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FARM CLASSICS: Turbo power helped make Fendt a farmer’s friend

October 5th, 2023 7:30 PM

By Southern Star Team

FARM CLASSICS: Turbo power helped make Fendt a farmer’s friend Image
Fendt tractors had a reputation for being a premium brand.

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Fendt Farmer 312LSA




MWM 6.24l

Years of manufacture



FENDT tractors have a long-standing reputation as a premium tractor brand. Excellent build quality, high specification with excellent levels of reliability commanded a high price tag for the German tractors making them previously somewhat of a rarity in the farming landscape. 

Long before the introduction of Fendt’s famous ‘Vario’ CVT transmission, the mid 1980s Fendt was still very much a law-of-the-lever tractor, albeit with a twist.

Built like a tank, the six-cylinder Fendt Farmer 300 range was introduced in 1984, consisting of the 310 and 311, with a number of models in the smaller four-cylinder Farmer range. 

Just like a can of ‘Ronseal’, the tractor was exactly what it said on the tin – a farmer’s tractor. 

A high end farmer’s tractor, with a perfect formula – a manoeuvrable, rugged, mid-weight tractor with a six-cylinder engine which was equally at home spreading fertiliser, powering a silage harvester, or pulling a heavy plough.

The more powerful Farmer 312 was introduced in 1988 to compliment the 311. 

Initially powered by a six-cylinder straight 6.24l MWM engine, later models were turbocharged to produce 125hp. 

Early models had a 21F/6R gearbox with a mechanical, column mounted three-speed splitter. This was later upgraded to a 21F/21R with a shuttle. Almost unheard of at the time, these transmissions were capable of 40km road speeds.

The aforementioned twist was the ‘Turbomatik’ or turbine fluid clutch provides smooth gear changes while also giving the tractor the characteristics of torque drive – allowing the operator to bring the tractor to a standstill only using the brakes. With a gear selected and the clutch released, the tractor only starts to move when the throttle pedal is pressed and the tractor effortlessly moves away.

The cab is functional with good levels of visibility and an abundance of levers. Four-wheel drive and differential lock are push button activated, and the tractor benefits from 540, 750, and 1000 PTO speeds. 

Perched of the mudguard, the linkage height is controlled by a dial and a small lever is turned up or down to raise and lower the rear implement. A joystick down to the left of the operator’s seat controls the spool valves.

A new cab and control layout, as well as refreshed styling was adopted in 1993 to bring the tractors in line with the new Fendt Favorit 500 and 800 ranges. Constantly upgraded over its 16-year production run, production of the Farmer models ceased in 2000.

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

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