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Tractor of the Year goes digital
European tractor awards pivots online for its 2021 edition due to coronavirus.
For the first time since its inception in 1998, the Tractor of the Year (TOTY) awards will be conducted in a completely digital environment, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges it presents.
Traditionally, its judging panel which consists of 26 machinery experts and journalists across 25 countries will travel around Europe to test drive tractors across different brands to determine the winners of each category, but travel restrictions around the world have eliminated that possibility.
Therefore, Tractor of the Year, with help from its new major partner, BKT Tires, has moved the entire concept online which it promises will provide an interactive experience for not just participating tractor brands and judges, but also members of the public which will be taken on the entire awards selection journey.
At a digital launch event on June 10, TOTY chairman, Fabio Zammaretti, said an online environment presents a world of possibilities and opportunities for the 22-year-old competition.
“This year, we all had to rethink the way we communicate due to the difficult situation we are all going through, but I have to say that the digital world actually offers some very interesting opportunities,” he said.
Following the launch event, further online webisodes are expected to be rolled out over the coming weeks that follow the journey of selection, ‘testing’ and narrowing down by the judging panel.
Through the online platform, participating tractor brands will present their latest prototypes and products to the jury, including field test videos, before the jury takes a closer look at the tractors and judge them in line with the judging criteria in each category.
For the very first time, members of the public are able to follow the entire journey through the TOTY digital platform.
The four categories of TOTY remain the same as previous years’ – Best Utility, Best of Specialised, Sustainable TOTY and the main award, Tractor of the Year.
While the exact models that have been shortlisted for each category remain under wraps, the participating brands have been revealed.
The brands in contention for Tractor of the Year, which recognises excellence in open-field tractors, are ArmaTrac, Case IH, CLAAS, Fendt, Kubota, Landini, Massey Ferguson, New Holland and Steyr.
In the Best Utility segment, participating brands include ArmaTrac, Case IH, Fendt, Kubota and Valtra.
The Best of Specialised category will see Antonio Carraro, Fendt, Landini and Valtra pitted against each other.
In all of the categories above, judges will pore over several key criteria including engine, transmission, electronics, hydraulics, comfort, innovation, design and connectivity to determine the winners.
The Sustainable TOTY award will also make a comeback this year after its inaugural presentation last year which went to New Holland’s Methane Power concept tractor. All shortlisted tractors in the other categories will be eligible for the Sustainable TOTY award, which recognises innovative and sustainable solutions in tractors.
“The idea here is to make TOTY a genuine ‘challenge’ with a strong appeal,” said BKT Europe CEO, Lucia Salmaso.
“Moreover, we also want to address the main current agricultural issues - such as connectivity, sustainability, agriculture 4.0 - which through the new TOTY platform, will be available to the public, and not just for operators.”
In the next few weeks, there will be a series of episodes going up on the platform which will each be dedicated to a specific topic. An episode on connectivity is scheduled to air on June 17, while one on driving experience will launch on June 24. On July 1, a video will go up addressing Agriculture 4.0.