Chinese-built Foton compact tractors, aimed at farms such as smallholdings, dairy units and specialist crop growers requiring low-horsepower machines with simple specification and competitive pricing, have been rebranded and upgraded , with a third generation of the established series already offered in the UK.
The 25, 35 50 and 75hp models, imported and supported by Kent business Lonebarn Ltd T/A Lovol Tractors and previously sold under Foton branding, will now wear the Lovol name following the decision of the manufacturer to separate from the Foton brand which is now trucks, buses, SUV’s and electric vehicles. In the UK the new name will not affect the established service and support systems it provides, a new generation of upgraded tractors will wear the rebranded livery of the restyled machines.
Model numbers stay the same, and as before the 25hp M254 is a three-cylinder machine, while the 35hp M354, 50hp M504 and 75hp M754 are four-cylinder tractors. All meet the latest Stage 4A emissions regulations currently required in this power bracket, come standard with four-wheel drive and are available with either a roll bar or cab. Key upgrade on the new Lovol M254 and Lovol M354 models is a four-speed, two-range synchromesh transmission with side-mounted levers, replacing the former constant mesh unit with central straddle-type transmission tunnel, and thereby creating a flat-floor platform. A synchro-shuttle lever is sited on the dashboard to the left of the steering column.
Built on a larger platform, the M504 also now has side-mounted gear levers, but benefits from an additional speed range to create a 12 forward/12 reverse synchromesh transmission, again with synchro-shuttle. Like the smaller tractors, it benefits from a new cab designed by Lovol’s European technical team, incorporating side console controls, upgraded air conditioning, improved seating and full steering wheel adjustment. It measures 1.65m wide and, in cabbed format, is just over 2.5m high.
Power take-off engagement is eased with a new electro-hydraulic switch, and radial rather than cross-ply tyres are now fitted for improved traction. A new front axle design for the M254 and M354 provides greater ground clearance and is more robust. At the rear, the Category I three-point linkage on the M254 and M354 lifts a maximum 720kg, while the figure for the M504 is 910kg. All models are fitted with two spool valves and a 540/1,000rpm power take-off.
The tractors also meet the EU ‘Tractor Mother Regulations’ (TMR), designed to enhance operator, environmental and road safety. To this end, they incorporate features such as double external mirrors on each side, dual-line hydraulic trailer brakes, key-secured bonnets and automatic PTO disengagement when the operator leaves the seat.