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New Tractors From All Corners at French Fair

March 9, 2013
 
 

This information is a provided by Martin Rickatson, a UK-based freelance journalist specializing in farm equipment and also provides marketing services to overseas farm machinery firms. His website is www.jmragriculture.com.

There was plenty new from the world’s tractor manufacturers at the SIMA 2013 farm equipment exhibition, held in late February at the Parc des Expositions, Paris. Martin Rickatson picks out the stars of the show.

SIMA 001
Arguably the biggest tractor surprise of SIMA was McCormick’s all-new four- and six-cyl X7 tractor range, replacing the short-lived X70 line, plus MTX and MC models. In what has clearly been a major investment for parent firm ARGO, the new 143-212hp tractors comprise three four-cyl stressed block models and three frame-based six-cyl variants. The Pro Drive transmission is a four-step, six-range powershift, with auto shifting within each range and sequential range shifting. A load-sensing, closed-circuit hydraulic system provides 32.5 gal/min of flow on all models, while lift capacity is up to 20,500 lb. Key cab features include new dash, armrest controls, joystick and touchscreen.

SIMA 002

 SIMA 002
Deutz-Fahr’s six-model, 100-130hp Agrotron Series 5 tractors slot in below the Series 6 and Series 7 lines launched last summer. Their 221 cu in Deutz engine uses a diesel oxidation catalyst and water-cooled external gas recirculation to meet Stage 4A emissions legislation, and features common rail fuel injection. Transmission choice comprises a mechanical 10F/10R, a three-stage powershift (for 100-120hp models) and, for 110-130hp tractors, the continuously-variable TTV. Optional on all is a ‘Steering Double Displacement’ pump which, by pressing an in-cab button, halves the number of steering wheel turns required for full lock.

SIMA 003
With the 6616 flagship of its new 6600 series producing a maximum 185hp with its Engine Power Management engaged, Massey Ferguson lays claim to the world’s most powerful four-cyl tractor. Engine used across the five-model range, which spans 120-160hp, is a 300 cu in AGCO Power (Sisu) unit using selective catalytic reduction technology and a diesel oxidation catalyst. The new tractors are a blend of the features found on the 5600 and 7600 machines, and are available, depending on model, with Dyna-4 or Dyna-6 powershift or Dyna-VT CVT transmissions. There’s a new combined flow, 26.4 gal/min hydraulic system and a new right-hand joystick that enables transmission, hydraulics and loader operation with one hand.

SIMA 007
John Deere earned a gold medal for innovation from the SIMA awards judging panel for its multi-fuel concept tractor, which features an engine that can be operated with different types of mineral or bio-based fuel, either individually or as blends, in a single tank. Input sensors measure various properties of the fuel or blend in the tank, and this enables the tractor’s electronic control unit (ECU) to optimise the engine settings to comply with Tier 4i emissions standards. Finally, a model-based software programme analyses signals from the emission output sensors to check the specified engine setting parameters.

SIMA 006
AGCO’s Valtra says it will be the first manufacturer to put into production a tractor which can be powered by biogas, with the pictured 110hp N101 model available to order now in selected European markets for late 2013 delivery. The tractor is powered by a dual fuel engine that injects a mixture of biogas and bio or conventional diesel into the cylinders, with 70-80% of power produced from the gas. The tractor can also be driven on diesel alone if biogas is not available.

SIMA 005
Available in Europe from early 2014, Claas’s next-generation Axion 800 is the first tractor line to meet 2014’s Stage 4B emissions legislation, via new FPT (Iveco) 409 cu in engines using SCR and DEF. Maximum torque is up 8%, there’s a constant power band of 500rpm and a variable-speed fan, and maximum power is available for all applications. Transmission remains the six-step, four range Hexashift with Hexactiv auto shifting, but the new 800s inherit many other design aspects – such as the cab – from the Axion 900 introduced last year. Meanwhile, Claas has also launched a universal retro-fit auto-steering system.

SIMA 004
Belarus is making a bigger push to build its business outside of its traditional CIS and eastern Europe markets, and at SIMA announced that from 2013 it would be retailing tractors in France for the first time in 15 years. Its tractor range is now topped by this 355hp 3522.5, powered by a 476 cu in Deutz engine which produces a peak torque of 1,068 lb/ft and torque back-up of 37%. It uses selective SCR and DEF (AdBlue) to meet the Tier 4i emissions legislation. Transmission is a four-range powershift with six steps in each range. Electronically-controlled rear linkage lift capacity is 22,000 lb.

SIMA 008
Europe is still some way behind other continents in its adoption of no-tillage or direct drilling, but New Holland believes that environmental and financial factors means that’s changing. The firm is testing the European water with drills designed in conjunction with Brazilian firm Semeato. This 15ft box-type pneumatic drill features a 370 gal seed hopper and a 240 gal fertiliser compartment feeding 26 double-disc coulters spaced at 6.8in. A transport wheel and drawbar kit enables end-towing on Europe’s narrow roads, although a 10ft, 17-row machine is also available. New Holland also launched AutoCommand CVT versions of its T6 tractors, and a new nine-model range of 23-51hp Boomer compact tractors.

SIMA 009
Telescopic handlers are the preferred option for all forms of materials handling on most mainstream European farms, but the rear-engined format has fallen largely out of favour in recent years. Manitou, though, believes there is still a market for this type of machine, and launched its latest contender at SIMA. Tucked neatly into the compact tail of the MLT 629, which lifts 3.2t to 20ft, is a four-cyl Perkins powerplant which produces 102hp. For entry into low buildings, minimum ranges from 8-9ft, depending on tyres specified. Boom functions and transmission are controlled by Manitou’s palm-operated Joy Stick and Move (JSM) with fingertip shuttle switch.

SIMA 010
New combine news was in short supply at SIMA, but on show was this option for the latest Case IH 30 series Axial-Flow combines. The pivoting spout allows the operator to accurately adjust the auger grain stream to fully fill trucks or trailers, and allow both combine and tractor to remain in line. The system reduces the risk of the tractor/trailer spilling grain or coming into contact with the header, and when laying straw swaths for baling, the tractor driver can ensure that he is not running on the rows. When the unloading auger is disengaged, the spout automatically pivots upwards quickly to prevent grain dribble.

SIMA 011
Kuhn launched a whole host of machines at SIMA 2013, across both its arable and livestock lines. Unveilings included the Series 70 compact twin auger diet feeders, available in 18-26 cu yd capacities, with small auger diameters for low power consumption. Meanwhile, with plowing still a popular method of beginning crop establishment on many European farms, especially for potatoes and sugar beets, on the plow front Kuhn also showed a 14-22in variable-width version of its semi-mounted 6-8f Multi-Leader two-way.

SIMA 012
French cultivation kit maker Bugnot, which is looking to expand into new export markets, showed off this shallow plow, designed as a ‘halfway house’ min-till tool for high-speed work on farms where burying trash is still important but benefiting from the breakdown benefits of mixing material in to the top few inches is the aim. The firm has had a conventional model available for the past six years, but now also offers this two-way type. Working to a maximum depth of 6in, the plough is available with 6-10 hydraulic auto-reset bodies, creating a working width of 6-10ft. Inter-body distance is 25in.

SIMA 013
Smaller cropping farms looking to get combinable crops sown in a range of soil types and moistures are the target for French firm Sulky’s new range of Kronos mounted tine drills. There are three models with working widths of 15-20ft, and power requirement is 20-25hp per yd. The firm says the drills can be operated at up to 10mph. Tine coulters spaced at 6in are mounted over five rows, with depth control taken care of by two guide wheels at the front and the packer roller at the rear. All models feature a 450 gal hopper, and electrically-driven seed metering. Sulky also launched a new brand of Sky direct and minimum tillage drills.

SIMA 014 WEB
Through its Gaspardo brand, Italian firm Maschio is making a bigger push for a slice of the min-till seeder market, with the launch of its Corona cultivator drill. It chops residue, cultivates and mixes with two rows of counter-angled 20in cutaway discs, before firming the seedbed with 12 offset large treaded tyres. The 770 gal hopper then feeds 48 double-disc coulters spaced at 5in, or 40 units at 6in. Depending on soil type and terrain, a tractor of 200-380hp is required up front.

This information is a provided by Martin Rickatson, a UK-based freelance journalist specializing in farm equipment and also provides marketing services to overseas farm machinery firms. His website is www.jmragriculture.com.

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