FARM EQUIPMENT REVIEW: December 2006
By Top Crop Manager
High horsepower tractors
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. -30-
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.
Expands power in range
AGCO RT series tractors, equipped with the new 6.6 litre AGCO engine, run quieter
and use less fuel, says the company. The new engines also expand the power range
available in the RT series from 100 to 155 horsepower with the RT100A, RT120A,
RT140A and RT155A (model numbers designate PTO horsepower output). RT100A and
RT120A also offer the option of the new Auto-6 transmission with six powershifts
in four ranges of clutchless shifting, resulting in 24F and 24R speeds.
The new engine runs quieter, thanks in part to its solid one piece design,
but also due to its lighter connecting rods that produce less vibration. The
variable speed fan ensures optimum engine temperature, reduces fuel consumption
and ensures easier start up, quicker warm up and overall improved efficiency.
All four new RT series tractors are available with PowerMaxx CVT (continuously
variable transmission) for maximum power and infinite travel speed selection.
All controls are ergonomically placed for easy access. When PowerMaxx CVT RT
tractors are also equipped with the optional front suspension, they provide
up to 50km/hr (32mph) transport speed. In addition, RT100A and RT120A tractor
models are available with the new Auto-6 transmission with 24 forward and 24
reverse speeds. The Auto-6 offers operators a choice of six power shift ratios
that can be shifted under load without clutching within four auto-select ranges.
Shifting between the four ranges is also clutchless. The left hand control lever
on the steering column provides forward and reverse direction control and easy
selection of the desired powershift ratio. The right hand, console mounted,
power control lever allows the operator to manually select powershift ratios
or one of four gearbox ranges.
A rotary dial controller provides over-speed protection with manual shifting
or 'speed matching' powershift selection after a manual range change. When an
operator uses the dial to select 'road' or 'field' modes, the operator makes
range selections manually while the transmission changes the powershift ratio.
In road mode, powershift ratio and gear range are selected automatically. The
Auto-6 transmission allows the operator to pre-select forward and reverse starting
gears. The operator also can adjust the shuttle clutch to provide more or less
aggressive direction change. Even more gear options at slower speeds are available
with the 4:1 creeper option. -30-
Four models to 180 horsepower
The new Case IH Puma is powerful, flexible and manoeuverable, and is designed
as a multi-purpose tractor. Power for the Puma line is supplied from a proven
Case IH 6.7 litre engine. A full powershift transmission with an optional EconoGear
helps make maximum use of the available power. An enlarged, ergonomically designed
cab leads to efficient and comfortable operation, and features excellent operator
visibility. Configurable hydraulics adjust to handle heavy three-point loads
and they can range from row crop to utility work.
The engine is rated at up to 180 PTO horsepower, with an additional 25 to 35
horsepower Power Boost available for PTO and transport. The engine has a 600
hour service interval to save maintenance time and investment. There are four
models: Puma 165 with 135 PTO horsepower; Puma 180 with 150 PTO horsepower;
Puma 195 with 165 PTO horsepower; and the Puma 210 with 180 PTO horsepower.
Another key feature of the new Case IH Puma tractor models is the 18×6 full
powershift transmission. A standard Auto-Shift setting for field and transport
provides automatic shifting based on the load, for increased productivity and
In addition, a Constant Engine RPM setting shifts to hold the engine speed
within a desired range. It holds the revolutions per minute in a chosen range,
helping the operator reduce fuel usage while maximizing productivity. A new
optional 19th EconoGear economy transport gear reduces engine speed in 19th
gear for additional improved fuel economy at top road speeds.
With a hitch-lift capacity of up to 15,873lb, a fender-mounted raise/lower
switch and a hitch dampening system, Puma tractors are designed to handle the
heavy three-point loads generated by larger implements and allow precise adjustments
in the field. -30-
Smart headland turns
New Holland's TG Series II tractors, introduced in early 2006, offer performance
in pulling power, hydraulic capacity and comfort. Four models, ranging from
175 PTO horsepower to 255 PTO horsepower, provide innovative performance features
that maximize productivity and control in row crop and other operations.
With up to 255 PTO horsepower and up to 44 PTO horsepower growth, TG Series
II tractors deliver proven power at the drawbar and plenty of lugging power
to pull through heavy tillage, discing and ripping jobs. Responding with up
to 56 percent PTO torque rise and a power growth of up to 44 horsepower, the
six cylinder, turbocharged 8.3 litre New Holland engines increase horsepower
as they pull down to lower revolutions per minute in demanding conditions. All
models are Tier 3 compliant and have electronic engine management for the convenience
and fuel savings of setting a constant engine speed or 'cruise' control. A larger
80 gallon fuel tank provides fuel capacity for up to 18 hours of continuous
operation without refuelling.
TG Series II tractors are available with a choice of three transmissions: a
standard 18Fx4R powershift transmission; an optional 19Fx4R powershift transmission,
which has a special gear that increases fuel economy during transport; and an
optional 23Fx6R shift through creeper powershift transmission that is designed
with five slower forward and two reverse speeds for working in vegetable, potato
or other specialty crops. The operator can engage and disengage the creeper
gears at the end of the rows without stopping, with the push of a button.
The most advanced seeders and specialty equipment can be operated with ease
with 70 gallons per minute hydraulic flow with the MegaFlow option. Two pumps
provide two separate circuits, so two systems, such as a low flow/high pressure
system from one remote and a high flow/low pressure system from another remote,
can be operated simultaneously without sacrificing performance. Up to five remotes
are available. With an optional lift capacity of up to 17,920lb.
TG Series II tractors equipped with New Holland's tight-turning SuperSteer
front axle are ideal for row crop work. The TG tractor has a 16.5 foot turning
radius, measured with 380/85R34 tires on 30 inch row settings. Headland turns
are easy because the SuperSteer axle eliminates 'light bulb' turns at the end
of rows. By doing so, it saves travel, fuel consumption and time.
To make headland turns even easier for the operator, a Custom Headland Management
system, standard with the performance instrumentation option, memorizes the
multiple adjustments needed when turning at the headlands and allows the operator
to recall them with the push of a single button.
For a smooth ride and better traction on the roughest ground, TG Series II
tractors can be equipped with an optional TerraGlide front axle. An electro-hydraulic
beam axle design keeps the front tires on the ground by keeping them perpendicular
to the terrain while providing up to 4.4 inches of travel. This constant ground
contact pressure provides consistent power to the ground, improving stability,
traction and steering control, as well as reducing the vibration that reaches
The optional IntelliSteer auto-steering system uses GPS technology to guide
TG Series II tractors to plant, spray or till using perfect row positioning
every time. Four levels of accuracy are available, from ± 10 inch to
up to ± one inch accuracy. IntelliSteer is a factory installed option
for TG Series II tractors. A colour IntelliView II display monitor is mounted
on the right-hand armrest of all models equipped with IntelliSteer so the operator
has easy fingertip control of calibrations, data storage and operational functions.
Power capacity and lights
Case IH has beefed up its MX series Magnum tractor line with more power from
new Tier 3 compliant engines, a high pressure fuel injection system, new productivity
enhancing features, increased operator comfort and innovative transmission options
that save fuel.
The top-of-the-line MX305 boasts a new nine litre Tier 3 engine with 255 PTO
horsepower, up to 50 percent torque rise and 37 horsepower growth. The MX215
now has 175 PTO horsepower; the MX245 offers 200 PTO horsepower; and the MX275
has 225 PTO horsepower. These three models are powered by an 8.3 litre Tier
3 compliant engine.
The new tractor's air intake and air cleaning systems also have been redesigned.
Air is drawn from the top of the front grill, allowing approximately 15 percent
more air flow than the previous generation Magnum tractors. Improved air flow
translates to better performance, longer component life, less chaff plugging
and reduced fuel consumption. In addition, all models have an expanded 180 gallon
tank for longer work periods in the field.
There are three powershift transmission options: a standard 18F/4R speed transmission;
a new, optional 19F/4R option with a special 19th gear designed to conserve
fuel during transport; as well as a 23F/6R transmission with shift-through creeper
speeds. All tractors come standard with AutoShift which features field and road
modes, allowing operators to simply automate and improve transmission performance,
while also simplifying their task list. An extra road gear, 19F/4R, produces
a maximum road speed of 40km/hr (25mph) at a reduced engine revolutions per
minute to save fuel. An optional shift-through creeper transmission provides
five forward and two reverse creeper speeds. The new creeper transmission allows
the operator to engage or disengage creep at the end of the rows without stopping.
When equipped with an optional high flow hydraulic pump, the tractors deliver
hydraulic flow of 58 gallons per minute.
The electrical system also has been upgraded with higher capacity alternators
that provide electrical capacity to meet customer demands during the day and
night. Operators can choose from a standard 150amp, 12 volt alternator, or the
175amp option for use with implements with higher electrical requirements, electric
motors or additional lighting. A new optional lighting package offers producers
360 degree lighting with three front, high intensity discharge (HID) lights,
two rear HID lights, two side cab roof lights and delayed egress lighting to
allow the operator to exit the cab safely in the dark. AFS AccuGuide auto-guidance
systems are available with multiple accuracy levels to fit every budget and
AFS AccuGuide equipped MX215, MX245, MX275 and MX305 tractors also feature
a new armrest-mounted AFS200 colour monitor designed to interface with and control
all ISO11783 (current site specific technology standard) compatible implements.
Another next generation feature, AFS Auto Depth Control, allows operators to
set the depth of trailing implements with previously unmatched precision. -30-
New looks too!
John Deere has introduced four new models of 7030 series tractors ranging from
140 PTO to 180 PTO horsepower. These row crop tractors offer more power, option
flexibility and productivity than the models they replace. Here is the new lineup:
- the model 7630, 6.8 litre (414cu.in) engine, 140 PTO horsepower;
- the model 7730, 6.8 litre (414cu.in) engine, 152 PTO horsepower;
- the model 7830, 6.8 litre (414cu.in) engine, 165 PTO horsepower; and
- the model 7930, 6.8 litre (414cu.in) engine, 180 PTO horsepower.
The tractors feature the responsive, cleaner burning 6.8 litre PowerTech Plus
engine with a rated speed of 2100rpm. These engines deliver a 40 percent torque
rise and 10 percent power bulge to muscle through tough field conditions. The
new optional Intelligent Power Management provides up to 30 additional engine
horsepower for use in transport or non-stationary rear PTO operations. The Intelligent
Power Management system ensures consistent performance in transport and rear
There are three transmission options available with the 7030 series tractors.
The 16 speed, 19mph PowrQuad Plus transmission is base equipment for all models.
This transmission features clutchless, push button shifting of gears in each
range. For more automatic performance for ease of operation or faster transport
speeds, the AutoQuad Plus or Infinitely Variable Transmission (IVT) are available
at a 25mph or 31mph transport speed. These transmissions are designed to improve
operator efficiency and to increase transport speed to get more done in less
time. The AutoQuad Plus transmission allows operators to manually shift gears,
or program the tractor to automatically shift speeds within each range using
the CommandCenter. With 'auto' mode activated, whenever the engine load increases
and engine revolutions per minute decreases significantly, the transmission
will automatically down shift until the correct gear is found to maintain optimal
engine revolutions per minute and ground speed. This ensures that the tractor
is consistently operating in the most efficient gear to save fuel and time.
With the IVT, speeds can be adjusted infinitely from a creeper speed as slow
as 165 feet per hour (0.03mph) up to maximum transport speed without clutching.
Also, the IVT is now available with full right hand controls or a left hand
reverser and right hand speed selector. Hydraulic performance has improved on
the 7030 series tractors. A 32 gallon per minute flow rate is standard equipment.
For more demanding hydraulic applications, a new pump provides 45 gallon per
minute flow. The higher capacity pump will be useful in many planting/seeding
operations. The tractor will raise the implements quickly and turn at the headlands
Electro-hydraulic selective control valves (SCVs) are standard equipment with
IVT. In the past, only manual control levers for SCVs were offered on the PowrQuad
Plus and AutoQuad Plus transmissions. There are push button controls for the
hydraulic system, time and flow rates, using the TouchSet hydraulics panel (only
available with EHSCVs). Mechanical SCVs with traditional lever controls are
included with the manually shiftable 'quad' transmissions for economically minded
producers, but EHSCVs will now be available on all transmissions for more convenient
operation of tractor implements. -30-
High speed for the road
John Deere has introduced the new 50km/hr (31mph) value package for 8030 series
tractors. The package includes front Independent Link Suspension (ILS) with
wet multi-disc brakes, a hydraulic differential lock and a fully enclosed driveline.
It also requires a 96 inch rear axle with rear aid and/or hydraulic implement
brakes and faster, single, non-row crop 'B' speed rated 50km/hr (31mph) tires.