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  1. Machine engineering history in Vlkanová
  2. Skid-operated loaders ZŤS, DETVAN and Locust
  3. Front loaders  DETVAN (ZŤS) HON, UN 053,UNO 180,UNC 200, UNK 320
  4. ZETOR URI agricultural tractors
  5. ZETOR / ZŤS / URSUS URII agricultural tractor
  6. ZETOR URIII agricultural tractors
  7. ZETOR / ZŤS / URSUS agricultural tractors of URIV series
  8. LKT 80 and LKT 81 forest wheeled tractors

In Vlkanová, industrial tradition dates back to 1936, when the railway sleepers and poles factory was established. After the World War II, the factory first began to specialize in repairs of the paper machines and later on, they started mass production of flexible metal hoses, bowden cables, flexible shafts, tachometer mechanical drives and other machine engineering components.

Machine engineering history in Vlkanová

In Vlkanová, large production development occurred after 1969 by fusion of Podpolianské strojárne (PPS) Detva and later on ZŤS Group (Závody ťažkého strojárstva). In Vlkanová, the new facilities, such as production shops, machining shop, gear manufacturing works and tool works were gradually integrated into the engineering plant. It had also operated its own factory school SOUS (Secondary Vocational Engineering School).

The production of the oil gear pumps for ZETOR URII engines produced in ZŤS Martin had also been included into the production program. Since the early eighties, the gear units, tractor and industrial vehicle axles have also been included into the production programme. The pump drives for LKT forest wheeled tractors, side transmissions for skid-operated UNC 060 loaders and the hydraulic generators drives for mobile construction machines, forest tractors and forklift trucks, transmissions, axles and other components for alpine tool carriers, communal vehicles and other industrial and construction machines produced in smaller production runs formed an important part of the production programme.

Since the second half of the eighties, the production of front driven axles for ZETOR URI and URII agricultural tractors Series started in Vlkanová. The axles designed for the new ZETOR URIII and URIV heavy agricultural tractor series, the driven axles for DETVAN UN 053, UNO 180 wheeled loaders and other mobile construction and industrial vehicles were also included into the production programme. The factory also co-operated with the other manufacturers of axles, for example ZETOR factory in Havlíčkův Brod, UTB Universal Tractor Brasov, including the other operations belonging to the ZŤS Group. The factory also supplied them with, for instance, the reducers and other assembly groups. In Vlkanová, the front driven axles for URSUS 934, 1034, 1134, 1234, 1434, 1634 heavy series agricultural tractors had also been produced.

In the early nineties, the engineering plant located in Vlkanová, became independent under Vlkanovské strojárne brand name, later on as VS Nápravy, which continued to produce the axles and gearing units both for traditional and new customers.

There was a follow-up of co-operative production of the axles and components for the ZF and JCB brands, tractor rear axle groups for John Deere and later on co-operation with CARRARO in supply of front driven axles for ZETOR URI agricultural tractors. In Vlkanová, they also developed and produced the MKT 6x6 and MKT 4x4 forest carryout a skidding machine, designed for skidding and timber harvesting in a smaller scale.

At present, STETEX continues the tradition of axles and transmissions production in Vlkanová. The company has been based in the industrial park on the site of former ZŤS / Vlkanovské strojárne. It specializes in supplying the complete range of spare parts, medium repairs and overhauls, redesigns, retrofitting and technical support in the field of the axles designed for agricultural tractors and mobile industrial machines. The company has also supplied the complete axles for ZETOR URI and URIII, ZŤS URII and URIV, URSUS, CRYSTAL agricultural tractors, those for UN 053 and UNO 180 wheeled loaders, as well as for the other special applications, such as portal axles for mobile sprayers, tool carriers and those according to customer requirements.

In 1981, the production of skid-operated loaders was introduced in former ZŤS Group. The model UNC 060 represented the initial and basic type developed by ZŤS Research and Development Division in Zvolen and produced in Krupina. Later on, the subsequent modifications, such as UNC 061, UNC 062 or UNC 045 and UNC 080 produced in Krupina and also those produced in PPS Detva, had been integrated into the product range.

Nakladač UNC 060

The deliveries of the side gear-boxes and partially the hydroelectric generator drives had also been implemented for the skid-operated loaders from Vlkanová. The side gearbox is the type of a transmission with a constant gearing which ensures power transmission to the wheels of the skid-operated loader. This type of a transmission has been produced in the left and right side gearbox versions. Two transmissions built into the machine partly function both as the machine chassis and its control. In addition to the UNC 060 basic model and the derived versions, the side gearboxes designed for Locust 750, 753, 863, 903 a 1203 skid-operated loaders were also produced in Vlkanová.

STETEX has supplied a comprehensive range of spare parts and provides repairs, servicing and upgrading of the components, units as well as the complete loaders.

Nakladač UNO 180

In 1966, HON 050 wheeled front loader was the first model produced by Podpolianske strojárne (PPS) Detva in former Czechoslovakia. Next versions, such as HON 051, HON 053, UN 050, UN 053 and UNO 180, as well as the other types of the front loaders with higher capacity were gradually introduced into the production programme. The most widespread versions mainly include UNC 200 and UNK 320 models. In Vlkanová, the driven axles for UN 053 and UNO 180 types derived from the basic 6R-URII axle types and the pump drives for other loaders were mainly produced.

STETEX has supplied a complete range of spare parts for the axles indicated and ensures their repairs and servicing.

Zetor 7211

In 1960, the production of new ZETOR URI agricultural tractor series started in Brno, Czech Republic. Some other types, which underwent numerous modernizations, were gradually introduced into the production programme. In 1984, the company AGROZET ZETOR Brno launched serial production of URI agricultural tractors, in the so-called fifth modernization line. In Vlkanová, the production of front driven axles for ZETOR 5245, 6245, 7245, 7245 Horal and 7745 series of agricultural tractors was gradually launched. In Vlkanová, they continued to deliver the complete axles or their assemblies, mounted in ZETOR factory in Havlíčkův Brod, also for the agricultural tractors of the so-called seventh modernization line, known as ZETOR MAJOR, "model 92" (type 3340, 4340, 5340, 6340 and 7340) and partly to ZETOR SUPER "model 97" versions (type 3341, 4341, 5341, 6341 and 7341). The following versions of ZETOR agricultural tractors were equipped with the front axles by CARRARO, Italy. Since 1984, more than 200,000 ZETOR URI agricultural tractors were produced and this type has still ranked among the most widely used and most popular ones both in the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic.

STETEX has supplied a full range of spare parts for all originally produced axles, and also for those by CARRARO. The company has also produced the complete axles in small series, designed for the agricultural tractors and special applications, for example, mobile sprayers or other specialised vehicles.

Zetor 12245

In 1969, ZETOR Brno launched production of new URII heavy series agriculture tractors, known under the ZETOR CRYSTAL trade name. Initially, they produced ZETOR 8011/8045 model and later on more powerful versions were added, whereas the manufacture of virtually identical agricultural tractors also took place in Poland under URSUS trade name. Since the late seventies, the production of URII heavy agricultural tractors series moved to the company ZŤS Martin due to the lack of capacities in Brno. At the beginning, UTB Universal Tractor Brasov, Romania, delivered the front driven axles also for the URII range. In the mid-eighties, the production of reducers and other components was first introduced, and gradually they moved towards the production and assembly of newly developed 6R front driven axles designed for ZETOR URII "model 88" modernized agricultural tractors (types ZETOR 8245, 9245, 10245, 11245, 12245, 14245 and 16245) and URSUS 934, 1034, 1134, 1234, 1434 and 1634.STETEX has provided a full range of spare parts, repair and servicing of these types of axles.

The Company has also supplied these types of axles for using into the agricultural tractors in small series. With the robust design, the axles were also successfully installed mainly into the agricultural tractors having fitted the front loading equipment, which operate in extreme conditions under full load for a long time.

Zetor 10540

In 1991, ZETOR Brno launched production of the new URIII agricultural tractor series of higher power class. The versions of agricultural tractors with all-axle drive were produced under the 7540, 8540, 9540, 10540 and 11540 series designation. The years of knowledge on the use of URII series agricultural tractors was also applied in the development. These agricultural tractors were equipped with the swing front axle, driven by the PTO shaft connected to the tractor final gear and fitted on the central pivot. The final assembly of front driven axles took place predominantly in ZETOR Havlíčkův Brod, and Vlkanovské strojárne were involved in the production and supplies of base components and assembly groups. The front driven axles by CARRARO were also mounted into some URIII agricultural tractor versions. Between 1991-1998, more than 11,000 URIII series agricultural tractors were produced in total and the new ZETOR Forterra replaced the series mentioned in 1998.

STETEX has supplied the spare parts for the URIII fixed driven axles and those by CARRARO and provides complete service for these axles.


Since the second half of the eighties, ZŤS Martin and URSUS Poland, developed the new URIV unified series agricultural tractors and prepared into production. Since the nineties, several Slovak and Polish producers started the batch production of URIV series agricultural tractors simultaneously. The company Vlkanovské strojárne produced the 6R-URIV and 8RN front driven axles for these types of agricultural tractors, mainly in versions of "model 99" and partially "model 2005".

STETEX also supplied these axles for Polish URSUS and CRYSTAL brands in larger series, and they continue to produce them to this day. The company has available a full range of spare parts and carries out repairs, servicing and technical advice.

LKT 81

In 1971, the factory Turčianske strojárne in Trstená, Orava (later on ZŤS), produced the first LKT 75 forest wheeled tractor. The LKT 80 and later on LKT 81 and LKT 81 TURBO modernized versions followed up on this model. These have been the most common and most widely used types of forest wheeled tractors in our countries. In Trstená, they produced more than 13,000 types mentioned and most of them have still served the users in several countries around the world. Former ZŤS factory in Vlkanová produced the hydraulic pump drives designed for LKT 80 and LKT 81 forest wheeled tractors.

STETEX has supplied a complete range of products for previously manufactured pump drives, as well as the other selected range of spare parts for LKT 80 and LKT 81 forest tractors.

The articles on machine engineering history in Vlkanová and the articles on the final tractors and mobile machines production history have been created by Jozef Baláž. There are used information and image material from the archive of the author, from the archives of STETEX company, as well as from the contemporary corporate literature issued by companies Vlkanovské strojárne, ZŤS, Zetor, MARTIMEX, PPS Detva, WAY Industry, LKT, URSUS, CRYSTAL, KORURS, CARRARO and others. All rights reserved. No part of published articles may be copied or reproduced for further dissemination in any form without prior written consent.