In June this year the best tractor drivers in Europe will be pitted against one another in a competition hosted by US farm machinery giant John Deere and tyre manufacturer Michelin.
Farming UK reports that the European Drivers' Championship is set to take place at a dedicated test track operated by Michelin in France, where expert machinery operators are set to compete against one another to prove that they are the cream of the crop in their particular field.
Still Time to Enter
A total of 16 drivers will be participating in the competition, with each behind the controls of the cutting-edge John Deere 6250R tractor. And with two months to go until the championship kicks off, there is still time for prospective participants to register their interest.
Those who achieve the most support via social media will be successful in winning a place at the event, which suggests that the popularity of an individual will initially be more important than their actual abilities behind the wheel. But when the competition gets under way, all the 'likes' in the world will be irrelevant and skill will be the ultimate deciding factor.
While many automotive contests are purely based on the speed with which drivers can complete laps of a track, in this instance the amount of time that the drivers take to cover the course will not be as important as how efficiently, productively and safely they perform.
The 6250R tractors which will be available at the event are all identical in terms of specifications, coming with a 300hp engine under the skin and benefiting from the presence of the latest CommandPro control set-up on the inside to give drivers the precision they need to operate effectively.
A Sneak Peek at John Deere's New Tractor
In fact, this event is particularly special because attendees will be gaining exclusive access to the 6250R before its global rollout, putting them ahead of the curve and letting them experience what the next generation of farm machinery from John Deere is capable of delivering.
The tractors will be kitted out with 29-tonne trailers built by Joskin, so it is not simply a matter of controlling the machine on its own but also accounting for a large towing weight in the strategies that drivers choose to adopt.
The course that will be laid out for the drivers to conquer features both tarmac sections of the test track as well as elements of a grassy field, ensuring that all the common conditions encountered by agricultural equipment are faithfully recreated. At the end, fuel use will be measured along with the extent to which soil compaction has occurred based on the way the tractor was driven.
Judges will also look at the overall demonstration of key skills as exhibited by each driver, meaning there are plenty of opportunities for especially experienced operators to pull ahead of the pack, at least metaphorically, and go home victorious.
The use of Michelin tractor tyres will also come into play, giving the firm the ability to showcase its latest products aimed at farmers and contractors.