Case IH is using Cereals 2016 to introduce a number of new features for its flagship Quadtrac four-tracked tractors, alongside upgrades to its Advanced Farming System (AFS) precision technology. The event will also mark the first Cereals for the new 270hp and 300hp Optum tractors and revised 140 series Axial-Flow combines.
Speed of shifting in the powershift transmission fitted to Quadtrac tractors has been improved for next season through the installation of a new range hydraulic valve and enhanced electronic control logic, providing a smoother, faster shifting action to reduce parasitic power losses, maintain momentum and provide more usable horsepower.
Transmission efficiency is further boosted by way of a redesigned oil reservoir, relocation of the PTO drain and the use of a new tandem transmission oil pump. Whether the operator chooses to use the transmission in manual shift, skip shift or Automatic Productivity Management mode, the time taken to shift from 1st to 16th gear has been cut by approximately 20%, while this package of improvements is calculated to save between 2% and 5% of engine horsepower.
At the same time, forward/reverse shuttle shift response has been made faster and smoother to improve headland turning, resulting in a 38% increase in shuttling speed, and hence reduced time spent manoeuvring on the headland.
The new Advanced Steering System reduces the number of steering wheel revolutions required to turn between full lock positions from six to four, while also cutting the effort required to make steering turns. When the tractor exceeds 35km/hr, the system switches from field to road mode, indicated on the A-post information display, and provides increased steering sensitivity during high-speed road travel. Meanwhile, a new AccuGuide Advanced Line Acquisition system improves engagement of automatic steering when entering a new bout, getting the tractor on line faster but more smoothly, reducing the risk of overlaps or misses during headland turns.
Other 2016 Quadtrac updates include an automatic differential lock. Similar to that already used in Magnum tractors, it provides full drive to all four tracks at all times, and is engaged via a button on the Multicontroller armrest. The lock is disengaged automatically if forward speed exceeds 25km/hr or a pre-set steering angle is exceeded. Auto disengagement can be manually overridden for work in especially tough conditions.
Lastly, Quadtrac tractors now come as standard with a new 360-degree LED lighting package, providing 3,000 lumen of illumination to improve night-time working conditions, and with split rear view mirrors, featuring an electrically-adjustable large top section and a convex fixed lower part to provide a general wide-angle range of view.
Beyond machinery developments, there are also new precision farming updates being launched by Case IH at Cereals. The AFS Pro 700 terminal, which has a new ISOBUS task controller user interface for use when working with compatible implements, now allows faster importing of variable rate prescriptions, and features a new headland boundary drawing tool. Autoguidance improvements include a new Field Swath square corner mode for consistent and uniform square headlands, Advanced Line Acquisition support for work with sprayers to ease guidance line acquisition at higher ground speeds, and pre-defined tramline marking.
Following its global launch last summer, this show marks the first Cereals for the new Optum CVX tractor range, which targets the growing UK market for high-hp tractors with a low gross weight that can be ballasted as required for draft operations and run unweighted for lighter work and transport duties. The new tractors are available in 270hp and 300hp versions, both equipped as standard with the Case IH CVX continuously-variable transmission for maximum fuel efficiency. Other features include a maximum rear linkage capacity of 11t and a closed-circuit load-sensing hydraulic system providing up to 220 l/min of oil flow.
Also on show for the first time at Cereals is the revised range of Case IH’s smaller line of Axial-Flow combines, the 140 series, targeted at mid-sized farms and contracting businesses looking for high output, simple maintenance and ease of operation. New features including smaller concave sections to make cleaning and changing easier, a higher-capacity six-auger grain transfer system beneath the concaves, new Cross-Flow cleaning for an improved sample, and a front track option.