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Expert Review

Fendt 500 Vario review

The Fendt 500 Vario oozes comfort and efficiency. Here we review what progressive arable and livestock farmers in the market for an upgrade can expect from the Fendt 500 stable...

The Auto Trader expert verdict:


At the top end of the four-cylinder tractor market, Fendt exploits all opportunities to squeeze the specifications of a larger tractor into the four units of the 500 range, covering 125 hp through to 165hp.

Reasons to buy:

    At a glance:

    Fendt 500 Vario engine and transmission origins

    Fendt has invested heavily in the development of its Vario transmission concept, with the 500 range providing finite control of speeds between 0.02km/h to 50km/h with ease. This covers the full spectrum of jobs such as planting of vegetable crops which require a creeper gearbox speed through to high capacity road haulage. To maximise the efficiency of the power train, the Fendt 500 Vario applies its tractor management system (TMS) which automatically matches fuel input to engine torque requirements. Operators will notice the benefits of this automation, particularly when working on undulating land with variable soil profiles. Providing a comfortable driver experience is always a key focus of Fendt design team which is encompassed in the 500 range with the maintenance free self-levelling front axle suspension.

    Fendt 500 Vario implement compatibility

    The supply of 158 litres per minute of hydraulic lift capacity can raise just short of 8000kg at the tractors rear with the availability of five electrohydraulic double acting spool valves, and a front linkage lift capacity of almost 3500kg and two similar hydraulic spool valves at the front. In summary, the Fendt 500 range will operate comfortably with a high output grass mower combination or a power harrow and drill system. The flexibility continues with ISOBUS connectivity, power beyond capabilities, and the option of an economy (E) 1000rpm power take off option. This complements the standard 540rpm, 540rpm (E) and 1000rpm services which are powered via a direct route from the engine to reduce drive train losses.

    Fendt 500 Vario office ergonomics

    The updated operator terminal provides the driver with touchscreen facilities and colour coded function switches for ease of operation and familiarity. The steering wheel and instrument hub can be easily adjusted to the operator’s preference, with the new dynamically moveable seat providing essential ergonomic comfort and support. The panoramic front window provides a 77 degree view angle, essential when making use of the Fendt 500’s agility and attaching a front loader. Clear vision is ensured in the most demanding conditions with the new 300 degree windscreen wiper. Cab access and egress is unrestricted with the wide entrance steps and easy to reach grips.

    Fendt 500 Vario precision decisions

    The well-established Varioterminals 7-B specification can program the Variotronic ™ headland management system providing efficient turns when coupled up to high capacity implements. The 10-4.B terminal screen can be configured with different viewing sections, allowing for inputs from two cameras with high resolution for clear vision of machinery performance when working into the night. Fendt offers flexibility on receivers for the Fendt 500 GPS guidance, via the optional Profiplus package. The NovAtel product is linked with amongst others the RTK (Real Time Kinematic) via radio from a fixed base station with correction signals issued at the rate of one per second. Scaling up to a Trimble receiver supports further services such as RangePoint RTX™ and CentrePoint RTX™ which both negates the need for a base station facility, and reduces initialisation time. In summary, the level of auto-guidance required can be matched to the specific farming practices and available budget.

    Overall impression

    The low base mass of the Fendt 500 tractor range at 6100kg provides nimble access both in the stockyard and during fieldwork. With herculean capacity lift at the front and rear linkages, there would be few restrictions on achieving compatibility with your existing equipment fleet. Cab comfort is provided with the air suspended seat, the upper back rest moving as the operator looks behind, providing spinal support. Keeping your assets secure is highly recommended by investing in the optional electronic immobiliser.

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