EDITOR'S NOTE — Major manufacturers continue taking the wraps off new and improved models of agricultural tractors even as hard times continue in the industry. The following article details some of these recent introductions.

Caterpillar Agricultural Products, Inc.

Caterpillar is joining the parade by introducing the all-new Challenger MT700 Series tractors, which are designed to help boost grower productivity in the field and all around the farm. Built with exclusive high-tech performance and comfort-enhancing features, the MT700 Series range from 185 to 255 PTO horsepower.

The four new Challenger MT700 models combine technology, speed and comfort with superior traction, flotation and reliability growers have come to expect from Caterpillar equipment.

A refined Mobil-trac system undercarriage features a track wheelbase 10 inches longer than previous models. The longer wheelbase provides even more flotation and less compaction, without having to use a wider belt. New suspended mid-wheels also improve traction and ride in uneven field and road conditions.

Featuring the highest standard hydraulic flow rate in the industry, Challenger MT700 Series tractors are equipped with 43.5 GPM flow, and three standard remote circuits with options for as many as six.

Both the standard 3-point hitch and optional steerable 3-point hitch lead the power class with standard 16,000 pound lift capabilities. The exclusive steerable 3-point hitch improves tractor steering control and row corrections, especially in narrower gauge applications.

The new Caterpillar C-9 engine leads its power class with 538 cubic inches of displacement and complies with Tier II emissions regulations, while the power train on the new tractors integrates many proven Caterpillar components into the new design.

Linking the entire tractor together is the Intellitronics network, an innovative electronic management system. The Intellitronics network enables the engine to communicate with the entire power train for smooth shifting, optimum power management and the most efficient use of fuel.

Using GPS technology, Auto-Guide satellite guidance steers the tractor when making parallel swaths. Incorporated to help improve efficiency and reduce operator fatigue, the tractor provides multiple levels of accuracy ranging from less than one meter to less than one inch.

Challenger MT700 Series tractors will be available from Cat dealers beginning in May 2002.

Case IH

To better meet customer needs for increased horsepower and productivity, Case IH is introducing two new STX Series Steiger tractors. The new models are the STX450, which offers the industry's highest horsepower rating of 450 engine hp, and the STX425, a new addition to the Case IH four-wheel-drive family that delivers 425 engine hp.

They complete the STX 4WD tractor line, which now encompasses five models.

The new STX models offer options to match a wide variety of customer needs:

  • The STX450 is equipped with a standard 16-speed full powershift transmission and in wheeled and Quadtrac vesions. Both versions also are available in scraper configurations.

  • The new STX425 offers an optional 24-speed fully synchronized manual transmission on the wheeled agricultural version. The STX425 also can be ordered with the 16-speed full powershift transmission in wheeled and Quadtrac versions.

STX Series tractors answer the traditional need for power and productivity. All five STX Series models — which also include the STX275 (275 engine hp), STX325 (325 engine hp), and STX375 (375 engine hp) — feature full-authority fuel injection engines to monitor and continuously optimize engine performance, increasing productivity and efficiency.

New Holland

New Holland's new four-wheel drive TJ tractors have proven their ability to put power to the ground with unprecedented engine and hydraulic power. The five TJ models, which replace New Holland's 84 Series, range from 275 to 450 hp.

TJ275 and TJ325 tractors are powered by turbocharged, fuel-efficient CDC engines. The larger models, TJ375, TJ425 and TJ450, are powered by a state of the art, 15-liter Cummins engine.

The TJ line has a standard 24-speed manual transmission for the TJ275, TJ325, TJ375 and TJ425. This 24X6 transmission is fully synchronized in both the range and speed portion of the transmissions for easy, on-the-go shifting. It has a dedicated wet master clutch with all helical cut gears in the transmission for quiet, smooth operation. There are 12 speeds in the three-to-eight mph tillage range.

A 16-speed full powershift transmission, standard on the TJ450 and scraper models and optional on other models, allows for smooth shifting and fingertip control.

For the first time ever, New Holland is offering a four-wheel drive tractor with it's exclusive MegaFlow hydraulic option. MegaFlow pumps 90 gallons per minute, and seven electro-hydraulic remotes — 35 more gallons than the nearest competitor — to meet the demand of power-hungry implements such as beet lifters, air seeders and laser land leveling equipment.

The standard drawbar on the TJ is an extendable swinging bar. It features center-pull to transfer draft loads to the center of the tractor. The vertical down drawbar capacity of the TJ275 and TJ325 is 4,500 pounds. The TJ375, TJ425 and TJ450 have a 5,300 pound vertical down drawbar capacity.

All models can be equipped with an optional heavy-duty drawbar that provides 11,000 pounds of vertical drawbar capacity, and is recommended for heavy vertical loads such as grain carts and large planters.

John Deere

With the new 9020 and 9020T Tractors, John Deere has introduced the most complete line of four-wheel-drive and large track tractors in its history. Five new four-wheel-drive models, ranging from 280 to 450 engine horsepower, and three large track models, ranging from 375 to 450 engine horsepower, offer customers a broad range of horsepower choices.

The 9020 Tractors feature three transmission options, including an all-new 18-speed PowerShift Transmission. This new state-of-the-art transmission has 18 forward speeds and six reverse speeds, and brings unsurpassed shift quality under all load conditions.

Deere is also introducing the 8020 Series tractors, which offer exclusive features to help customers become more productive in the field. More power to the ground, more comfort in the cab, faster transport and field speeds and more overall productivity improvements highlight the features of these new machines.

New technology has been put to use with practical application to make the 8020 Series Tractors the most productive machines John Deere has ever produced. Increased horsepower, better traction and stability to get the power to the ground, faster field and transport speeds, more operator comfort, and better visibility and lighting are just some of the features found with these tractors.

John Deere is also introducing the 6020 Series Tractors. New technology, customer convenience and comfort, configurations and options for specialty markets, and overall tractor performance are the hallmarks of these 6020 Series tractors, which range from 65 to 90 PTO horsepower.

Also new are two models that comprise the 6003 Series line-up, the 85 horsepower 6403 with 4.5 L PowerTech engine and the 95 horsepower 6603 with 6.8L PowerTech engine.

The tractors also have a nine-forward/three-reverse speed synchronized transmission with easy-shifting features that customers will appreciate.

AGCO

AGCO Corporation introduces three new lines of AGCO brand tractors this year. The AGCO brand first appeared on new AGCO ST Compact tractors introduced late last year, and now identifies a full tractor line from 22.9 engine horsepower compacts to 225 PTO high-performance models.

The 22.9 to 44.2 engine horsepower AGCO St Series compact tractors, introduced in late 2000, feature three and four-cylinder diesel engines and four-wheel drive.

The 70 and 85 PTO horsepower AGCO LT Series tractors feature renowned Cummins “B” Series turbocharged 4-cylinder engines in cab or folding ROPS models, and with 2WD or powered front axle.

The 95 to 145 PTO horsepower AGCO RT Series tractors feature turbocharged 6-cylinder versions of Cummins “B” Series engines in cab or 2-post ROPS (95 to 115 hp models) models, and with 2WD or powered front axle.

The 160 to 225 PTO horsepower AGCO DT Series tractors feature popular turbocharged Cummins “C” Series engines, deluxe cabs, electronic-controlled powershift transmissions and powered front axles.

Massey Ferguson

Massey Ferguson's new 45 PTO horsepower MF 251XE utility tractor offers a combination of advanced engine, transmission, hydraulics, PTO and two-and four-wheel drive features that meet the increase application needs of farmers and landscaping and turf maintenance specialists.

The new MF 251 XE is powered by a fuel-efficient three-cylinder Perkins diesel engine with a Fastram combustion system that converts more fuel to energy.

An eight-speed manual transmission features sliding gears with planetary reduction to provide eight forward and two reverse speeds. Two speeds are used for slow operations, four are working speeds for farm, landscaping and turf operations, and two high-speed gears are used for transport.

The MF 251 XE is equipped to handle a wide range of applications with a Category I three-point hitch and advanced Ferguson system hydraulics for precise implement control. A draft-sensing top link provides draft response to maintain and even working depth, and the position control lets the operator set and maintain the implement position.

Mahindra

Mahindra USA, Inc., announces its second model in the Mahindra 00 Series, the 4500.

The 4500, with a 42 horsepower engine, is a 3-cylinder tractor with four-stroke, water-cooled diesel with constant running 37 hp PTO and dual clutch. It comes with a partial synchromesh transmission, power steering, vary-touch draft, position controls and a hydraulic remote as standard features.

The 4500 model joins the 6000, which was the first 00 Series introduced for the U.S. market earlier this year. The 00 Series is a new line of modern utility tractors that feature world-class engines, transmissions, superior ergonomics and sleek styling.