Versatile, a division of Buhler Industries Inc. (TSX: BUI), is the only Canadian manufacturer of agricultural tractors.
The factory in Winnipeg, Manitoba covers almost 700,000 square feet with complete manufacturing and assembly capabilities and full research and development facilities. Versatile also has a rural 40-acre test site with a paved quarter-mile circuit and bump-track.
Versatile was the first company to mass-produce articulated four-wheel drive tractors, starting in 1966 with the D100 and G100. Those groundbreaking tractors were primitive by modern standards, with a 6-cylinder diesel or 8-cylinder gas engine producing 100 horsepower. 1966 models sold for less than $10,000.
The strategy to offer a full line of Versatile-branded products started with the acquisition of a self-propelled sprayer line. The factory in Willmar, Minnesota, had been in operation since the 1960's and had produced sprayers and fertilizer equipment for such brands as Willmar, Spra-Coupe, and Redball. The simplicity and design of the Redball self-propelled sprayer was a natural fit with the Versatile product line.
The 130,000 sq. ft. (12,077 sq. m) Willmar, MN, USA facility, purchased by Versatile in 2010, produces the self-propelled sprayer product line. This huge facility has a long and diverse history of application equipment production dating back to 1964. Within the facility product is conceived, engineered and fully fabricated and painted for the efficiency of a mixed model assembly line production. A range of Farm King branded products are also fully produced in this same corporate owned facility. All products are then delivered to many destinations of North America and also exported as RO/RO or containerized to several countries.
Versatile enters the Precision Seeding & Tillage market after acquiring Ezee-On Manufacturing of Vegreville, Alberta, with a 20-year history in air drill and air cart manufacturing and more than four decades in the tillage industry. New independent shank air drills featuring mechanical shank linkage and ALIVE technology were introduced in 2013 and the new Viking vertical tillage tool was introduced in 2016.
The 490 hp Class VIII RT490 was designed to be rugged, reliable and simple to maintain service. At the core of the Versatile RT490 is the revolutionary Rotating Concave Rotary System (RCR360). A 360 concave wraps around a large rotor and counter-rotates. Three separate "pinch points" are created during each rotor revolution allowing the grain to be threshed three times in each rotation.
The debut of the Versatile DeltaTrack. Featuring leading-edge Camso track technology and designed as a purpose-built track machine, the DeltaTrack was an immediate success, solidifying Versatile's place in the track machine market. The DeltaTrack name is derived from the Greek "Delta", meaning four, represented by a triangle, the strongest geometrical shape in nature.
In a continuing effort to realize the vision of becoming a full-line equipment manufacturer, Versatile is committed to developing new and innovative products, as well as improving upon existing technologies. Further investment in production, engineering, research and development is part of an ongoing effort to maintain and improve the product offering and market share.