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.......?.
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.
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
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
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
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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