2018 AgQuip Field Days

Australia’s largest agri­cul­tural field day was on again in 2018 and not even a flight de­lay could keep Har­ri­son Hunkin away

Farms & Farm Machinery - - Contents -

While drought con­di­tions in western NSW con­tinue, you couldn’t dampen the spirit of the Aussie farmer as many swamped again to one of Australia’s premier field days, AgQuip.

A de­layed flight that re­sulted in miss­ing a con­nect­ing flight to Tamworth couldn’t de­ter Farms & Farm Ma­chin­ery from get­ting there, and it was well worth it due to the fan­tas­tic ma­chines and equip­ment on dis­play at Gunnedah.

CHAL­LENGER MT700

We’ll start with the new Chal­lenger MT700 from AGCO. It’s freak­ing mas­sive, and dwarfs even the larger Fendt trac­tors that sat close by to the MT700 at AGCO’s stand.

And ac­cord­ing to AGCO prod­uct man­ager Tim Ol­daker, the model has been pretty pop­u­lar with farm­ers since ar­riv­ing down un­der at the start of the year.

“Sales have been ex­cel­lent, farm­ers have been snap­ping them up as soon as they’ve landed, which is good,” he says. “The MT700 has been go­ing to a mix of ar­eas; a lot are go­ing to broad­acre cus­tomers, while the cot­ton guys are just start­ing to come on board now ready for the up­com­ing sea­son.”

The MT700 has un­der­gone ma­jor changes to its chas­sis, en­gine, cabin and hy­draulics sys­tem, mak­ing it a com­pletely dif­fer­ent trac­tor from its pre­de­ces­sor.

Spec-wise, the MT700 fea­tures AGCO Power 9.8-litre tier-three diesel en­gine rang­ing be­tween 380-431hp, and the new Accu-VT con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion, which al­lows the MT700 to run in the max­i­mum torque range while de­liv­er­ing low fuel con­sump­tion.

Stay tuned for a test drive of the MT700 soon.

JOHN DEERE MODEL 730

John Deere had a huge pres­ence at this year’s AgQuip, dis­play­ing a ex­pan­sive range of new ma­chines. But the gear that caught our eye was the old-school sec­tion, with this old Model 730 glim­mer­ing among the many.

A 1960 baby, this John Deere 730 was far beyond its years, fea­tur­ing a float ride seat for op­er­a­tor com­fort and power steer­ing.

The Model 730 se­ries of trac­tor was pro­duced from 1958 to 1960, and would be the last two-cylin­der ‘Pop­ping Johnny’ trac­tor.

A to­tal of 29,713 Model 730s were made be­fore the more­pow­er­ful Ten Se­ries trac­tor range was in­tro­duced.

With a 58hp un­der the bon­net, and a max­i­mum draw­bar pull of 6,547lb, the Model 730 was a se­ri­ously cool trac­tor for its time.

GOLDACRES G8 SPRAYER

Since re­cently driv­ing the very first Goldacres Crop Cruiser, and

The Chal­lenger MT700 has un­der­gone ma­jor changes to its chas­sis, en­gine, cabin and hy­draulics sys­tem.

check­ing out the Bal­larat-based com­pany’s flag­ship G8, I’m champ­ing at the bit to get be­hind the G8.

“This is the first re­tailed 48-me­tre Goldacres-de­signed boom,” says Stephen Richards, Goldacres’ sales and mar­ket­ing op­er­a­tions man­ager. “It has three dif­fer­ent spray widths – so it’s 48 me­tres wide when fully folded out, it can be folded down to 36 me­tres and then again to 20 me­tres.

“This one has few ex­tra bells and whis­tles on it. This G8 has con­stant 4WD and it’s the big­gest in our self-pro­pelled range.

“It’s ob­vi­ously a big-ca­pac­ity ma­chine, with a 6.7-litre Cum­mins en­gine un­der the bon­net as well as an Al­li­son auto trans­mis­sion.

“Our Al­li­son trans­mis­sion is an Al­li­son 3000 se­ries box. It’s a sixspeed auto that gives us a good way of trans­fer­ring the power to the wheels as our ma­chines are me­chan­i­cal drive.

“We’ve in­vested a lot of money and time into this de­sign, and we think it’s come out re­ally good. The last two years it’s been un­der de­vel­op­ment and I think we got it right,” he says.

MERLO TELEHANDLER RANGE

I was once told a story about a farmer who al­ways wanted a telehandler but never knew what it re­ally did or what he could use it for.

It wasn’t un­til he saw a demo of one that he re­alised how much he needed one. That’s the boat where I sit … I need one. Maybe I don’t, but still, they are fas­ci­nat­ing ma­chines that are ca­pa­ble of do­ing so much on a farm.

The Merlo range of tele­han­dlers cer­tainly stood out at AgQuip, and my in­trigue and de­sire led me to its tent. The Merlo TF30.9 Tur­bo­farm II stood out at me in its Shrek-green paint job.

It fea­tures a tier-three, 100hp Kub­ota en­gine with the “widest cabin” in the mar­ket. With a max­i­mum speed of 40km/h, a max­i­mum lift ca­pac­ity of 8.6m and a 3,000kg load ca­pac­ity, the Merlo TF30.9 Tur­bo­farm looks like a ton of fun.

DUNSTAN 150-TONNE MO­BILE FIELD BIN

If you want to stand out at field days there is re­ally only one way: size. And the Dunstan 150-tonne mo­bile field bin does that per­fect by dwarf­ing nearly ev­ery­thing at this year’s AgQuip Field Days.

The Dunstan 150 has been around for six years now, but the sheer size of the 19.4m-long bin cer­tainly doesn’t get old.

“We made a 130-tonne bin be­fore that but the farm­ers wanted to go even big­ger so we made the 150,” Dunstan sales and ser­vice sup­port man­ager Peter Den Hout­ing says.

Dunstan chaser bins have been made in Kerang in north­ern Vic­to­ria for 53 years. Fit with 20 wheels and a strik­ing tan­ger­ine paint job, the Dunstan 150-tonne field bin is a se­ri­ous bit of gear – well done to an­other fan­tas­tic Aussie agri­cul­tural man­u­fac­turer.

1. The MT700 has un­der­gone ma­jor changes to its chas­sis, en­gine, cabin and hy­draulics sys­tem2. The Goldacres G8 is ob­vi­ously a big-ca­pac­ity ma­chine, with a 6.7-litre Cum­mins en­gine un­der the bon­net as well as an Al­li­son auto trans­mis­sion3. With a 58hp un­der the bon­net, and a max­i­mum draw­bar pull of 6,547lb, the Model 730 was a se­ri­ously cool trac­tor for its time4. The Merlo TF30.9 Tur­bo­farm II fea­tures a tier-three, 100hp Kub­ota en­gine with the “widest cabin” in the mar­ket5. The Dunstan 150-tonne mo­bile field bin does dwarfed nearly ev­ery­thing at this year’s AgQuip Field Days

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