In­no­va­tive four-track trac­tors aid soil con­ser­va­tion

Australian Farmers & Dealers Journal - - TYRES -

WITH winter crop sow­ing upon us, many farm­ers will be think­ing about equip­ment up­grades. Tech­nol­ogy de­vel­op­ments in trac­tors mean there's a wide range to choose from and one im­por­tant de­ci­sion for farm­ers to make is whether to in­clude tyres or tracks. Some farm­ing op­er­a­tions are bet­ter suited to tracks, while oth­ers are bet­ter suited to tyres. The de­ci­sion is based on soil, crop type and the planting and har­vest­ing time­frame. Case IH High Horse­power prod­uct man­ager Pete McCann says tracks are be­com­ing more pop­u­lar as farm­ers re­alise their ben­e­fits. “Today's de­signs have come a long way since the steam trac­tor with ‘dread­naught wheels', or tracks, in the mid 1800s. These days, trac­tors with tracks are highly ma­noeu­vrable, of­fer ex­cel­lent trac­tion and are very ef­fec­tive at pro­tect­ing the soil,” Mr McCann said. Be­cause tracks have a greater con­tact area with the ground, they place even pres­sure on the soil, con­form to con­tours and min­imise com­paction. They are also bet­ter suited to changing win­dows for planting, seed­ing and har­vest­ing, be­cause they can help farm­ers get on the pad­dock ear­lier. “When choos­ing your tracked machine, it's ideal to have four points of con­tact on the ground — whether that's by a four-track sys­tem or a rear twin-track with tyres—it sig­nif­i­cantly re­duces the berming ef­fect pro­duced by a stand-alone twin track sys­tem. Berms are good for land­scap­ing your gar­den, but not in a pad­dock,” Mr McCann said. Case IH's new Steiger Quad­trac and Row­trac have a four-track sys­tem, which en­sures max­i­mum ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity while in­creas­ing trac­tion and re­duc­ing com­paction and soil dis­tur­bance. “There's also a track-wheels com­bi­na­tion in the Mag­num Row­trac. This gives farm­ers row-crop flex­i­bil­ity; it has the flota­tion ben­e­fits of tracks, with the ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity of a me­chan­i­cal front drive. It also re­duces berms and soil dis­tur­bance when turn­ing,” Mr McCann said. “Be­spoke wheel-tracks trac­tors give the best of both worlds, as well as spe­cial fea­tures such as cus­tomis­able row spac­ings for spe­cial­ity crops, like many veg­etable va­ri­eties.” Mr McCann says a four-track sys­tem gives much bet­ter trac­tion and op­ti­mum ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity. “By keep­ing four points of ground con­tact, these Case IH trac­tors don't turn like a bull­dozer, so they re­duce sur­face pres­sure and cre­ate less weight trans­fer from front to rear, and this is what re­duces berms,” he said. The new Case IH track trac­tors are also well suited to large-scale arable farm­ers and con­trac­tors - busi­nesses that strongly de­pend on ef­fi­cient, timely and soil­con­serv­ing op­er­a­tions. “The United Na­tions has named 2015 the ‘In­ter­na­tional Year of Soils'. Along with the wheeled ver­sion, the Mag­num Row­trac 380 CVT was re­cently voted ‘Trac­tor of the Year 2015' by a panel of 23 in­de­pen­dent jour­nal­ists from trade mag­a­zines in 23 Euro­pean coun­tries, so Case IH is par­tic­u­larly proud to launch this in­no­va­tive trac­tor this year.” The Steiger Quad­trac and Row­trac models come with some of the most pow­er­ful en­gines on the mar­ket, adding to pro­duc­tiv­ity and suit­ing these trac­tors to op­er­a­tions that need the high­est horse­power avail­able. As well as choos­ing a four-track sys­tem or a rear twin-track with tyres sys­tem, it is also im­por­tant to check out the trac­tor un­der­car­riage. “Case IH's unique and proven track un­der­car­riage de­sign en­sures max­i­mum ground con­tact; more power to the ground means less com­paction and soil dis­tur­bance. While in­de­pen­dent, pos­i­tivedrive tracks give the trac­tor full-time, full-soil con­tact, and that pro­vides bet­ter trac­tion and even soil pres­sure with less com­paction,” Mr McCann said. “There are also many dif­fer­ent tyre op­tions, and they all still pro­vide re­ally good flota­tion and trac­tion for spe­cific soil con­di­tions. They're also avail­able in a wider range of frame sizes, so they can be great for farm­ers who want a smaller machine.” • De­tails:­

The Case IH Mag­num Row­trac fea­tures the flota­tion ben­e­fits of tracks and ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity of a front wheel drive.

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