“La Comuna” farm is an example of how technology and innovation make a virtuous, productive process possible. Here, nothing is left to chance and the fairer sex really matters, even in the choice of machines to use.
The Valmori family believes in planning for success. And this is evident on arrival at their farm in the Ravenna region of Italy, where order and meticulousness are the first things you notice.
Nair Valmori runs the farm together with his wife Alessandra Guerra with the help of his father, Luigi Valmori – founder of this beautiful farm where potatoes, onions and wheat are the main crops.
“We have focused everything on technology,” explains Nair, “And of course on ourselves. So much so that my wife Alessandra is now an active part of the business.”
Objectively an admirable family. A young couple flanked by the experience of a veteran farmer. And a wealth of technology to do their job better.
“We like technological innovations for a wide range of reasons,” explain Nair and Alessandra. “Firstly because they are part of the way we are and we understand that if we use them intelligently, they can be of great help.”
“Secondly,” they continue, “we really like our work, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done with less effort while producing more. And technology allows us to achieve this goal. With numerous benefits for our private and family life.”
The farm covers an area of 120 Ha, with a fleet of machinery comprising a combine harvester, six tractors with engines ranging from 50 to 320 hp, and of course several attachments for sowing and harvesting.
“All of our high-power tractors are equipped with satellite sowing systems. An investment that has amply paid off thanks to the time saved, and the harvests we have managed to achieve despite the adverse weather conditions. More than once have we sown at the right times despite fog or anticipating long rainy weeks, working even at night,” the couple tells us.
“The use of technology,” emphasises Nair “allows us to plan every production phase with a high certainty for the end result. From this point of view, we will continue investing in this area since it allows us to run the farm in a smoother, more intelligent and more organised manner, optimising our time.”
A woman’s choice
Alessandra’s contribution to the family farm was dictated by circumstances that made a “virtue out of necessity”.
“It’s not easy for a couple to work together,” Alessandra Guerra tells us, “And at the beginning I was not really willing to do this kind of work even though I was really fascinated by it. We were both aware that constantly working side by side and coping with work problems together was certainly not going to be easy.”
She continued, “So I worked for a long time in a business here in Conselice, but the economical crisis led to a reduction in staff, so we decided to take this step. I have to say that I am very happy with this choice and the initial doubts have been dispelled. Each of us has found their own space and together we are a tight knit team.”
Alessandra deals mainly with a fundamental issue for the farm that cultivates mainly potatoes and onions: the logistics of all the phases of cultivation.
This is not just simple office work, but rather the effective treatment of all practical aspects including preparation and storage of crates, loading and unloading of the crop, handling of transport documents and checking loads. Ensuring that everything is in order and that the sowing, harvesting and shipment phases are rapid.
“Before we started working on the farm, the work was done with the forklift and a tractor with a front loader,” explain Nair and Alessandra, “But the improved organisation of work soon convinced us to buy a telehandler that could increase efficiency, going into the field without problems and at the same time much safer for handling loads at great heights.”
“We travel both on concrete surfaces and in the field,” explains Alessandra, “and much of the 120 Ha we own and farm, surround the home farm. A machine of this type is essential for us because it allows us to carry out several operations with the same person, with greater efficiency and above all, with one machine.”
The choice of the telehandler had to be left to the person who would use it for most of the time.
“We started looking for information on the internet,” Nair explains, “and when Alessandra saw the features of the Merlo handlers, she wanted to further explore specific aspects of these machines.
“I was immediately convinced by the cab with hydro-pneumatic suspension, the compact size and all-round visibility of the machine. But I wanted to see for myself if these features really were a plus for the operator.”
Meanwhile, Nair’s father Luigi listens contently and chimes in to reinforce the choices of the two youngsters. “I’m very happy with how the farm is organised,” he explains, “And together we work to improve and to be more efficient. It makes me very happy to see how Nair and Alessandra are pursuing this activity.”
He continues: “The technological evolution of products and seeding systems allows us to manage the work in a streamlined and controlled manner. I see interest in the work – the healthy ambition that leads to the development of the business over time, the enthusiasm that makes us work enthusiastically and willingly every day.”
The litmus test
“When it came to choosing the model that best suited our needs,” the two young farmers explain, “we decided on the Merlo TF 33.9 EE. We wanted a handler that could reach great heights in order to optimise the space available in our barns, that had the best driving comfort thanks to the largest cab on the market and the Merlo hydrostatic system that offers unique accuracy and agility in the movements, that was compact and versatile, and that could tow agricultural trailers.” A machine with features that perfectly fit into a farm that makes technology and innovation its beliefs.
“Once we had focused on the model,” Alessandra explains, “we wanted to handle it and try it to figure out if I would be happy using it in the future. The Agricultural Consortium of Ravenna organised a test and we really liked the machine. Personally I found it very user-friendly, simple to use and extremely agile thanks to its compact size and optimum visibility.”
Obviously the comparison with the competition was tight. “We also saw and tried other competitive models,” they add, “But the TF33.9 EE finally convinced us and showed the characteristics promised on paper in the field too.”
And the combination with Alessandra, a good and prudent driver, further highlighted the safety and agility aspects of this Merlo best-seller telehandler.
Merlo TF33.9 EE: A valued multipurpose machine
The Merlo TF33.9 EE (8.6 metres maximum fork height) is one of the best-selling telehandlers in the Italian manufacturer’s range. Its strengths are its extreme compactness in relation to the weight that can be lifted and the heights that can be reached.
Similar to the TF35.7 (6.6 metres maximum fork height) which shares the chassis and which is differentiated by the boom and therefore the maximum height reachable and the weight that can be lifted, it is characterised by a Kubota TIER III – 100 CV engine. The TF33.9 has a maximum capacity of 3,300 kg with a capacity at maximum height of 1,750 kg. The TF35.7, however, can also lift the maximum capacity of 3,500 kg at the maximum reachable height.
Various technological solutions, some of them patented, characterising these machines are worth noting, such as CDC – dynamic load control, which makes it possible to interact immediately and intuitively with the machine during handling thanks to monitoring of the attachment installed and load lifted, gradually halting the movements of the machine if there is a risk of overturning.
The two models TF33.9 and TF35.7 are among the best-selling telehandlers of the Italian brand.
Merlo: Technology, innovation and made in italy quality
Merlo is a prominent, dynamic, state-of-the-art industrial company, with exclusively private capital for the production of high technology machines.
It is an established entrepreneurial Group which can claim a front row position on all the world markets and is the international point of reference when talking about telehandlers.
For more information, contact one of the following persons:
Luca Costamagna, Merlo Export Area Manager
PHONE. +39 331 6280299
Shawn Harris, Director: Forklifts NW
PHONE. +27 (0)14 597 1010