Seamless step into a new generation

The Fendt team affectionately jokes, "It's not fuel, but hydraulic fluid that flows through the veins of a Fendt tractor." In fact, it is the ingenious Vario transmission that makes up the heart of each tractor from Marktoberdorf – to this day unbeaten in efficiency, dynamism and comfort. Vario – synonymous for smooth driving and now boasts over 250,000 customers worldwide.

Fendt Vario: Celebrating the anniversary of a winning model

In November 2016, the 250,000th Fendt Vario transmission model rolls off the production line in Marktoberdorf. More than twenty years after the first tractor with continuously variable Vario transmission was introduced, the quarter of a million mark has now been reached. 250,000 Vario transmissions – that means 250,000 happy customers relying on the stepless drive for its power, dynamics and driving comfort.

Revolution in transmission manufacturing

It was the world's first tractor with a continuously variable drive: the 1995 Fendt Favorit 926 Vario. This tractor revolutionised agricultural technology. It was not only the 6-cylinder MAN engine with 260 HP that astounded visitors at the 1995 Agritechnica fair, but also the revolutionary Fendt Vario transmission that, for the first time, combines the efficiency of a quick shift gear with the advantages of a continuous drive. Fully future-proof, even back then it met the growing requirements of agricultural contractors and large-scale farms.

A fascinating concept

There were a number of reservations and the market was hit by a string of crises, but that did not stop Fendt from backing an innovation that was as visionary as it was complex. There were plenty of challenges for the Fendt gear developers. The vehicle electronics were still in their infancy in the early 90s but it was already clear that control and operation would no longer be mechanical but electronic in the future. The classic gear lever was defunct. In its place came the now familiar, easy to use multifunction joystick. A new challenge came about to improve comfort, as the oil pumps were far too noisy in the beginning.

"We developed a solution to soundproof the pumps with a flexible mounting system," reminisces gear developer, Richard Heindl, who has worked on the Fendt Vario transmission from day one. For him and many other Fendt engineers, the target was in clear sight; "I personally have a farming background and was fascinated by the idea of a tractor that just drives – at any speed, uphill or downhill, backwards or forwards, without juddering nor loss of traction, all without switching gears. "The idea is that the operator should be able to focus on what's really important; the work on the field." And today, when automated driving has long since become reality, Fendt customers have testified to the enormous advantages of the Vario transmission two hundred and fifty thousand times over. Did anyone see this coming? "We at Fendt were always convinced that our transmission was a winner," says Heindl, looking back at the last 20 years. "The project was kept secret for a long time. We were very proud when we were finally able to announce the first continuously variable transmission gearbox. Because we knew that it would change agricultural technology forever".

Fendt VarioDrive: dare to try something new.

The launch of the 1000-series at Agritechnica 2015 – exactly 20 years after the first Fendt Vario tractor was introduced – heralded the next generation of Vario transmission gearboxes. Fendt VarioDrive is the name of the gear generation which has been consistently further developed from the ground up. This range includes the first permanently variable all-wheel function thanks to the independent axle drive – an entirely automatic system, without any operator intervention. New to this generation; both the rear and front axles have their own hydro motor.

Fendt VarioDrive 

Mosaic

Fendt 1000 Vario.

Agritechnica 2015: The Fendt 1000 Vario with the new Fendt VarioDrive drivetrain has won every prize going; Tractor Of The Year, Machine Of The Year, DLG Silver Medal.

  • Mosaic

    Fendt 1000 Vario.

    Agritechnica 2015: The Fendt 1000 Vario with the new Fendt VarioDrive drivetrain has won every prize going; Tractor Of The Year, Machine Of The Year, DLG Silver Medal.

  • Mosaic

    The 3-tonne VarioDrive-transmission of the Fendt 1000 Vario is built at the transmission plant in Marktoberdorf.

  • Mosaic

    Do your best work, everyday.

    Permanent all-wheel function, enhanced tractive power and more manoeuvrability, these are all the hallmarks of the Fendt Vario 1000 with VarioDrive.

The Fendt spirit flows through every Vario transmission.

The modern and constantly improved manufacturing and assembly line that brings 77 Vario transmissions to life every day, also shows that Karl-Heinz Welz, Head of the Transmission Plant, and his team, do not rest on their laurels. Walker is proud of a team who mastered the serial production of the complex powertrain of the Fendt Vario 1000 from day one. "Every employee who touches one of those units gives life to the Fendt tractor. We embody the Fendt spirit!" Fendt relies exclusively on internal skills in its transmission manufacturing, as well as decades of experience in the serial production of stepless gearboxes. Tonnes and tonnes of steel are delivered every day and are transformed into every single part of the gearbox, be it the gears, shafts or casings. From production to assembly, everything happens in the same department in Marktoberdorf. "Everything we do strives for 100% quality," affirms Assembly Manager, Mr Wagenseil. "We believe that the trust that hundreds and thousands of people show in us, must be earned on a daily basis."

100% quality.

A change of scene: At the transmission factory, a 3-tonne VarioDrive transmission gearbox with rear axle rolls off the production line. It awaits the first tough test of its young life; at high-tech testbench no. 4, it will undergo a 30-minute endurance run that it will pass with flying colours. Every work situation that a tractor might encounter is simulated, so that the gearbox's controls, components and processes can be given a full health check. Everything is automatic and equipped with the latest test systems. Calibration, high-pressure testing up to 550 bar, maximum speed... The enclosed test booth is like an operating room, with gears and gauges working with precision at maximum performance.

Successful tractor history – written by Fendt

In over 80 years of company history, Fendt has always brought ground-breaking technological developments onto the market and set important milestones in agricultural engineering. This history will continue, because Fendt has always stood for progress as a tradition.

First milestones

1930: With the Dieselross, the first European 6 hp small tractor, featuring mower and mounted plough, Fendt entered into a period of growth.

1937: The Dieselross F 18 (16 HP) was equipped with a travel-independent power shift PTO.

1949: Monthly production of 20 Dieselross F 18 (18 hp) tractors

1953: The 12 hp Fendt tool carrier with four mounting areas is presented for the first time. 1959 Fendt received the highest award of the German Agricultural Society for its ingenious one-man system.

1958: The Favorit 1, trendsetting in appearance and technology, for example, it had a 40-hp engine and a multi-speed close-ratio gearbox.

1968: Farmer 3 S (48 HP) with fluid flywheel (Turbomatic) – trend-setting technology.

1975: Specialty tractors for wine, hops and fruit-growing (42, 50 and 65 HP).

1976: New standards for high horsepower tractors: The Favorit LS range with comfort cab, six-cylinder engines (85 to 150 hp).

1979: Ahead of their time: The high-horsepower tractors Favorit 622 LS (211 hp) and 626 LS (252 hp).

1980: The 300 Farmer range defined a new tractor trend: 40 km/h, four-wheel braking system, Turbomatic and comfort cab with rubber bearings.

1984: The original all-round vision tractor, the 380 GTA, is launched.

1987: High-tech with compact dimensions distinguishes the 200 series, ranging from 40 to 75 HP, for wine, fruit and hops-growing.

1993: Trailblazing: The 800 series high-horsepower tractors are the first high-horsepower tractors in the world with turboshift, hydropneumatic suspension for the cab and front axle and a top speed of 50 km/h.

1994: The Favorit 500 C series (95 to 140 hp) incorporates successful features such as a top speed of 50 km/h, suspension and turboshift in the mid-sized class.

1995: World première at the Agritechnica: the 926 Vario, the world’s first high-horsepower tractor with stepless Vario transmission.

1997: The globally active US agricultural equipment corporation AGCO acquires the tractor manufacturer Xaver Fendt GmbH & Co.

1998: The new Vario 700 range is launched. The innovative Variotronic operating system receives international awards. The first Fendt combine is introduced.

1999: With the slogan "Vario 2000", Fendt presents a complete Vario line with eleven models from 86 to 270 hp.

Fendt in the 21st century

2002: Expansion of Fendt harvesting equipment: C-Series combine, round balers, square balers.

2005: Fendt presents the 936 Vario with 360 hp and a top speed of 60 km/h along with the 312 Vario at the Agritechnica. This Dieselross is 75 years old.

2006: Five new Vario ranges with a total of 21 new models with maximum power ranging from 95 to 360 hp are launched.

2007: Fendt introduces the project study TRISIX, a future-oriented high performance vehicle, at the Agritechnica. Furthermore, a tractor that runs on rapeseed oil and a new front loader are also presented.

2008: Eleven new combine models are presented at the Fendt Field Day in Wadenbrunn. The rotary combine with 459 hp is equipped with the largest rotor currently available in the industry.

2009: Fendt starts series production of the 200 Vario V/F/P specialty tractors. The new 200 Vario and 800 Vario and the Fendt hybrid combine are presented at the Agritechnica.

2010: The first Fendt Efficient Technology models are introduced at the Fendt Field Day in Wadenbrunn: the new 800 Vario and the 900 Vario with up to 390 hp. Moreover, the Fendt forage harvester is presented for the first time.

2011: The new 700 Vario with new VisioPlus cab is launched with success. The first Fendt Katana 65 put in operation in customer fields.

2012: The historical year in Fendt history:

  • Launch of the new 300 Vario series with SCR technology
  • Fendt Field Day in Wadenbrunn with 58,000 visitors
  • Opening of the world’s most modern factory network for tractors in Marktoberdorf/Bäumenheim and launch of the 500 Vario

2013: Fendt innovations at the Agritechnica

2014: Fendt Field Day in Wadenbrunn

2015: A rain of medals and rush of visitors at Agritechnica

2016: 250,000 Fendt Vario winning transmissions

  • Premier of the 1050 Vario in Brazil
  • Fendt 1000 Vario meets Dieselross - major Fendt convention in Switzerland
  • Fendt tractors now available in Fendt Nature Green
  • The new 500 Vario. Your ideal perspective
  • Fendt Vario winning transmission - 250,000 times over.
  • The Gold SIMA Innovation Award for innovative combine system