AVR celebrates 175th birthday

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The story of AVR starts in 1849 when Pieter Vansteenkiste founds a forge in Roeselare, where he manufactures agriculture and horticulture tools. Later the business is named after his son: Alfons Vansteenkiste Roeselare. AVR is born.

The company grows in step with the technological advances of the 20th century and by the time engineer Norbert Nollet takes over the company in the 1970s. A new family at the head of AVR. The product range is gradually expanded to eventually comprise the entire potato growing process, from planting bed preparation to planting, harvesting, haulm topping and storing.

After several attempts in the early seventies, the first 4-row self-propelled potato harvesters on a Moreau frame leave the workshop in 1975.  In 1986 the first 2-row self-propelled bunker harvester is built and in 2006 AVR launches its first Puma. This 4-row self-propelled harvester is currently in its fourth generation. It remains the showpiece of the AVR product range thanks to its basic concept and various evolutions.

“Our mission remains unchanged,” says AVR’s managing director Stefan Top. “We manufacture, sell and service machines for potato growers who wish to work more efficiently and more sustainably. We market innovative technologies and products that make it possible to store more saleable potatoes with less effort in less time, using less fuel and with less soil compaction.”

Meanwhile, the self-propelled Puma has shifted more than 550 units, from its home market in Western Europe to Canada and Australia. What better machine to put AVR’s 175th anniversary in the spotlight? In 2024 AVR is marketing a limited edition of the Puma 4.0, the self-propelled harvester with a retro look. Old meets new.  A very limited series of this harvester will be made available.

AVR will also be presenting its first miniature Puma 4.0. This anniversary year is the perfect occasion to satisfy this long-standing demand from the market. Every customer who buys a Puma 4.0 this year will also receive a miniature version. This also goes for the limited edition Puma 4.0, which comes with a miniature limited edition.

AVR continues to grow, even after 175 years. On the heels of the opening of a new branch in Germany in late 2023, the head office in Roeselare is undergoing a thorough renovation, with an expansion of up to 50 places. The project should be completed in November of this year.


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