The opening day of Agritechnica saw an international jury of 24 journalists from all over Europe announce the winners of the Tractor of the Year 2018 awards.

As well as the overall Tractor of the Year 2018 award, there were titles for Best Utility 2018, Best of Specialised 2018 and Best Design 2018. The winners were chosen from 15 shortlisted tractors, five from each category.

The Best Design category shortlisted Case IH’s Quadtrac 540 CVX, Claas’ Arion 660, John Deere’s 6250 R, New Holland’s T 6.175 DC and Valtra’s Versu T254 Smart Touch, while New Holland’s T 4.75 S, Valtra’s A 114, McCormick’s X6.440 VT-Drive, John Deere 5125 R and Massey Ferguson’s 5709 Dyna 4 made up the Best Utility list.

Over in the Best of Specialised category were Massey Ferguson’s 3710 S, Kubota’s M 5101 N, Fendt’s 211 Vario V, Claas’ Nexos 240 VE and Swiss firm Aebi Schmidt’s TT281.

Tractor of the Year winners

The Best Design category went to Valtra’s Versu T 254 Smart Touch, which the judges described as setting “a new standard in intuitive operation”.

They added that Valtra’s standard fitted Smart Touch armrest, with its 9in touchscreen, the intelligent multiuse drive lever and the new hydraulic joystick gives the best and most straightforward user interface in the industry.

Over in the Best Utility section, meanwhile, it was McCormick’s X6.440 VT-Drive that picked up the honours for introducing a CVT transmission to the utility segment. The judges agreed the transmission offered “an intuitive and user fiendly interface”, with both the transmission and the interface allowing “more accurate and easier driving in a wide range of tasks, including with a front loader”.

Fendt’s 211 Vario V romped away with the Best of Specialised award for being a “high quality, high-performance and compact three-cylinder vineyard tractor with the best engine/transmission setup in this segment”. Besides its 112hp motor with maximum torque of 483Nm, the judges were impressed with the Various V’s stepless transmission, a new feature for tractors in this category.

With the category winners decided, the judges gave the overall Tractor of the Year 2018 award to Valtra’s Versu T 254 Smart Touch, saying “it’s amazing how a brand can change (looking 10 years back) when the right designers take care of the style. The Valtra Versu T254 SmartTouch represents a very cool looking, modern and elegant tractor.”