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Landini Alpine Tractor Reaches the Parts ...
14/01/08

A tractor with the name ‘Alpine’ conjures images of cutting hay in flower-strewn meadows beneath snow-capped peaks with the distinctive sound of cow bells ringing in the distance.

Will it fit.......?.

Landini Alpine 85

Yet the tractor bearing this name used at Old Wallace Farm has a very different working environment – a traditional south Wales dairy farm in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Even so, the tractor was bought from Landini dealer John Griffiths for the characteristics that also appeal to farmers on the lower slopes of the Alps – it’s a powerful but compact and very stable package, small enough to get into old buildings while still capable of handling serious yard and field work.

“The Alpine can be driven into our older sheds and the cubicle house with just an inch or two to spare,” says Ian Thomas, who farms the dairy, beef and sheep enterprise with his brother Gwyn and father David. “Yet it’s got plenty of performance from the 82hp engine under the bonnet.”

The Thomases use the tractor for wrapping 700 or more silage bales in the summer and rolling precision chop grass in the clamp. It also does all the loader work on the farm, which includes, distributing silage into feeders through the winter months and clearing out the sheep and cattle sheds.

....just! The Landini Alpine 85's low stance allows it to squeeze into old buildings.

Landini Alpine 85

Once inside the old buildings, where there is little space to manoeuvre, the Alpine’s novel front drive axle comes into own; its Fast-Run feature helps the tractor make impressively tight turns.

With the Fast-Run selector lever engaged, steering the front wheels beyond a certain point engages a clutch and gear set that speeds up the front axle a little, which has the effect of pulling the front of the tractor around.

“There’s no need to use it in the field but I do use it when clearing out buildings with the loader,” says Ian Thomas.

Good visibility through the tractor’s fully glazed doors – which fill both sides of the cab – is another advantage in this situation, while the roof window fitted to as standard gives a better view of the loader when it’s raised high in the air.

“It’s also a great help when we’ve piled the silage grass high into the roof space of our buildings,” says Ian. ”And when you’re on clamp work, the tractor’s stability is very reassuring!”

The secret of the Alpine’s impressive combination of size and performance is the use of a compact 3.3-litre four-cylinder Perkins 800 Series diesel engine and a neat Landini-engineered and built transaxle with spur gear final drives.

The synchro-shuttle gearbox has five speeds and three ranges, with a standard creep ‘box taking the total number of gears available to 30 in either direction.

Reassuring stopping power is provided by the true four-wheel braking system, which uses disc brakes built into both axles, and there is no risk of the power steering being starved of oil because the Alpine uses a dedicated circuit for the tractor’s hydraulically-operated systems and a separate one for the implement linkage and spool valves.

Landini dealer John Griffiths is delighted that the Alpine has turned out a successful choice for Old Wallace Farm: “It’s a robust and sprightly little tractor that’s more than capable of holding its own alongside bigger machines,” he says.

It’s a view Ian Thomas is quick to confirm: “We’re thrilled with the tractor,” he says. “It does all we ask of it and it’s such a compact machine that everyone who sees it is amazed how powerful it is.”

Landini Alpine 85 specifications
Engine - 4cyl 3.3-litre Perkins – 82hp
Gearbox - Synchro or power shuttle, 30x30 speeds
Steering - 60deg steer angle plus Fast-Run geared-up front axle drive
Brakes - Oil-immersed discs in both axles
PTO - Ground drive plus 540/750 (540E) or 540/1000rpm
Hydraulics - 80-litre/min gear pump; 2 to 4 remote valves
Linkage - 3400kg lift capacity, mechanical control
Tyres - Rear 420/70R30, front 360/70R20
Dimensions - Length 4020mm (158in); height 2413mm (95in)

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