First of its kind? Russian-built oddity lands…in west Cork

Well-known champion plough-man Liam O’Driscoll – from Co. Cork – has just taken delivery of one of Ireland’s most unusual tractors – a Russian-built Kirovets K-424 (pictured above).

This beefy-looking, articulated (pivot-steer) machine is rated at 240hp and weighs just over 11t.

Liam actually won the tractor at the European Ploughing Contest in Russia, which took place back in June (2018). He took first place and was crowned European Reversible Ploughing winner.

Now, seven months later, the aforementioned prize (also pictured below) has arrived in Kilbrittain – in west Cork.

Liam has every intention of keeping, rather than selling, the tractor. He is not phased by the prospect of owning what appears to be the only Kirovets in Ireland.

He explained: “It comes with a warranty and I have contact details for the service team. A man from the factory is coming from Russia to meet me in Cork tomorrow – to check that everything is OK.

“I run machinery here – in my plant hire business and as part of my haylage operation – so I’m not worried about looking after and maintaining the tractor.

“For starters, the tractor will pull a low-loader – drawing machinery and bales. I might even get a heavy-duty dump trailer for it.”

Stay tuned to AgriLand for further updates/coverage on this imposing machine – in its new surroundings.

Interestingly, Kirovets exhibited a K-424 at the last Agritechnica show in Germany. It was a relatively new model at the time; it was shown alongside a larger 435hp K-743 (pictured below).

JSC Peterburgsky Traktorny Zavod – of which Kirovets is a brand-name – is a subsidiary of JSC Kirovsky Zavod, which can trace its history to Putilovsky Zavod – founded in the capital of the Russian Empire way back in 1801.

Records at the tractor manufacturing plant go back to 1924, when the first Fordson-Putilovets tractor was produced there.

In 1962, the plant assembled the first K-700 (Kirovets) tractor. In 1975, the first K-701 (300hp) rolled off the line. In 2000, the K-744 arrived.

In 2007, prototypes of a K-3060 loading shovel (with a 6t lift capacity) arrived on the scene. 2014 saw a revamp of the existing K-744P tractor; this ushered in a host of mod-cons. To date, over 600,000 tractors have rolled off the factory’s assembly lines.

The company doesn’t just build agricultural tractors; Kirovets-branded products include oddities such as all-terrain, mobile welders – built on tractor ‘platforms’.

Other machines in the line-up include dump trucks, loaders, bulldozers and even machines intended solely for snow removal – not surprising considering the climate in parts of Russia.