Claiming three of the possible four accolades available in 2021, AGCO missed out on the award in 2022 but has bounced back to claim the overall prestigious Tractor of the Year for 2023 with the new Fendt 728 Vario.
The Tractor of the Year is an international award which a group of 26 independent journalists assigns to the best tractor in the European market. The accolade has been on the go since 1998 and is presented at the EIMA show in Italy. Each year, four tractors come out trumps across the four categories.
Fendt, McCormick, New Holland and JCB have shared the spoils for 2023.
Tractor of the Year – Fendt 728 Vario
The new Fendt 728 Vario, which was launched in August, scooped the overall prize for 2023. It was launched as part of the manufacturer’s latest Gen 7, 700 Vario series tractor range which also included the new 726.
The 728 Vario replaced the 724 Vario as the flagship tractor in the range. This came in response to the market’s demand for a compact, high power-to-weight ratio tractor. Rated at 283hp, the 728 Vario benefits from a further 20hp thanks to the automatic power boost concept, to total 303hp.
Rather than being related to forward speed, boost is “purely dynamic”, engaging even at static PTO applications. The new range sees Fendt move away from the existing Deutz engines to a new 7.5l unit supplied by sister company AGCO Power, which Fendt claims has been redesigned for the power spectrum. The drivetrain has also been revised.
In the cab, FendtOne has been enhanced, with users having the option of operating the tractor via the multifunction joystick or the 3L joystick option.
It’s equipped with a 10in digital dashboard and a 12in terminal on the armrest as standard.
Best Utility – McCormick X6.414 P6-Drive
The McCormick X6.414 P6-Drive came out top in the Best Utility section. Sitting in the middle of a three-model range, it has a power output of 135hp, boosting to 146hp, from the FPT four-cylinder engine. It features Argo’s P6-Drive powershift system, providing six powershift gears in four ranges with the option of a creeper. The closed-centre, load-sensing hydraulics system offers 114l/min, with an independent 44l pump for low-pressure functions. Up to five electronic spool valves can be specified, while rear hitch lifting capacity is 7,200kg.
Best of Specialised – New Holland T4.120 F
One of the key features is the hood, which is lower than the outgoing edition. It features a 120hp FPT four-cylinder engine which is married to an in-house designed 32×16 transmission. It comes equipped with the firm’s new VisionView cab, which comes with a digital dashboard and is available with a host of precision farming equipment.
Sustainable TOTY – JCB Fastrac 4220 iCon
After four years of development, JCB completely revitalised the Fastrac cab, and introduced the new iCON series earlier this year. This fresh new look consisted of a new armrest console and new touchscreen display featuring flexibility for control allocation, alongside a new transmission control strategy.
The range is now available with integrated Isobus and JCB’s own GPS guidance. iCON comes standard on all five Fastrac models, from the 175hp entry level 4000 series to the 348hp 8330.
JCB continues to use the proven AGCO (Fendt) sourced 60km/h Vario transmission, but has made improvements to how it is interpreted.