I’ve been asked by some readers to put up more pictures of the tractor I’ve been driving around at the farm. The rest of you probably will want to look away now:


Thanks to some very obscure German-language websites and a lack of a social life I now know that this is a Fendt Farmer 200s, built around 1983 and apparently revolutionary for its time. To quote one website, the 200s “Brought the luxury of large tractors to their smaller cousins”.

These luxuries include a padded seat and what we euphemistically call ‘air conditioning’*. It was also one of the first small tractors in Germany to come with four gears.

They are labelled “One, Two, Three, Fast”…



It also has a lockable glove compartment, and that indispensible accessory for the modern farmer, a cup holder:


Since I reattached the lever to the steering column using several washers and a lot of swearing we even have indicators. Not sure what even the most enthusiastic salesman made of those gaps in the floor though: “Integral Drainage Holes” perhaps:


In common with a lot of German tractors there is passenger seating on each side of the driver, much loved by the children at the farm (seatbelts? who needs seatbelts?);


It also has a speedometer. Possibly the most complex speedometer ever made, in fact. To read it I’d have to remember which gear ratio we are using: ‘low’ (red numbers) or ‘high’ (Black numbers**), and which gear I’m in and read off the table at the bottom:


As the speedometer is broken and shows this reading if the engine is on or off, and the brakes are largely advisory, it is probably just as well that the top speed is 23 Km/h or 14 mph, downhill, with a tailwind.

*Better known as ‘leaving the windscreen up’: ‘luxury’ at the time was having a windscreen at all…
**Or possibly the other way round.