The development of truly modern tractors can be said to have begun with the launch of the Valmet 565 in 1965. Whereas previously tractors had been designed above all to be sturdy and reliable workhorses, by the mid-1960s the time had come to take into consideration also driver comfort and possible other uses for tractors outside of agriculture. This recognition kicked off a busy and very successful era for the designers and engineers at Valmet.
The 100 Series marked a step towards larger tractors. Altogether this series comprised four models: the Valmet 500, 700, 900 and 1100. All of them were now painted yellow, whereas previous Valmet tractors had been red. The first in the new series to be unveiled was the Valmet 900 in 1967. Almost everything about the new tractor model was new. The new four-cylinder diesel engine produced 89 horsepower, and all the gears in the 8+2R transmission were synchronised. A quiet safety cab was standard equipment, and the gear levers were situated on the right side of the driver to provide more space inside the cab. Hydraulic output was also doubled to 46 litres per minute in order to meet the needs of contractors.
More new models were introduced in 1968, beginning with the Valmet 500 – an improved version of the familiar Valmet 565. The most visible different was its yellow colour; otherwise the exterior design was unchanged. Engine output increased to 54 horsepower, and the rear axle was reinforced to support the weight of a full safety cab, as required by new Finnish legislation. Later that spring another new model was introduced, this time the Valmet 700. The new model was positioned between the two previous models and shared the same looks and features as the bigger Valmet 900. Both models featured hydraulic disc brakes and a twin clutch, which was a big help especially when harvesting hay.
The biggest model in the series, the Valmet 1100, was introduced in 1969. This model has been featured in previous issues of this magazine in connection with its revolutionary four-wheel-drive and turbo engine. With more than a hundred horsepower, the Valmet 1100 appealed more to contractors than it did to farmers. In the same year, two new four-wheel-drive models were introduced: the Valmet 900-4 and 1100-4.
The four models in the Hundred Series gave customers the freedom to choose the right tractor for their individual needs. The introduction of safety cabs meant that larger production facilities were needed, as the Tourula plant in Jyväskylä was too small. Suitable space was found in nearby Suolahti, where the Valtra factory is still located to this day. Next year marks the 50th anniversary of this move.
Valmet 100 TECHNICAL FEATURES
|500||STRONG||310B 2,68 l / 3-cyl.||54 hp/ 2300 r/min (SAE)||6 + 2R||front 16” rear 28”||2100 kg|
|700||STRONGER||4015 3,98 l / 4-cyl.||75 hp/ 2000 r/min (SAE)||8 + 2R||front 16” rear 30”||2800 kg|
|900||STRONGEST||411A 4,18 l / 4-cyl.||89 hp/ 2300 r/min (SAE)||8 + 2R||front 18/24” rear 34”||3200 kg / 4000 kg|
|1100||STRONGER THAN THE STRONGEST||411AS 4,18 l / 4-cyl.||115 hp/ 2300 r/min (SAE)||8 + 2R||front 16/24” rear 34”||3700 kg / 4000 kg|