You may have a Yanmar engine; how about a tractor?

This striking tractor (pictured above) is a Yanmar; it’s actually a concept machine that first surfaced some years ago.

It was dubbed the YT01 – or Y-concept Advanced Tractor – to give it its full title; it was given its first public outing as far back as 2013.

In 2015, commercial versions – namely the YT series – were launched. The YT series comprises three models.

Aimed principally at the Japanese market, the tractors were claimed to feature “advanced technology” – at least for machines of their size.

The man behind the design of the concept tractor is world-renowned industrial designer Ken Okuyama.

At the time, Okuyama noted that the concept tractor stimulated a big response, though he conceded that some initial impressions were negative – some perceived the concept to be over expensive or unrealistic.

But he says that the concept tractor also proved to be a great marketing tool – for reaching out and hearing a wide range of opinions – negative ones included.

He explained: “One thing is to get opinions from the ground. We create the specs for the design, based on our own preconceptions and research. In order to determine whether these preconceptions are founded, or whether what we are making is suitable, we go to the actual places where it will be used; ask our customers; visit the factories; and go in person to where it all happens.

“In listening to the actual voices of the people, what we regard as important and our priorities will quite often change.”

Okuyama explained: “This time around, I was introduced to outlets and customers all over Japan. One such visit, to a full-time farmer in Saitama, left quite a strong impression on me.

Even though I met him out in the rice paddies he was wearing white sneakers. When I asked him why, he told me that because he spends from eight up to 12 hours a day on the tractor it’s like an office to him; therefore there’s no need to wear long boots.

“While product specifications are a ‘given’, what was more important was having good air-conditioning, being able to listen to music while working and an easily accessible place to put a drink and a phone.”

He added: “In maximising comfort, we created larger air-conditioning vents and put two drink holders into the cabin.

“Down to the types of switches, through trial and error we pursued an ergonomic design where even if one had their eyes closed they would still instinctively know which direction to move the switches.

“We listened to the voices of the people who use tractors day-in day-out; in doing so we set clear and concrete design goals – aimed toward creating something for those very people.”

Real-life version

Based on the concept tractor, the YT series has been available commercially for some time. The tractors are sold in a variety of markets around the world.

Founded way back in 1912 in Japan, Yanmar is now a global brand; its products find homes in a plethora of industries – including marine, industrial, energy systems, construction and, of course, agriculture.

The entity now has a global workforce that numbers 16,700 employees; it operates in more than 130 countries. Here in Europe, it’s headquartered in the Netherlands.