Plans afoot: New Crystal…and new assurances from Zetor for Ireland

Ireland had been an especially strong market for Zetor at one time. The old Crystal 8011, for example, has become something of an icon of Irish farming from times past.

Many farmers and contractors will have fond memories of the marque, despite it sometimes being referred to as a lowly, budget-priced brand.

However, during the past year the situation regarding sales and distribution within Ireland has been less than clear. Therefore, the opportunity to talk to (Irish-based) Patrick Gerard (Gerry) Rabbitte of Zetor UK at last week’s LAMMA show in England was not to be missed.

Gerry is the area sales manager for the whole of Ireland – both north and south. He took up the reins in 2018. Previous importer McHale Plant Sales has since parted company with the Czech tractor manufacturer.

Presently, he is looking to complete the appointment of around 10 dealers across Ireland. He already has several on board; some of these outlets will be familiar to existing Zetor customers.

It would appear, at present, that no central distribution or sales centre will be located in Ireland. Instead, the company would prefer dealers here to act as stockholders, with tractors available on forecourts for viewing and demonstration.

Meanwhile, taking pride of place on the stand at (LAMMA) Birmingham was the new Zetor Crystal HD 170. This supersedes the 160 and comes with a “much improved transmission”, apparently designed to take the extra power provided by the 171hp Deutz six-cylinder power-plant.

The Crystal HD 170 has a 30F 30R transmission; it also has a three-speed powershift and a power-shuttle (as standard). There are 13 gears available in the “common operating range” of 4-12kph.

Its 40kph top road speed can be maintained at just 1,750rpm.