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Hot New Iron (2009)

December 27, 2008
By: Margy Eckelkamp, Farm Journal Machinery Editor and Test Plot Director
 
 


One year can produce a bumper crop of new farm equipment. From everyday workhorses to seasonal standbys, there's a bounty of new tractors, combines, planters, tillage tools, application equipment, ATVs and pickups to put to work on your farm.

Powerful pack. As demand for four-wheel-drive tractors has grown, so has the size of the machines themselves.

Buhler Industries extended its four-wheel-drive lineup with new Versatile tractors ranging from 305 hp to 400 hp. The new models are outfitted with updated Cummins engines and a more spacious cab design.

The Steiger Series of tractors from Case IH welcomed a new model, the Steiger 535 Pro. This workhorse has a power boost feature that enables the engine to add 35 hp through a hydraulic boost and another 40 hp in power growth for a total 610 hp.

Challenger's MT900C Series, which ranges from 430 hp to 570 hp, is ISOBUS compliant. These tractors are outfitted with the standardized electronics for universal connectivity with ISOBUS-compliant implements.

Claas added a big brother to its Xerion Series. The Xerion 3800 features up to 382 hp and is available on three platforms: a centrally fixed cab, a 180° rotating cab or a fixed cab above the engine.

Row-crop roundup. Mid-range and high-horsepower tractors keep stepping up to the next level.

Two Versatile models were launched at Buhler's first-ever dealer meeting to recognize the company's new branding initiative with the Versatile name. The 200 hp and 225 hp models replace the Genesis Series.

Case IH grew the Magnum Series with the launch of three midrange models (150 hp, 165 hp and 180 hp). Within the eight Magnum models, the new additions provide ideal weight-to-power ratios for the power range.

The Puma Series was upgraded with an optional continuously variable transmission, as well as a new model, the Puma 225, at the top of the series' horsepower range. The five models range from 135 hp to 195 hp.

The Challenger MT700C and MT800C track tractors feature improved functionality from the operator's seat. These tractors are also outfitted with ISOBUS standardized electronic compatibility.

McCormick introduced three models in the new TTX Series that range from 171 hp to 213 hp.

Take to task. Farmers are relying on utility tractors to tackle more chores than ever before. A wealth of new machines were introduced as they were outfitted with Tier 3 engines.

The AGCO LT Series welcomed two models with updated engines and styling. The tractors were also designed with a one-piece hood for easier service access.

Each tractor in the Challenger MT400B Series received a rated horsepower boost in increments of 5. Now the MT400B Series ranges from 60 hp to 100 hp.

John Deere launched new utility tractors with a new approach to its customer base. Its lineup of utility tractors spans specific models for the various customer groups, including part-time and full-time farmers.

The Massey Ferguson 5400 Series was expanded from six models to eight models ranging from 60 hp to 115 hp. For the first time, 5400 Series tractors are outfitted at the factory with a loader-ready kit.

New Holland launched new utility tractors in both the T4000 and T5000 Series. These tractors are available with standard or deluxe specification levels to match user preferences.

The Valtra N Series expanded its horsepower offerings with the addition of the N82 and N92. The tractors are 400 lb. lighter than previous models in the N Series.

King-sized harvesters. Combines are classified by harvesting muscle, and this past year almost every class welcomed new members into the ranks.

Case IH brought to market new combine models in both of the company's harvest series. Sporting more horsepower and a larger grain tank, the 88 Series received a revamp from the ground up. The 20 Series of Axial-Flow combines includes the 9020, Case IH's largest combine and first Class 9 machine. Both series of combines can be outfitted with interchangeable Case IH 2000 Series grain heads and 3400 Series corn heads.

Challenger filled out its new combine offerings by adding Class 6 and Class 7 machines. The Challenger 660B and 670B are patterned from the largest model in the series, the 680B.

Gleaner updated models in both its transverse and axial rotor combine series. The R6 Series added two models of transverse machines, and the A6 Series added three models of harvesting machines.

Massey Ferguson launched two smaller-capacity combines modeled after its Class 8 machine. The MF 9695 and MF 9795 combines boast a 4.5-bu.- per-second peak unload rate.

Ranging from Class 6 to Class 9 combines, the New Holland CR9000 Series has a wide range of harvesting power. Included in the lineup is the CR9080, the company's largest harvester, which has a maximum of 523 hp and a grain-tank capacity of 350 bu.

Launch the crop. Planting choices are plentiful as manufacturers update machines with new technology and add expanded working widths.

The Early Rise Planter line from Case IH, which already included 24-row and 16-row configurations, added a 12-row model. This line is also outfitted with Case IH advanced seed metering systems.

Great Plains Manufacturing expanded its planter and drill lineups. The company released the Yield-Pro YP40, its most versatile planter yet. The planter is available with three openers and seven row spacings. A new drill series includes the heavy-duty DF4010HD no-till drill.

John Deere enhanced two of its planter models. The bulk-fill DB60 planter is available in a split-row configuration for 47 rows of 15" row spacings and 24 rows of 30" row spacings. The 16-row 1720 stack-fold planter is now outfitted with the bulk-fill Central Commodity System.

At the National Farm Machinery Show in February, Kinze Manufacturing showcased its new-style planter, the 3660 SDS Twin-Line Planter.

Designed in 12-row and 16-row models, the 3660 planter provides continuous seed flow and recirculation with the SDS seed delivery system, as well as an exclusive variable-speed seed metering with air lock.


More pieces to the puzzle. As conditions for sizing and managing residue evolve, the spectrum of tillage tools changes to meet farmers' needs.

Expanding its offering of vertical-tillage equipment, Great Plains Manufacturing has three new tools. TheTurbo-Till II offers improved gang support and narrower working widths (12', 15', 18' and 24') than previously offered in the series. A new offering from the company, the Turbo Chisel, can bury residue up to 12" deep and is outfitted with a 22" Turbo Coulter and a choice of three chisel types. TheTurbo-Chopper works ground in a crisscross pattern to handle tough crop residue and break up root balls.

In response to demanding residue conditions, Landoll launched the 2210 Disk Chisel. The tool features adjustable front and rear disk gangs to change the amount of residue left aboveground.

To cut and bury cornstalks, Case IH introduced the Ecolo-Tiger 870. This piece of tillage equipment can run at speeds up to 7 mph as it sizes residue.

Application options. To satisfy varying needs, new equipment in the application category ranges from self-propelled sprayers to toolbar applicators.

AGCO now offers 4000 and 7000 Series Spra-Coupe models outfitted with improved suspensions. The company also reorganized its distribution channel to service all of the models in its extensive sprayer lineup.

Tapping into the market of farmer-owned self-propelled sprayers, Equipment Technologies updated its line of Apache sprayers. The series features three models with 80', 90' and 100' boom widths available.

Blu-Jet extended its fertilizer applicator lineup with the AT7000. The 3,000-gal. applicator, mounted on tracks, has a light footprint in the field and exerts only 24 psi.

Building on the Patriot family of self-propelled sprayers, Case IH has launched the Patriot 3330. This self-propelled sprayer features a 1,000-gal. tank with a spacious cab and an optional 120' boom.

After introducing its first strip-till bar in 2007, John Deere recently added the 2510 Series of nutrient applicators. Expanding the company's lineup of strip-till equipment, the 2510S Strip-Till Medium Residue Applicator is designed for lighter-residue conditions.

The 2510H is a high-speed toolbar that can apply NH3 at speeds up to 10 mph. The 2510C is a conventional nutrient applicator that is available in 13- or 17-row models.

Multi-task utility. Thanks to a power boost and enhanced functionalities, utility vehicles and ATVs are being called upon to tackle numerous tasks around the farm. In response, there are more models than ever.

The Bobcat Toolcat provides the functions of a pickup, compact tractor, skid-steer loader and utility vehicle. Available with the Bob-Tach system for front-end attachments and a 2,000-lb. cargo capacity, this machine is ready to work.

Club Car offers a spectrum of utility vehicles with its midrange XRT Series. These vehicles are available with 2x4, 4x4 and 4x4 with canopy enclosure configurations.

On its 2009 models of Sportsman ATVs, the only thing Polaris didn't redesign was the shift knob. Polaris Rangers also received an update with improved ergonomics, additional power and an optional Boss Lift & Carry System.

Kubota introduced its first gas-powered utility vehicle. The RTV500 joins the Kubota lineup of diesel-powered workhorses.

With the new Honda Big Red utility vehicle, the company took hints from its line of ATVs and automobiles. Honda also added new features to its line of Rancher ATVs.

On midsized ATVs, Yamaha installed features found on larger models, such as its new Grizzly 550.

Many other companies took utility to the next level by introducing new utility and ATV models. These companies include Arctic Cat, Cub Cadet, John Deere and Kawasaki.

True to their roots. The going got tough for automobile makers in 2008, but there's still good news if you're in the market for a new truck. Half-tons stole the thunder for model year 2009.

Ford and Dodge both brought bold, redesigned trucks down the road. Meanwhile, Chevrolet and its GMC cousin are introducing a 2-Mode hybrid system in limited quantity for 2009. The Toyota Tundra joins the E85 ranks in a limited distribution area. Nissan's Titan gets a little beefier entering its fifth year since introduction.

The all-new 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 is the first Ram to include a true crew cab and the first coil-spring rear suspension to be used in a modern large pickup. Can you say 5.7-liter Hemi and fuel economy improvements in the same sentence?

The Ford F150 has gadgets galore, including an in-dash computer that can help keep track of other trucks in the fleet and the tools placed in the bed. The utility comes with steps built into the bed and tailgate.

General Motors and Ford offer integrated trailer brake controllers on their half-ton trucks, which are used to link a truck's antilock braking system with a trailer's electric brakes for improved safety. Another noteworthy addition to the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra this year is the addition of a six-speed automatic transmission instead of the four-speed automatic. FJ

Editor's note: Pam Smith contributed to this story.

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FEATURED IN: Farm Journal - December 2008

 
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