On September 30, a red hillside tractor was moving up a slope. In a few minutes, it carried 1.2 tons of cargo through the hills. Developed in Wucheng District, it is the first domestic articulated wheel-shifting multi-purpose mountain tractor. “This kind of tractor is extremely helpful and practical for farmers. Using it, they don't have to carry melons and fruits on their shoulders across hilly land,” said Zhu Genmu, a agricultural worker in the ancient village of Bailongqiao Town.
In November 2017, Zhejiang Mutian Heavy Industry Co., Ltd. responded to the Belt & Road (B&R) Initiative, promoting the research and development of high-end agricultural machinery to increase the production of fruit, vegetables, and tea in mountainous areas and promote the “mountain multi-purpose tractor” project. Through the unremitting efforts of the company's technical staff, the first multi-purpose tractor was successfully developed in November 2018. It had been improved and perfected through many tests to ensure its reliability. Since April 2019, the mountain multi-purpose tractor has been produced in small batches.
Since May of this year, merchants from Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and other countries have visited Zhejiang Mutian, showing great interest in the tractor the company had developed. In mid-June, a Malaysian customer signed a contract to purchase 2000 tractors with the company, and a customer in Ghana signed a contract with the company for 137 tractors.
The Southeast Asian countries along the B&R are located in the tropics. With agricultural economy as their mainstay, they have many mountains, wetlands, and tropical rainforests. Therefore, tractors of this kind are in great demand. The central and western regions of China are also in urgent need of upgrading agricultural machinery to increase agricultural productivity. As a hill-climber, this kind of tractor has been favored by the market.
With payloads of up to 2 tons and a speed of 38 kilometers per hour, these tractors can easily maneuver on the hills with their tires. They show good performance and strong climbing ability, and can be used in the swamps and rugged hillsides.
Yang Zhongxiong, technical director of Zhejiang Mutian, said they have applied for 31 patents for the production process. The core technology is the gearbox, which can match the diesel engine of a single- or multi-cylinder machine with 12~70 horsepower. The gearbox is equipped with 9 gears. Different gears are selected according to different work modes and topography. The power and transmission are directly connected, which gives it an advantage in overall efficiency. (By Li Qiaohong – Jinhua Daily, translated by Zhang Jiajia, edited by Kendra Fiddler)