Farming & Fisheries

FARM CLASSICS: 21-year old Valtra T Series a true modern contender

September 7th, 2023 10:05 PM

By Southern Star Team

Unusually, to figure out the model, one must check the door for the model number.

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Valtra T130





Years of manufacture



VALTRA tractors had gained a solid footing in the Irish tractor market during the 90s with their 50 series range of tractors. Solid well-built tractors that were basic yet highly functional. Most importantly, they were fitted with SISU’s bullet-proof 620DS and 634DS engines. However, 50 series had reached its design limit such as its hydraulic system and angular, razor edged styling. Valtra continued to produce the 50 series with their final ‘HiTech2’ upgrade until the end of 2002.

In September on the same year, Valtra unveiled its new T series tractors. Styled with a modern look, these sloping bonnet tractors had cab improvements and new load sensing hydraulics with all models capable of 91l/min. 

Load-sensing hydraulics work through a hydraulic meter where the hydraulic pressure and flow is adjusted based on load requirement of the implement, which was a must for modern machinery emerging in the 2000s. 

Beneath the surface, Valtra applied the ‘if it’s not broke don’t fix it’ philosophy employing the same chassis, engines and 36F/36R Delta II transmission as the outgoing 50 series. 

One of the major differences was the introduction of a control armrest which operated the hydraulics through a joystick and other minor functions. The gear sticks were housed beyond the arm rest, sometimes proving a bit of a stretch for extended periods of haulage work.

Impressively, all of the tractors in the T series range spanning 120-190hp – T120-T190 respectively, shared many of the same capabilities – CAT3 linkage capable of lifting 7.7 tons, 91l/min hydraulic flow, turning circle etc – the only significant difference being the larger 7.4l engine fitted to the T180 and T190.

Unusually, it can be difficult to identify ‘T0’ models, due to the absence of any model identification typically found on a tractors bonnet. To figure out the model, one must check the door for the model number. 

In 2007, a major advance came with two all new transmissions developed in house by Valtra – Versu and Direct. Versu had five speed powershift transmission through four ranges providing 20 gears, operated by a stubby lever on the armrest in either manual or automatic mode. 

Direct was Valtra’s continuously variable transmission (CVT) with four ranges with infinite speeds from 0-50km/hr. 

With both transmission and hydraulics now integrated into the armrest, the T series became a true modern contender. All it needed was its next upgrade, so enter the T1. 

Now in its fifth generation (T5), Valtra T Series currently celebrates its 21st birthday.

Contact Peter at [email protected] or see Instagram @flashphotoscork

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