Betting on big machinery

Sales are falling, yet tractor manufacturers continue to introduce ever larger and more
powerful models, as will be seen at Agritechnica.

Betting on big machinery
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The agricultural press is unanimous that the tractor market has declined substantially since the record year of 2013, when the last Agritechnica Expo was held. Nevertheless, tractor manufacturers continue to launch bigger, more powerful models. Some, like Kubota, are even opening new factories to better compete in the European and American markets.

Here are some of the models that will be introduced at Agritechnica:

Massey Ferguson 8700 series
With Power Management generating up to 300kW, this new range features the most powerful tractors ever built by the company.

Case IH Optum CVX

The range consists of two models with compact 6,7-litre NEF engines from FPT Industrial. These develop 202kW or 225kW at a rated speed of 2 100rpm, and maximum power of 235kW at 1 800rpm for the larger of the two.

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The sump serves as the backbone of the tractor, removing stress from the engine block. While the typical weight of the Optum CVX is 11 000kg, this ‘structural’ sump allows for a maximum gross vehicle weight of 16 000kg, providing ballast and payload options. The Optum CVX can put the additional power to the ground while maintaining the agility of smaller model tractors, thus further increasing efficiency.

McCormick X8 series
Although the prototypes have been out in the field this year, the full specifications will only be revealed at Agritechnica. It is rumoured that the new tractors will be rated at up to 225kW.  

A number of new models will be displayed at Agritechnica, including the 6- and 7-series V-shift, new-generation tractors featuring a ZF continuously variable transmission. The range includes three 6-series models powered by NEF four-cylinder engines rated at 110kW, 120kW and 132kW and two six-cylinder 7-series models of 135kW and 146kW respectively.

Kubota M7

The company will showcase the new M7, which we highlighted in the 13 February issue of Farmer’s Weekly. The initial production runs are aimed at the European and North American markets but this tractor would be well-suited for South African operations, so we may see it in 2016.