Volvo Penta 13-L Engine Powers AVR Potato Harvester

The Volvo Penta TAD1373VE was chosen for use in AVR's Puma 3 for its ability to run at low rpm, thus lowering fuel consumption and noise levels.

Avr Puma 3
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Agricultural equipment manufacturer, AVR, has seen a successful uptake of its Puma 3 potato harvester since the installation of a Volvo Penta engine. 

Belgian manufacturer, AVR, first prototyped a 13-L Volvo Penta engine, the TAD1373VE, in its Puma 3 potato harvester in 2014. Since then, the machine has proven to be so popular with customers that there are now more than 100 units in operation around the world.  

“Our customers have been very satisfied with the Puma 3, compared to units with another engine by a different supplier, which ran at high rpm and was very noisy,” says Steven Paesschesoone, Research and Development Director at AVR.

“The Volvo Penta engine runs at low rpm and has lower fuel consumption, and makes a lot less noise, so it’s much more comfortable for the operator. It’s also easy to install as it is compact, and has an easy-to-use aftertreatment system. We like the simplicity of it.”

Strong and reliable

AVR, based in north west Belgium, was founded nearly 170 years ago. It makes soil cultivators, potato planters, harvesters, crop handling units, and haulm toppers (units that cut the leaves off potatoes before being harvested). The Puma 3 is a 23.5-ton self-propelled machine that can harvest four or two rows, making it a versatile unit. It has a wide turning radius of 50 degrees at the front and 20 degrees at the back, and its oscillating topper is designed for any length of haulm. It is sold across Europe and in other regions including Canada, Russia and China.

Harvesting of potatoes is seasonable, usually from August to October (although can be from June to November) in the northern hemisphere, and the Puma 3 may be used for between 400 and 1,000 hours per year.

“Harvesting is very dependent on the weather, as you can’t do this in rain, otherwise the crop will be damp and may rot,” says Paesschesoone. “So harvesting has to be done in good weather, and because of the tight timescale, it means the machine may have to be used for up to 20 hours per day.

“There is no time to waste. The machine and the engine, therefore, have to be completely reliable at all times. We have had no big problems with the Volvo Penta engine.”

He adds, “Another reason we chose Volvo Penta was because of the service the company offers. We can get spare parts easily, and because of their global network, our customers all over the world can get help. We give Volvo Penta the names of our customers and they contact them, so our customers know they can get good service whenever they need it.”

Productivity for the future

The TAD1373VE is an off-road, 6-cylinder, 12.8-L EU Stage IV diesel engine.

Volvo Penta revealed its new EU Stage V 13-L engine – TAD1381-1385VE – at Agritechnica. It is a powerful, reliable and fuel efficient six-cylinder unit. It has a maximum output of 405 kW (551 hp) at 1,900 rpm. The engine – along with a new EU Stage V 5-L engine, which is also being revealed at the agricultural show – is designed to deliver maximum power and torque at low rpm. This results in optimized performance, including smooth operation, low noise, and world-class fuel efficiency.

Both the 13- and 5-L engines are produced with a common architecture for ease of installation, service and maintenance; they are matched with a complementary exhaust aftertreatment system (EATS) to incorporate all the key features of Volvo Penta’s Stage V concept.

Paesschesoone confirms that AVR will be looking to install Volvo Penta’s new Stage V engine in its machinery in future. “The earlier the better for us,” he adds.

Rogier Morang, Volvo Penta’s key account manager for industrial engines in the Benelux region, says, “AVR looked at various competitors when they chose which suppliers to use for their Puma 3 and Volvo Penta was able to offer a high-performance engine along with excellent customer service. It’s great that the machine has been a big hit with customers all over the world, and we are now discussing how to continue this with our Stage V solution.”