Northern Irish farmer crowned tractor driver champion

2017-07-12     Source: agriland
A Co. Down tractor driver won the European Drivers’ Championship 2017 in an event jointly-organised by John Deere and Michelin last month.

Samuel Graham, a farmer representing the UK, took first place ahead of competition from drivers across 13 different countries in Europe.

The championship took place at the Michelin Technical Innovation Centre Test Circuit, Ladoux, France, where farmers and contractors were put to the test behind the wheel of a John Deere 6250R Series tractor. It was kitted out with Michelin’s latest generation RoadBib tyres, which will not be launched on the market until next year.

In order to take part, Graham registered online and had to win hundreds of votes to guarantee a place in the international final. Having accomplished this, he was treated to a two-day visit to Ladoux. According to Michelin, it is one of the world’s largest vehicle test centres, featuring 20 test tracks with a combined length of 45km.

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For the event, each driver had to overcome challenges of speed, soil protection, manoeuvrability and fuel efficiency using driving strategies for tasks that are “typical for the daily work of a farmer or contractor”.

The winner was the driver who created the best overall strategy, combining speed with the lowest possible fuel consumption and the lowest soil compaction in the field.

The finalists were put to the test, with every detail noted carefully, on an 18km-long course.

Javier Fernandez, Product Marketing Manager for the new 6250R Series tractor at John Deere, commented: “Samuel decided to go for the AUTO transmission mode, which automatically adjusts the gear ratio and engine speed to get the maximum performance without compromising efficiency.

The range of tasks on the course was designed to best imitate the typical challenges that face modern-day farmers and contractors, with time and money being key motivations for maximum efficiency, according to Michelin.

In the final breakdown of results, Graham achieved the highest points, scoring a tally of 775. In second place was David Durand from France, who was awarded 761 points. Rounding off the top three was Swedish driver Stefan Hakansson, who received 745 points for his efforts.

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