“It’s hot and dusty out here, and we carry seriously heavy loads. This is seasonal work, so we need an engine that delivers fast, intense output in extreme conditions.” Machine operator Kishor Nagese is behind the wheel of the Shaktiman Tejas. This mighty harvester picks, chops, cleans and converts sugar cane into billets for processing at sugar mills in Gujarat state, India.
“The most important thing with these machines is reliability and performance,” continues Kishor Nagese, working back and forth through vast fields as the horizon beyond him shimmers in the heat. He is particularly impressed by Volvo Penta’s D5 engine which powers Shaktiman’s Tejas harvester. “The power delivery of this engine is incredibly strong and we get great miles per litre of diesel. We also have quick access to parts and service when we need it. It is an excellent combination.”
The result of the harvesting in Maharashtra State helps both local productivity and quality of living. In a vast country with hugely polarised living standards, there are many challenges facing Indian farmers. Uncertain weather conditions, non-availability of labour, lack of adequate information and limited access to technology, for example. There is a general lack of awareness among local farmers in this region about new concepts of farm mechanization. Thus, being able to offer them solutions that help productivity is very important to Shaktiman’s model for sustainable business success.
The Tejas harvester is a tough worker in all field conditions. Employing the Volvo Penta engine means Shaktiman is able to pass on the benefits of increased power and fuel economy to their many end customers in various regions around India. “There are several reasons why we rely on this engine,” says Vishwa Somannavar, Business Head - Cane Solutions, Sales & Marketing at Shaktiman. “The service intervals are double that of other engines we have had in service, while the coolant replacement intervals are almost four times longer. It is a great match for one of our most important products.”
As the Tejas continues chopping sugar cane with ease on its path through the fields, Kishor Nagese is almost at the end of a long working day, still talking enthusiastically about his work. “It’s a pleasure to drive this harvester. The percentage of trash when chopping can be an issue, but this is really low. I have 100 per cent confidence in both harvester and engine!”
Looking ahead, Shaktiman is planning on bringing more new technology from Volvo Penta and introducing it to Indian farming, along with their most advanced harvesters. “Volvo Penta support our vision of ‘Making agriculture more economical’” says Vishwa Somannavar. “We are very happy with overall aftersales and parts support, and look forward to continuing our profitable relationship in the future.”
Based: Rajkot, Gujarat, India
Product range (selected): Rotary Tiller, Power Harrow, MB Plough, Planters, Sprayers, Harvesters, Rotary Mulcher, TMR Wagon, and Self-Propelled Platform.
Volvo Penta engine used: Volvo Penta TAD 551 VE