Production tops 600 tractors; but who or what is Agrico?

The Agrico 4+ series (one of which is pictured above) is the only tractor line-up that is designed and built in South Africa, or so claims the manufacturer.

Powered by Daimler Chrysler engines – with displacements from 6.4L up to 14L – these tractors have power outputs from (approximately) 180hp right up to a whopping 550hp.

There are six different models in the range; all are articulated-chassis (pivot-steer) machines – designed primarily to pull heavy-duty tillage implements.

Production of the original 4+ series kicked off back in 1985; the tractors have undergone incremental improvements and tweaks during the intervening years.

The four smaller tractors in the line-up have ZF (6F 3R powershift) transmissions; their two larger siblings have Allison (6F 1R powershift) ‘boxes’. All six models are home to torque converters.

Agrico…in a nutshell

Agrico can apparently trace its origins back to 1896, when Paul Andrag arrived in Cape Town (South Africa), having left Germany.

In 1904, he started his own business (moving from Cape Town to Saron). He began to import tractors and agricultural equipment. Agencies included Lanz (tractors), Perrot (irrigation equipment), Deutz (engines) and Fahr (combines).

The entity, later joined by Andrag’s sons, reportedly introduced the first rubber-tyred tractor into South Africa. By the end of World War II, all five sons were active in the business (then trading as P Andrag & Sons).

In 1950 Agrico Machinery (Pty) was founded to look after the importation of Lanz tractors. A branch network was established. In 2000 the Andrag and Agrico companies merged – morphing into one, larger entity.

In 2016, Agrico sold its mechanisation division (comprising various agencies) to focus on its own manufactured products and its water-related business.

Today, it has 27 branches – spread across the southern regions of Africa, including a new branch in Zambia.

The company has three factories; they produce tractors (agricultural and industrial-spec units), implements and other items. Over 600 4+ series tractors have, thus far, been built.

Current day

Currently, the five shareholders (Andrag’s sons) are active in the day-to-day management of the company, with third and fourth-generation family members serving as non-executive directors.

The entire entity now employs over 900 people; annual sales exceed one billion Rand.