FARM EQUIPMENT REVIEW
Over the last year, dozens of new models and designs of farm machinery have been introduced by manufacturers
November 12, 2007 By Top Crop Manager
Over the last year, dozens of new models and designs
of farm machinery have been introduced by manufacturers. Many of you will have
seen these introductions at farm shows and in various industry announcements
– but, can you remember the details? This feature provides a reference
for you and extends the 'new tractor' coverage in the November issue.
Peter Darbishire, Editor
While Top Crop Manager editors make
every effort to be objective when reporting on new products, they cannot be
held responsible for claims made by companies. Readers are encouraged to contact
the companies for more details.
Big and smart
Innovative technology, power efficiency and heavy-duty stability were hallmarks
of the 160 PTO horsepower model 818 Fendt tractor and are no less hallmarks
of the new 130 PTO horsepower Fendt 815 and 145 PTO horsepower Fendt 817. The
cast iron framed Fendt 800 series tractors, at 16,000lb bare chassis or 21,000lb
field-ready, are built to handle big loads. Vario Continuously Variable Transmissions
(CVT) and Tractor Management Systems (TMS) give them the intelligence to use
their weight and power to their maximum efficiency.
These are big, smart tractors, says the company, "and they have a higher
weight to horsepower ratio than other tractors in this popular power range."
The Vario CVT gives the operator an infinite number of speeds from 0.01mph to
32mph while the TMS constantly balances weight and power against the load to
find the most efficient balance of engine and ground speed.
The operator can use either a foot pedal or the joystick on the armrest console
to increase ground and engine speed with or without TMS. If TMS is activated,
it automatically optimizes engine and transmission operation to meet the load
requirement. That means more work done with less fuel. As well, there is VARIOtronic
Headland Management System (see notes on Fendt 900 series).
All tractor systems can be monitored on the colour Vario terminal mounted on
the control console armrest. Sequences can be named for easy recall at a later
time. Even without TMS activated, the operator can pre-set the PTO and three-point
hitch controls for automatic activation and control via a rocker button on the
joystick. The joystick is the central controller for all transmission and engine
functions including starting/stopping, speed and forward/reverse travel. It
also controls up to four hydraulic remote valves, lift and lower of the three-point
hitch and stopping the rear PTO.
Fuel efficiency of the in-line, six cylinder, liquid-cooled engine introduced
on the 818 has been enhanced with an electronic governor. 540 PTO adds to energy
efficiency by operating at reduced engine rpm. All three 800 series tractors
feature a 29.1gpm hydraulic flow rate for more than adequate hydraulic power.
The 800 series has a turning radius of approximately 20ft. Its cast half-frame
serves as a solid foundation for front-mounted implements and loaders.
Second generation six cylinder range
A second generation McCormick MTX six cylinder tractor range, with new engines
and McCormick's first cab suspension, has been launched by McCormick Tractors.
Five of the new models, covering PTO power outputs from 100hp to 160hp, feature
a McCormick version of an all-new six cylinder turbo diesel BetaPower engine
developed by the European Engine Alliance, a consortium of three of the world's
leading manufacturers of agricultural and industrial diesel power units, including
Cummins and Iveco.
McCormick is the first tractor manufacturer to use the new engine in the higher
than 140hp range. The tractors feature the company's first cab suspension, automatic
climate control and new instruments in the cab. This package of changes is reflected
in new model designations: the model MTX120 is rated at 100 PTO horsepower,
the MTX135 at 112 PTO horsepower, the MTX150 at 130 PTO horsepower, the MTX165
at 141 PTO horsepower, the MTX185 at 160 PTO horsepower, and the MTX200 at 170
The two most powerful versions of the BetaPower engines use a 24 valve cross-flow
cylinder head for optimum gas flow. In addition, the engines use electronic
common rail fuel injection to produce power efficiently and cleanly, with significant
'power rise' and deep reserves of torque for top performance.
The McCormick BetaPower engine is produced with two levels of specification
to suit the different demands placed on MTX tractors in different power categories.
For the MTX120, MTX135 and MTX150, the engine uses traditional technology (two
valves per cylinder and mechanical fuel injection) to produce rated speed (2200rpm)
power outputs of 115hp, 131hp and 152hp. The next two models, the MTX165 and
MTX185, are bigger tractors with a more sophisticated specification that includes
four valves per cylinder, which allows a central fuel injector as well as providing
high volume gas flow and ultra high pressure common rail fuel injection. This
results in significant 'power rise' characteristics: rated speed outputs of
161hp and 182hp increase to 168hp and 197hp respectively as engine speed is
pulled back under load. The Cummins QSB engine in the MTX200 provides similar
characteristics: rated speed output is 195hp but as engine speed drops under
load, output climbs to peak at 204hp.
Lower running costs are a further benefit across the McCormick MTX range as
the BetaPower and QSB engines promise more economical fuel use, have one instead
of two oil filters, and need oil and filter changes at 500 hour intervals.
Cab and axle suspension
The second generation McCormick MTX features cab suspension for the first time,
complementing the braked independent suspension front axle available on most
models in the range. The 'active' cab suspension, which responds to different
driver weights to maintain a constant ride height, uses low friction dampers
coupled to an accumulator to provide controlled springing. A Panhard rod prevents
the cab from swaying as it absorbs bumps to give the operator a more comfortable
ride. Inside the cab, operators will find a new instrument panel that adds implement
linkage lift height and gear selected to the information displayed. Clear digital
graphics set into an oval display complement the analog dials.
The optional AutoSpeed transmission controller, which provides button-operated
range as well as gear shifts, also has new features. Drivers can now select
their own start-up gears to suit their preferences for different field tasks,
and speed matching ensures the gearbox automatically shifts to the best gear
after slowing for a road junction.