Guys and gals. Here’s the skinny. Diesel power is getting better and better – and simply on a scale of economy, it makes enormous sense for companies to utilise this technology. Linhai has just launched their new 3 cylinder Perkins powered 800 – and it does the job… This is an agricultural workhorse.
That’s the bottom line, it feels like one – and runs like one. And that’s a good thing. Power, utility, practicality, the new Linhai seems to tick all the boxes. Best of all, we like the quality feel of this machine.
So what makes it tick?
Built for work, the Linhai is packed with useful stuff. Obvious is the giant steel lined load bed that is rated to carry a hefty 300 kg’s, so that’s your mom, dad and little boet all at once. Ok, maybe just your mom in law – but it is rated to carry a sizeable load. A tow bar is fitted out back, with a receiver up front. The Linhai is rated to tow 500 KG’s.
The cab is spacious and comfortable with bucket seats holding the occupants safely in place. Lap seatbelts make sure that you are safe. It comes with neat headrests and a roof. Speaker covers are built into the roof which means that you can listen to your favourite tunes while you cruise the farm or lug rocks at the building site. The interior is made mostly of plastic, so spraying it out with a hose won’t ruin the upholstery.
Gear selection is via a lever built into the dash and digital indicators on the large display in the Consol lets the passengers know exactly what is happening. A CVT drive is fitted to the mill, so automatic actuation makes driving the 800 dead simple.
There is a tiny cubby in the cab, good for cell phones and other nik naks – inside that is a power point for charging your GPS or cell phone. Fuel capacity is an impressive 35 litres and given that this vehicle does not really rev, we are convinced that it will run for weeks on a full tank. Hydraulic discs bring things to a halt.
Independent suspension on all four corners ensures that the ride is soft. Combine this with aggressively patterned 14 inch tyres and you have a fairly good (280MM) ground clearance.
Hmmmm. We were not quite sure what to expect. To us the diesels have always been – well a little Ho hum, but this Linhai impressed us because it has a real quality feel to it. Comfortable. Easy gear actuation – and the power is great. Please don’t expect ripping performance – she accelerates sedately up to a top speed of 40kph, not fast, but the power while you get there means that you can take your house along with you.
In terms of trail prowess, we aimed the Linhai at all sorts of interesting obstacles and never found it wanting. Solid power allows you to clamber up the side of the steepest slopes. Good ground clearance avoids the rocks and lurkers – and when you cannot find traction, engaging the 4wd system in Low range made sure that we got through everything. And it quietly clatters along without scaring all the locals. Even off camber, the big ute feels very stable and safe – and that’s cool.
Were we farmers – we’d want one of these in the shed, because it would do the work usually reserved for the farm bakkie. It’s easy to drive, strong, very versatile, in that you’ll go places where the farm bakkie can’t. And oh yes – way more fun too. One very practical machine. www.linhai.co.za (011) 284-2037 for your closest dealer.