I finally took the plunge and committed to the purchase of an Apollo 3354 tractor. Being made in China, I needed to do my homework carefully. A lot of good comes out of China as does a lot of not so good.
Albeit this review has only been written after 10 hours of use, but so far I am extremely happy with my purchase. The Apollo 3354 was a lot more tractor than I bargained for. With 35 HP and 2 metric tonne, it was one of the biggest tractor is it's price range.
In terms of build quality, it appears miles in front of many of the Chinese tractors that I inspected.
The only tractor to equal or perhaps rival it would be the DF (sold as Eastwind in Australia). My reluctance with the Eastwind option was that it was quite a bit more expensive to get the equivalent, and I was doubtful the agent would make good on their warranty.
I had read some doubtful things online and when I quizzed aspects of the warranty I got a lot of "um's" and "ar's" rather than a straight answer, which left me with an uneasy feeling. Sota tractors were upfront with their warranty and offered on-site warranty at that.
So, that aside, the tractor's build quality is pretty good for being Chinese.
Welds are neat and clean, paint is thick and in good order, threaded components are clean and well machined. Of course, we will see how the metal holds up under stress.
One thing that is really strange is for a new tractor there are a lot of bits that look really aged... like levers and controls already look like they have been in the weather for a couple of years. One of the ignition keys (ie the one that has not been in the ignition) is rusted and corroded. Just the little things. I am no farmer (city folk) and i drive luxury cars, so I am used to things being shiny and new so this was a bit confronting.
The hydraulics are very neat and well finished... much better than what I had seen on competitive models. All the hydraulic tubing is mounted within the metal frame work (not outside the structure where it can be damaged as i saw on some models) all the bends are uniform and neat.
Same goes underneath, no hydraulics to to be snagged by obstructions as i noted on some models.
Good power on the 35hp, clean deck, good instrumentation.
I know it is premature (with only 10 hours on the clock), but with virtually no information out there on the net on these tractors, I wanted to give others the opportunity to read some feedback.