Volvo Penta off-road engine powering Ropa harvesters


Agriculture equipment manufacturer – and long-time Volvo Penta customer – Ropa is benefitting from using a Stage V D16 off-road engine in its popular Tiger 6 harvester. Ropa has a broad range of products for harvesting sugar beets and potatoes that are used in over 40 countries worldwide.

Ropa has been field-testing the D16 in two machines since early October, clocking over 400 operational hours combined.

“During the very short harvest season, many of our machines run 1,000 or more hours,” said Michael Gruber, head of technology at Ropa. “If the engine fails or performs poorly then that means loss of productivity and income for farmers. Therefore, the engines in our machines need to be fuel-efficient, have high power, high torque, high performance at low speeds, a good service network and outstanding durability. It’s a lot to ask for, but this is why we chose Volvo Penta.”

“Power and torque, fuel economy and reliability are the three hallmarks that Volvo Penta has been moving forward with when developing the Stage V D16,” says Paul Jansson, chief project manager.“The field-testing is a win-win for both us and Ropa. We get direct feedback on installation and performance from a customer using our engine in the field, and they have a constructive way of influencing the end-product.”

Ropa’s harvesters typically run at low speeds – around 1,100 rpm – however, they require high torque to power the large hydraulic system that pulls up, cleans and bunkers the sugar beets.

“We told Volvo Penta early in the development what we needed to get the machine running at optimum performance and economy,” said Gruber. “Volvo Penta took this request seriously and optimized the engine for us. As a result, the Tiger 6 harvests sugar beets with ease.”

Ropa first began installing Volvo Penta engines thirty years ago, and by 1993, all machines were powered by Volvo Penta. These engines are still going strong today.

“When it comes to reliability, we have not encountered any problems with the D16, but this is not surprising. Some of our older engines have run for over 15,000 hours with little or no malfunction. Because of this, we have huge trust that these latest Volvo Penta engines will be just as durable and long-lasting,” added Gruber.

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James joined the Industrial Vehicle Technology International team in 2017. Previously he was Assistant Editor on an engineering title for several years and has worked for various other trade magazines before that. James is happily married and has a young daughter and son who keep him busy.

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