In early March we visited W. and J. Schutte on their arable farm in Nagele, the Netherlands.
The agricultural countryside in the Northeast Polder region is beautiful, and the sun is shining. The company is making itself ready for the first fieldwork in springtime. The previous day the Schuttes took delivery of two new Valtra N143 HiTech3 tractors, but they are not identical; on one, the front wheels have moved to the centre, creating a unique tricycle look.
“A tractor should suit its intended tasks perfectly,” Schutte explains.
When purchasing a new tractor or implement, Schutte pays a lot of attention to the finishing touches – and the Valtra tractor dealer Offringa in Creil was happy to oblige. Offringa made the tricycle conversion itself, constructing a special nose wheel for the tractor.
Schutte was looking for the ideal weight ratio to create pressure of 33 % on each twin-tyre wheel. “Valtra was the easy choice. Combining a four cylinder with a nose wheel creates a short combination.” Schutte tells us.
Schutte is naturally very satisfied with his Valtra dealer. “At first we wanted to buy two new trailers with the right tires and weight distribution to create good pressure on the king pin.”
Soon the discussion led to creating the ideal transport tractor, one that was strong like a bear, short and manoeuvrable.
Schutte knows what he is talking about when it comes to soil compaction, wheel tracks, weight ratio and structure deterioration. The light, fertile soil in Northeast Polder has been cultivated for only 70 years.
Schutte moved to the southwest coast of Northeast Polder in 1994. Since then his farm has grown to cover 180 hectares, including 100 hectares of flowers (70 hectares of tulips and 30 hectares of gladioli) and 80 hectares of arable products (30 hectares of onions, 30 hectares of seed potatoes and 20 hectares of cereals). Maintaining the highest quality involves a lot of work.
To avoid structure damage, Schutte purchased a Valtra N121 on tracks two seasons ago. This is used in the autumn when planting the flower bulbs. After this work, the N121 is converted back into a standard wheeled tractor.
This philosophy has been extended to the fieldwork in springtime. The light and soft soil is ploughed in spring. By using tires all across the full width of the tractor or implement, the soil is evenly compressed. Both the nose wheel and the two rear wheels have twin tyres, resulting in a perfect and uniform seedbed. The nose wheel can also be removed when required simply by unlocking 8 bolts. The wheels are the same as the standard wheels and can be mounted on the standard front axle.
Satisfied customer for over 20 years
Schutte has been loyal to Valtra tractors and their Valmet predecessors since 1992. The new farm was near the national importer of those days. Area manager Roel Hadders visited Schutte and convinced him of the benefits of the Finnish tractors. The powerful engine, the gearbox with good overlap, three-speed powershift, low fuel consumption and strong rear axle construction were decisive arguments.
Schutte considers the dealer a partner with whom he can talk with about technical matters. Offringa understands and is happy to make the desired adjustments to new tractors. The quality of agricultural products in the Netherlands is very high, so specialised tractors and implements are called for. Offringa responds to this challenge.
Schutte once tried another brand, but the new N143 now replaces the old John Deere. The company currently operates four Valtra tractors: a 6400, an N121 and two N143s. And the effects on the soil and the countryside? Well, just look at the wonderful countryside all around!