The fuel-con­sump­tion-friendly hi-tech Case IH model was a dou­ble win­ner at the 2019 Trac­tor of the Year awards, writes

Derek Casey

Irish Independent - Farming - - MACHINERY -

CASE IH’s Maxxum 145 Mul­ti­con­troller trac­tor has been awarded the ti­tle of Trac­tor of the Year 2019. The trac­tor also scooped a Best De­sign 2019 gong at a spe­cial award cer­e­mony at EIMA In­ter­na­tional, the farm equip­ment show held in Bologna, Italy. The other two trac­tors that made the three­model fi­nal­ist line-up this year were McCormick’s X7.690 and Ze­tor’s Forterra HSX 140.

Launched last year, high­lights of the 145hp Maxxum 145 Mul­ti­con­troller in­clude its eight-step semi-power shift trans­mis­sion and the Mul­ti­con­troller arm­rest and joy­stick. The Maxxum has also won recog­ni­tion for low­est fuel use in its class.

These were at­tributes recog­nised by the com­pe­ti­tion judges for aid­ing ease of op­er­a­tion and en­hanc­ing ef­fi­ciency. Maxxum trac­tors are also avail­able in four-step power shift and con­tin­u­ously-vari­able trans­mis­sions guises.

The trans­mis­sion and many other trac­tor op­er­at­ing func­tions can be con­trolled through the Mul­ti­con­troller arm­rest and joy­stick. In a note de­tail­ing why the Maxxum beat the other con­tenders this year, the judges called it a high-tech trac­tor that con­vinced on sev­eral fronts, with en­gine power, ef­fi­cient fuel con­sump­tion, driv­ing com­fort, as well as be­ing vis­ually pleas­ing.

The dou­ble clutch semi-power shift trans­mis­sion also im­pressed in terms of ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity and per­for­mance.

Fuel ef­fi­ciency

Last year, a Case IH Maxxum 145 Mul­ti­con­troller equipped with the com­pany’s new trans­mis­sion achieved the low­est spe­cific fuel con­sump­tion ever recorded for a four-cylin­der trac­tor.

The re­sults came from a power mix test con­ducted by Deutsche Land­wirtschafts-Ge­sellschaft (DLG), the Ger­man Agri­cul­tural So­ci­ety.

The model be­ing tested achieved an av­er­age spe­cific fuel con­sump­tion of 258 g/kWh in the field-work sec­tion of the test, which is al­most 9.5pc lower than the 282 g/kWh recorded by its near­est com­peti­tor.

Tests cover pure pulling work, for ex­am­ple with a plough or cul­ti­va­tor, as well as mixed work with the PTO shaft and hy­draulic sys­tem, as with a ro­tary ma­nure spreader or baler. Heavy and light trans­port tasks are also re­pro­duced to ob­tain an over­all pic­ture of the trac­tor’s en­ergy ef­fi­ciency in use.

The re­sults are sum­marised in the re­spected Pow­er­mix fig­ure, pro­vid­ing an ac­cu­rate as­sess­ment of the fuel ef­fi­ciency of dif­fer­ent makes and mod­els of trac­tor un­der prac­ti­cal con­di­tions.

The Maxxum 145 Mul­ti­con­troller is pow­ered by a 4.5 litre, four-cylin­der, tur­bocharged and in­ter­cooled FPT en­gine which meets Stage IV emis­sions reg­u­la­tions us­ing a se­lec­tive cat­alytic re­duc­tion sys­tem.

This has a rated power out­put of 107kW (145hp) at 2200rpm and pro­duces up to 118kW (160hp) with Power Man­age­ment, the max­i­mum power of 114kW (155hp) be­ing pro­duced at 1800rpm, and 129kW (175hp) with Power Man­age­ment.

Judges for the Trac­tor of the Year com­pe­ti­tion said a key fac­tor in the re­sult was the Maxxum’s Ac­tiveDrive 8 trans­mis­sion, a new 24 x 24 semi-power shift which pro­vides eight power shift steps in each of three ranges.

The trans­mis­sion can now be spec­i­fied on all Maxxum Mul­ti­con­troller trac­tors from 116hp to 145hp as an al­ter­na­tive to Ac­tiveDrive 4, which is a four-step 16 x 16 40 km/h semi-power shift sys­tem, and the con­tin­u­ously-vari­able 50 km/h CVXDrive con­tin­u­ously-vari­able (CVT) trans­mis­sion. With fea­tures that make the trac­tor more ef­fi­cient and more re­lax­ing to drive, Case IH claims.

Ac­tiveDrive 8 is suited to power-hun­gry tasks where main­tain­ing mo­men­tum is crit­i­cal, such as cul­ti­va­tions or op­er­at­ing large mow­ers, be­cause the clutch pedal is not re­quired to change gear.

Range One of Ac­tiveDrive 8, which cov­ers speeds up to 10.2 km/h and is de­signed for heav­ier draft work and applications re­quir­ing very low speeds, is also avail­able with ad­di­tional creep speeds.

Range two cov­ers nearly 90pc of field, grass­land and loader re­quire­ments, al­low­ing the trac­tor to work un­der full load with­out any torque dis­rup­tion from 1.6-18.1 km/h.

For road travel, the trans­mis­sion is de­signed to be able to start in range three; a smart range change func­tion al­lows quick progress through the ranges up to the third, which al­lows ground speeds of up to 50km/h.

“We are de­lighted to have been awarded the 2019 Trac­tor of the Year ac­co­lade for the Maxxum 145 Mul­ti­con­troller,” said Thierry Panadero, Case IH Vice-Pres­i­dent for Europe, Africa and the Mid­dle East. “It’s a fit­ting recog­ni­tion that greater trans­mis­sion ef­fi­ciency and ease of con­trol both have parts to play in not only mak­ing farm­ing more prof­itable, but more sus­tain­able too. Help­ing to make op­er­a­tions eas­ier, more ef­fi­cient and more en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly is a core cri­te­ria in the de­sign of our machines, so it’s grat­i­fy­ing to see the Maxxum Mul­ti­con­troller’s fea­tures recog­nised in this way.”

The two run­ners-up in the three-model fi­nal­ist line-up this year were McCormick’s X7.690 (left) and Ze­tor’s Forterra HSX 140 (above right)

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