Video: Swapping a John Deere 7430 for a Valtra T194: How’s it faring?

AgriLand paid a visit to Freshford, Co. Kilkenny, to catch up with Fogarty Agricultural Contractors – who were putting a Valtra T194, with front and back Pottinger mowers, through its paces.

Our camera-man spoke to Eddie Fogarty – a family member – a few short weeks ago. The outfit was being put to work outside Ballyragget, as ‘silage 2019′ was unfolding.

He explained: “We’re working for a dairy farmer here. This’ll be baled in two days’ time; it’ll be raked tomorrow. We hope to get about eight bales to the acre off this field.

“Before this Valtra, we had a John Deere 7430; we traded that in because the hours were getting high on it. We thought it was due a change.”

Commenting on the new T194, Eddie said: “We got it from Kellys of Kilkenny – mainly because of service and because it’s so close to us. We got the front and back mowers from O’Shea [Agri & Plant Sales] in Castlecomer.

“We bought the Valtra mainly because it was the best value-for-money and we thought it was better than most other tractors that are on the market now. It’s very comfortable; [it has] airbag suspension; a full lights package; front linkage and PTO; four spools on the back and two on the front.

“The Pottinger mowers are very good for flotation. Rough ground…is no bother to them at all.” Eddie went on to describe what ground conditions were like – up to the time of our visit.

Turning his thoughts to the new Valtra once more, he said: “The controls are so easy to use.

The small steering wheel makes it easier to turn at the headlands; there’s less turning on the arms.

“You can have the forward/reverse shuttle on the joystick; you can set all your hydraulics off different buttons.”

He explained that the T194 is their first tractor with AdBlue, saying: “We’re getting about four to five tanks of diesel to one fill of AdBlue.” He added: “It’s very light on diesel; it’s averaging 15L/hour mowing.”

He reckoned that they’d consider another Valtra when changing, noting that – in terms of comfort – it’s “more or less a perfect tractor”.

He also noted that the Pottinger mowers are now on their third season, describing them as needing little maintenance “once you keep them greased and the oil changed in the beds every winter”.