Fendt to Open New Brand Headquarters

Fendt Opening New Brand Headquarters, Fendt Lodge, in Jackson, Minnesota

Dan Miller
By  Dan Miller , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
DTN/Progressive Farmer Senior Editor Dan Miller (left) leaves the yard in Fendt's Rogator 900 series sprayer simulator. He missed the tanks and vehicles coming down the highway, but soon crushed a stop sign, twice. (Photo courtesy of Fendt)

HOUSTON (DTN) -- Fendt is gearing up to open its new brand home in Jackson, Minnesota.

Named the Fendt Lodge, the 16,000-square-foot facility with a North Woods motif (paneling, fireplace and lounge, coffee bar, history center, gift shop) will be the destination for North American Fendt customers and dealers, as well as a location for familiarizing new AGCO hires with the Fendt line and its growing line of technology options. Fendt Lodge will also be open to the public.

Fendt intends to launch new machinery and products from Fendt Lodge, hold corporate gatherings there and offer factory tours where its Rogator sprayers and Fendt tracked tractors are manufactured. Visitors to the lodge also will see a sweeping view of the factory's assembly line. And rides will be offered to some around a circular track nearby.

The centerpiece of the lodge will be a soon-to-be-delivered 1958 FL 236 Dieselross tractor from Germany. Fully restored, it has a 20-horsepower, two-cylinder MWM engine (built by Motoren Werke Mannheim AG, a German company specializing in the manufacturing of diesel engines) and a Fendt transmission.

Another feature offered to visitors will be equipment simulators of Fendt tractors, combines and sprayers. These offer high-tech, highly visual quality experiences that put the operator into real-world environments from travel down roads and over bridges to simulated field operations. Steering, throttle, and buttons, switches and dials all operate and are positioned as they would be operating in the field.

Three large screens make up the simulator, so operators will not only see straight ahead but also potential obstacles, such as anhydrous tanks and road traffic, including a school bus with kids aboard. Yikes! Don't hit the bus with the kids looking at you.

Simulator seats react to bumps and turns, forward motion and back -- any motion, really, that a machine would encounter during real operations -- down to the seat belt. Nothing works until you snap on the seat belt.

After a few minutes, simulator operators are likely to feel movement and machinery function every bit as demanding and/or automated as they would operating a real machine.

I tried Fendt's new Rogator 900 simulator at the 2024 Commodity Classic before the real farmers showed up. It did feel very real as I knocked over two stop signs -- one time completely hung up on it -- and swung one end of the sprayer boom into a pine tree. However, that damage was magically repaired. I negotiated the bridge and missed the school bus full of smiling kids. My final evaluation: Good operators are hard to find. But don't hire me.

Fendt's simulators will be available for customers, dealers, employees, visitors and even kids.

Fendt Lodge is expected to open to the public by late spring this year.

Dan Miller can be reached at dan.miller@dtn.com

Follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter, @DMillerPF

Dan Miller