laverda’s roots in the territory as, in its 130 years of history, the Breganze company has always developed a strong ability to stimulate the energy put into the work and ideas of its area, besides having a deep respect for social matters and for the events of the community in which it is situated.

This journal is printed on fully recycled paper, in the utmost respect for the environment.


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