India is an agricultural nation. No matter how modern and
cosmopolitan people around you might look, most of us have our roots attached
back in fields and mud. All our festivals usually celebrate a happy harvest.
Recent years have shown the scale of attention shift towards the service
industry, but the fact of the matter is more than 70pc of Indians live in
villages. Farming is the most widespread occupation in the country. A farmer’s best friend is his tractor. Right
from tearing up the soil, to sowing the seeds, to transporting goods and even
driving around the countryside is a tractor’s duty.
However, when everything around is going faster and more
technically proficient, farming equipment used to take the backseat in these
terms until recent years. Driving and working with a tractor was not for
anybody. In fact it did require physical strength and expertise to operate one.
Tractors around the world have become so advanced, big and intimidating that
you might mistake one for a tank. Our tractors looked like goats in front them
really. Mahindra has decided to step in and bring the learning’s from lands
afar lands for our farmers.
You see us in the middle of one of the biggest farming hubs
in the country, Punjab. Arriving at the outskirts of the city of Ludhiana we
realised the entire place is tractor central. There were millions of tractors
driving all around us. The gentleman from Mahindra told us that people do all
sorts of stuff on tractors here. Apart from being used for farming, harvesting,
transporting goods and carrying people around, some of them also do up their
tractors with alloy wheels and upmarket stereo systems also. Tractors owners
tend to get more attached to their machines. Tractors are not just metal
components bolted down together, but it is a way of life for farmers.
The tractor we are here for is the Mahindra 8085. First look
at it and you know it is very special. The 8085 is a fairly large machine
against the usual crop of tractors. Now everybody realises that operating a
tractor implies sitting in the heat of the sun roasting away while working.
Considering this fact, the 8085 has an air conditioned compartment for the
operator. Sitting on an air cushioned seat, a farmer can spend long hours
working on his field in comfort. Another feature which will take a load off an
operator is the power steering. The turn in is effortless and the steering is
The 8085 comes with two separate clutches and an independent
Power Take-Off (PTO). The independent PTO is becoming very essential now as the
operators want to control the wheel motion and the implement separately. Then
is the Automatic Depth/Draft control feature used mostly while operating soil
engaging implements like ploughs, tillers and mounted harrows. Apart from
cooling the cabin, the air conditioner can also heat the cabin for ease in the
The surprise is that everything is easy to operate. As a
matter of fact it almost drives like a normal car. Even a plebeian like me was
able to drive it around the farm with ease and had a lot of fun at that. There
are 5 forward gears with 3 intensities, which would result in 15 forward gears.
Then flick the left indicator stalk to shift into reverse. The 3.3 litre engine
develops 85 HP of power which is more than enough for the farming requirements
Farms in Punjab are large in sizes as compared to the rest
of the country. Hence smaller HP tractors are not successful here. Farmers
usually prefer 40-45 HP tractors for their larger sized land. The 8085 sort of
becomes the super car of tractors here. The owner of this one is a former
‘Sarpanch’ of the village and bought the first Mahindra 8085 tractor. The
delivery of the machine was more an occasion for this household.
Then is the after sales comfort that Mahindra provides to
its customers. A team from Mahindra regularly visits to get a status of their
machine. They get valuable feedback regarding new ideas and features that
farmers provide from their learning. Retailing at nearly Rs.18 lakh, the 8085
is an expensive proposition. But then you do have to pay for exclusivity and
technology. Mahindra has already sold 9 units of the 8085 and more inquiries
are coming in. Welcome then to the world of luxury farming!
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