Well-known brands often choose to be associated with brands of a similar standing. OEMs too: in choosing an engine, it’s a clear signal of where they think their brand sits in the marketplace.
Austrian tractor manufacturer Reform-Werke is only too aware of the respect afforded its specialist alpine tractor.
Launched in 1965, its first-generation Metrac attracted a loyal following, not just among farmers in its core markets of Austria, Switzerland, France and Italy, but also municipal authorities throughout Europe. Here was a tractor offering outstanding gradient abilities, confidently tackling terrain that lesser machines – and their operators – might simply refuse.
When the time came for a top-to-bottom redesign of the Metrac – the Metrac H75 Pro – Reform’s engineers wanted to equip it with the right power unit.
“The most important feature of the H75 is its low centre of gravity,” explains Stefan Kurzmann, Metrac product manager. “It’s up to us to get that right but understandably the engine plays a big part in achieving that.
“We were also acutely aware of the significance of redesigning the H75,” he adds. “A tractor that’s a brand in itself, associated with durability and reliability. Now we’re about to completely redesign nearly every component, including the engine. For such an important step into the future, we could not afford to get this wrong.”
Reform’s team already had experience with Perkins. But importantly, they also recognised the brand’s respect. “We knew customers would recognise and value the Perkins brand, as it carries the same values of durability and reliability that they’ve come to associate with Reform,” Martin Dachs, the company’s head of marketing explains.
“Perkins engines are high quality and enjoy a strong reputation for their performance in specialist machinery throughout the agricultural and municipal sectors,” Martin adds.
With input from Perkins Austrian distributor Zeppelin Power Systems, the Perkins® 904 Series was quickly shortlisted.
The 904J-E28T, delivering 75 hp and 300 Nm, was ideally suited to the H75, while the larger H95, was the recipient of the 904J-E36TA, offering 95 hp and 410 Nm. Both units were already proven in their ability to offer reliable, all-season performance as well as sufficient power for the dual-range hydrostatic drive and the power-shift PTO.
The fuel efficiency of the 904 Series was a key factor in its selection, as was its maintenance—all of which influence total cost of ownership (TCO). Again, the 904 Series plays well as its highly integrated design comes pre-installed with ECM, aftertreatment sensors and fuel sensors in easily accessible positions.
Reform is confident it has made the right choice with Perkins. Not only did the success of the H75 and H95 persuade them to choose Perkins for a further two new Metrac models, the H60 and H70, but the new H75 also picked up the prestigious 2022 Tractor of the Year award in the Specialised category – something that Reform now expects will bring the attributes and benefits of the Metrac to an international audience.
Martin Dachs, head of marketing at Reform-Werke
Specialised farming demands specialised tractors – and that’s exactly the way to describe Reform’s Metrac H75 Pro. Designed for extreme slopes and difficult terrain, the Metrac has been in mass production since 1965, building up a loyal customer base amongst both mountain farmers and municipal authorities.
Best described as a tool carrier, the Metrac displays outstanding versatility in its ability to tackle the most difficult working positions, without compromising safety or comfort. Five decades of customer feedback and alpine engineering know-how went into the H75 Pro, completely redesigned for its 2020 launch.
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