Hold on to your overalls: Finnish rally champ sets tractor speed record

Tractors don’t get enough love. The lumbering workhorses are one of the backbones of our farming industry, and yet they’re largely forgotten outside of agriculture and country music.

Like many supercars, tractors equip massively powerful engines with enough torque to crush boulders. They feature complicated electronics like top-end luxury cars, and can be incredibly stylish as well … in the sense that they have styling.

And yet, when performance is considered, tractors rarely enter into the discussion. A team of Finns sponsored by Nokian Tires and vehicle manufacturer Valtra tried to change that recently with a Guinness World Records speed test.

The chariot for this ambitious endeavor? The seven-ton Valtra T234, which equips a 7.4-liter turbodiesel six-cylinder with 250 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. The team enlisted four-time rally champion Juha Kankkunen to pilot the green beast, but they knew they needed more power.

Tractor speed Guinness World Record

Thankfully, with the tractor’s advanced electronics and engine control system, coaxing out extra grunt was simple. The mechanicals were left unchanged, as only a few tweaks to the software and parameters were needed to get the job done. The team hasn’t revealed final output, but we’d bet it was a significant jump.

Why? Just look at the thing go.

In the video brought to you by NokianTyresCom, the T234 roars down the whitewashed track as Kankkunen keeps its massive weight in check during the bends. After a few tries (and stops for repairs), the Finnish team unlocked the Valtra’s potential, getting the tractor up to a respectable average of 130.1 kmh (80.8 mph). Over snow and ice, mind you.

Not bad for a big farmhand.