Caterpillar Agricultural Products now offers a kit to convert Challenger 35, 45 and 55 tractors from standard track spacing to the Wide-Track configuration.

According to David R. Smith, senior marketing consultant for Cat Ag Products, the kit allows conversion of a 60-inch base gauge tractor to an 80-inch base gauge tractor.

Smith says the standard gauge Challenger tractor, which was introduced in 1994, was the first to offer the benefits of rubber tracks for row-crop applications. “This is still the most commonly found configuration in the field and is ideal for many of the common row spacings,” he says.

The Wide-Track option was first offered in 1997. “A hallmark of this tractor line is versatility,” Smith adds. “The conversion kit is a Caterpillar exclusive, designed for customers whose needs have changed or whose operations call for the performance characteristics of a Wide-Track Challenger tractor.”

Track spacing, also referred to as gauge spacing, is the distance between the centers of the left and right hand drive wheels on a rubber-belted ag tractor. Challenger 35, 45 and 55 tractors are available in standard gauge or a Wide-Track configuration.

Standard gauge track spacing adjusts from 60 to 90 inches in two-inch increments. The Wide-Track configuration allows track spacing to be adjusted, in two-inch increments, from 80 to 120 inches.

In addition to the conversion kit, Caterpillar has made several updates to the row-crop Challenger tractor line. These features are available on new machines, and can also be retrofitted to earlier model Challenger 35, 45 and 55 tractors.

“It has been a tradition at Caterpillar to not only continuously improve the tractors made today, but also to offer customers options to update their earlier model Challenger tractors to serve as long-term partners on the farm,” Smith says.

Recent updates/retrofit options include:

  • Slip limit over-ride control.
  • Float feature for three-point hitch.
  • Control module software.
  • Improved radio and CD player option.
  • Larger side-mounted mirrors.
  • Lever release hydraulic couplers.

For more information about these updates, retrofit options and Challenger tractors, contact your local Caterpillar dealer or visit Caterpillar's Website at www.CAT.com.