The visit to the Fendt factory on 16 April was organised by AGCO South Africa (Pty) Ltd. for the keen new customers and South African sales partner, BHBW (Barloworld Ltd. and BayWa). The farmers started the visit with a chat with Dr. Heribert Reiter, Managing Director of Research and Development, Purchasing and Customer Service, about current technological trends and the rainbow nation’s special market requirements. Operating conditions and market requirements in South Africa were of particular importance to the farmers. There was also avid interest in telemetry applications and a short introductory video about Fendt machines, which addresses the different national languages and different drivers.
After the technical discussion, the farmers were able to see our tractors in production during a factory tour, and they were noticeably impressed at the cleanliness and organisation within the Production department as well as the attention to detail. "The reliability of my Fendt 1050 Vario is testament to the attention to detail," said Michael Vermaak. With 1,400 cows on his dairy farm out in the karoo on a South African plateau, he also grows potatoes and alfalfa. His farm uses irrigation systems, as the area sees an average rainfall of just 200 mm. He already works with a Fendt 1050 Vario as well as a Fendt 933 Vario and a Fendt 828 Vario and loves the fuel efficiency of the machines. "My Fendt 1050 Vario tractor saves me up to 40 l/h in fuel, paying off the higher acquisition costs in the long term."
Pieter Hamman sees the demanding operating conditions in South Africa as a major challenge. On the one hand, the soils are very heavy and there is little rain, on the other, food prices are often already set, increasing the demand for efficient and high-performance machines. "With the TeachIn function, all headland management processes are stored once and then activated automatically. Having this option makes drivers' work easier, avoids driving errors and makes better use of the headland," says Hamman, delighted with the TeachIn function for VariotronicTI. For him, he was investing in the reliability, the quality of the service partner, fuel consumption and, above all, the long-term performance of the machine. Fendt delivered in all these aspects.
"South African farmers have a keen interest in high-quality and high-performance agricultural equipment from Fendt, because in South Africa, farmers sometimes manage farms of up to 30,000 hectares," says Felix Seitz, Plant Manager for the Africa region, about the type of Fendt customer in South Africa. So, it was also the harvesting solutions that piqued the interest of the group and hot topic included the Fendt IDEAL as well as the Fendt Squadra big baler. Farmers seized the chance to exchange views with Fendt officials about the strategy going forward. "We really appreciate the exchange with our customers from South Africa – they work with our machines and the dialogue helps us improve our products even further," says Dr. Heribert Reiter, Managing Director of Research and Development, Purchasing and Customer Service.