13 June, 2024

The non-negotiables when choosing a supplier

16 June, 2017

John Chapman, managing director of Linde Hydraulics UK, considers what OEM companies within the agriculture sector should insist on from equipment providers in terms of products and services.

For OEM suppliers of agricultural machinery such as tractors, telehandlers and combine harvesters, a strong focus on quality and reliability – from the design stage right through to delivery to the end customer – has to be paramount. However, of course, machinery can only be as good as its constituent parts. Indeed, this is an all-important consideration because if the integrity of the equipment supplied is below par, the efficacy of the machinery could be at stake, potentially resulting in equipment failure and costly downtime for the user, not to mention the indignity of a compromised brand image on the part of the OEM. Therefore, the suppliers that OEMs rely on need to be chosen with the utmost care.

So, what should OEM machinery providers to the agriculture sector look for in their equipment partners in terms of equipment and service?

Research & development

The equipment provider of choise should have in place a rigorous R&D regime that is dedicated to leveraging maximum advantage from current and future technological developments with the world of electro-mechanical equipment. In the case of Linde Hydraulics, we opened a much larger R&D department in Germany last year with precisely this requirement in mind.

In terms of solutions themselves, our HMV105D hydraulic drive motor design with its new axial piston hydraulic double motor was designed to offer higher maximum speeds, and hence a bigger transmission ratio spread of oil volume flow into rotary motion than conventional swash plate motor designs. The HMV105D is also about 30% lighter than a motor with transfer gear box. Indeed, formal recognition for the drive motor came in the form of an award given by the Agritechnica Silver Innovation Medal in 2015.


The provider should be able to offer solutions with a high degree of flexibility built-in. For example, Linde Hydraulics’ VT1 modular valve system for mini-series and prototypes is suitable for either hydraulic or electro-hydraulic operation, and can be converted at short notice. Also, subsequent changes to the VT1 Modular can be carried out ‘in the field’ by changing the relay components and without dismantling the power hydraulics.

Energy and cost efficiency

Parts and equipment that have been designed with a high degree of energy efficiency in mind are always attractive features in the eyes of end users; in no small part due to the considerable cost savings that can be achieved. Linde Hydraulics’ start-stop system, for example, is proven to save fuel costs and CO2 emissions in agricultural machines by stopping every time the operator stops work on the machinery. It also reduces the level of noise that is generated.

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