Farm Classics with Peter O'Brien
AMONGST any tractor enthusiast, the word ‘Crystal’ is synonymous with one tractor brand – Zetor. Manufactured in Czechoslovakia, the Unified II range was born out of the need for a more powerful, heavier and robust tractor.
Known officially as the Crystal range of tractors, the tractors used a common platform, parts and components.
A popular model amongst Irish famers and contractors was the 8011 2wd and 8045, in 4wd format.
Launched in 1968, the 8011 was considerably more advanced than most other brands of the late 60s and 70s.
Renowned for being frugal yet gutsy, the tractor is powered by Zetor’s own 4.6L four-cyclinder engine producing 85hp.
A simplistic yet highly functional tractor, the 8011/45 was equipped with a 16F and 8R transmission complete with an on the move splitter located under the steering wheel.
One of the major strengths of the Crystal lay in its revolutionary and market-leading cab. The huge flat floor cab was accessed by two doors with an enormous front windscreen. The sprung and fully adjustable seat, complete with armrests as well as a padded passenger seat, took up little room. Mounted on rubber mounts, and fully enclosed, the cab offered noise levels as low as 85db.
The substantially long manufacturing run from 1968 to 1985 is a credit to the tractor’s popularity. However, it was also ultimately its downfall.
Over the 27-year production run, the tractor received only minor updates, allowing other competitors in the market to not only catch up, but to surpass the model.
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Zetor Crystal 8011/8045
Years of manufacture