A belated Christmas present arrived with us today: a brand new state-of-the-art Valtra N174D tractor with integrated smart technology.
James Robson, Dealer Principal of R W Crawford Ashford, delivered the tractor, assisted by Ben Marsh, Crawfords Product Support Technician, who came to give the students and lecturers an overview of the tractor, which drew quite a lot of attention in the machinery yard! Students and staff looked on as the hi-spec machine was unloaded and hit Hadlow College soil for the first time.
The Valtra will be used by our Level 3 and University Centre students and, with its Twin Trac and Quick Steer systems, means it can be driven in reverse, in the same way as normal forward-driving by turning the whole seat unit around, making some types of field work much easier. It also uses its AutoGuide system to steer itself with no driver input, for precision crop work.
Our Agricultural Engineering team are working with Crawfords and AGCO to enable the Valtra to work together with our drones, which will capture field maps to be uploaded to the tractor. This will enable Map-Based Variable Rate Application, vital in an ever-changing industry where demand is increasing and efficiency is key.
Farming is changing, becoming more scientific and efficient with the adopting of precision agriculture. Our investment in these latest technologies ensures our students leave us with the skills to support both todays‘ and tomorrow’s technologically-advanced equipment.
With the national shortage of up-and-coming engineers entering the industry, Hadlow has a duty to train a workforce able to meet the demands of modern businesses, who are constantly innovating to compete in national and international markets.
We can’t wait to see the Valtra in action. With its black body and black wheels, some are already referring to it as Hadlow’s ‘batmobile’ – and we hope to train some future farming superheroes in it!