The winners of the Tractor of the Year (TOTY) 2022 award were recently announced during a ceremony held in conjunction with EIMA International 2021. This annual award honors innovative tractor designs in the agricultural equipment industry.
Winners in the four categories are:
- Tractor of the Year 2022: John Deere with the 7R 350 AutoPowr model
- Best Utility 2022: John Deere with the 6120M AutoPowr model
- Best of Specialized 2022: Reform with the Metrac H75 pro model
- Sustainable TOTY 2022: New Holland with the T6.180 Methane Power model
Tire manufacturer BKT is a sponsor of the awards; winners are selected by a jury of international agricultural journalists.
"We are really proud to be able to support this prestigious award for the second year," explained Lucia Salmaso, CEO of BKT Europe, during the awards ceremony. "We are convinced that the Tractor of the Year is a splendid showcase to enhance and emphasize innovation in agricultural mechanization and therefore in agriculture itself. This is why we will continue to strive to support this event which for us is synonymous with the future, sustainability and technology.
"I offer my warmest congratulations for their excellent work to the winners of the four categories John Deere, Reform, [and] New Holland," he added.
"We are all very satisfied with this 25th edition of TOTY," said Fabio Zammaretti, President of Tractor of the Year. "The level of tractors competing grows constantly and it was a very tight race. The jury this year, once again, did an extraordinary job in evaluating all the tractors competing for the four TOTY awards. Our mission is to make the most of the technologies offered by tractors, without forgetting that sustainability plays a fundamental role in our industry. We are also very pleased with the collaboration with BKT, thanks to which we were able to find the perfect mix of digital and face-to-face events."
John Deere 7R 350 AutoPowr and 6120M AutoPowr
Two John Deere tractors have received TOTY awards. The company's 7R 350 AutoPowr was named Tractor of the Year for the array of features it offers to aid farmers in the field. Numerous technology features and an automation package help with productivity and efficiency, while the wide operator cab ensures optimal comfort.
Active Command Steering allows tractor operators to set their driving preferences, again benefiting their comfort in the field.
The 6120M AutoPowr, winner in the Best Utility category, also features advanced technology such as precision farming to help farmers improve their operations. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) on the tractor and short wheelbase provide optimized maneuverability through the field.
The tractor is designed for a range of tasks from front loader work to soil cultivation to transportation.
Reform H75 Pro
Austria-based Reform-Werke received the Best of Specialized award for its REFORM Metrac H75 pro. According to an announcement from the company about winning the award, its machine was chosen for its excellent slope capability and versatility. The jury also appreciated the high level of comfort and safety provided.
The Metrac H75 pro also features a low center of gravity and hydrostatic transmission to aid maneuverability across a variety of terrain. It is capable of using two attachments at the same time, benefiting the versatility of the vehicle.
New Holland Methane Power tractor
The first production model of New Holland Agriculture's T6 Methane Power Tractor has received the TOTY award in the Sustainable Tractor category. This award is presented for equipment which utilizes technology aimed at helping improve the environmental impact of the machine, such as through a reduction in emissions output.
New Holland has been developing its methane fueled tractor for several years, and officially launched the machine in 2019. Per the company's press release announcing it received the TOTY award, the tractor features a re-engineered 6-cylinder FPT Industrial NEF engine producing 175 hp (130.5 kW) like its diesel-fueled equivalent. Gas injectors and spark plugs replace the diesel injector, with the gas injected into each cylinder for constant, clean, maximized combustion.
According to New Holland, carbon monoxide emissions from the tractor are 80% lower than the limits allowed under current EU Stage V regulations. Further emissions reductions include:
- non-methane hydrocarbons by 90%
- particulate matter (PM) by 98%
- nitrous oxide (NOx) by 62%
- carbon dioxide (CO2) by 11%.
In addition, the company notes running costs are reduced 30% compared to diesel-powered tractors, and operators will feel fewer vibrations, adding to the benefits of the methane fueled machine.
"The T6 Methane Power tractor we [are] presenting here at EIMA is our production unit, and this technology is available to our customers now. With the economic and practical advantages, it brings, further enhanced when using biomethane, we expect a lot of interest from biogas plant operators and suppliers, and also farmers with access to the gas network. Municipalities are also showing a lot of interest in adding this tractor to their fleets of Compressed Natural Gas vehicles to further reduce their emissions footprint," said Oscar Baroncelli, Head of Tractor Product Management, in the company's press release.
The tractor features a similar design as its diesel equivalent with one key change—the fuel tanks have been replaced with a combination of 10 tanks arranged around the center of the tractor's chassis, explains New Holland in its press release. These tanks provide a 453 L (79 kg/119.7 gal.) gas-holding capacity, which the company says is enough fuel for an 8-hour work day of road haulage or PTO working. This increases to 14 hours in operations such as that utilizing a cattle feeder.
“What surprises customers is the power and the torque that is the same as the diesel. Refueling is simple, and very similar to the process of filling a CNG -powered car or truck,” says Mark Howell, Global Product Manager Alternative Fuel at New Holland, in the company's press release. “It takes no longer than refueling a conventional tractor's diesel tank, and is a cleaner process with no chance of spillages.
"The benefit of methane as a fuel is that it can create a circular energy system. When burned in controlled circumstances in an engine like that in the T6.180 Methane Power, the by-products are carbon dioxide and water. When you consider the CO2 released in creating the fuel, not only do our customer benefit from the 11% CO2 saving for the exhaust pipe but they can also benefit from the source of the fuel. When using methane produced from a biogas plant with a mixture of waste and crops customers can achieve carbon neutral, but when the methane is collected directly from a slurry lagoon, not only are the methane emissions being stopped from escaping into the atmosphere it is being used instead of a fossil fuel bringing a double benefit in CO savings. Farms can become not just food producers, but fuel sources too, and methane-fueled tractors are the enablers for this circular process. Waste products such as livestock manures suddenly become valuable fuel sources. Methane is cleaner to handle when refueling and during combustion in the engine. It is a fuel readily available and this allows our customers to start the move to lower their CO2 today rather than waiting for other fuels that may or may not come in the future."