THERE may not have been a tyre to kick, but there was certainly a lot of interest in the new articulated track tractors launched at Toowoomba’s CRT FarmFest.
Both the 404 kilowatt (542 horsepower) T9-615 and the 453 kW (608 hp) T9-670 SmartTrax were unveiled by New Holland, with one on-site and the other running in the paddock for on-lookers.
New Holland product manager high horse-power tractors Marc Smith said there was plenty of interest and enquiries about the new offering.
There is no doubt the attention has shifted from tyres to tracks over the last five years
“There is no doubt the attention has shifted from wheels to tracks over the last five years,” he said.
“There has been a migration from wheeled machines to tracks, to the point where we are at 30 to 35 per cent of total four-wheel drive tractor sales are some form of a tracked machine.”
Mr Smith said the selling points of tracks over standard wheels was fairly straightforward.
“It’s pretty simple – they increase your traction,” he said.
“They increase your flotation and can reduce soil compaction.
“That is one of the big drivers for customers.”
Mr Smith said increasing power to the ground was an important feature farmers looked for.
“You are looking at a big reduction in wheel slippage with tracks,” he said.
“You really are maximising your traction.
“It can be more important with different applications.
“It depends on your soil conditions, and what you are pulling.”
Mr Smith said an example was a ripper, which required a great deal of traction.
“That can lead to benefits in fuel efficiency.”
Mr Smith said the SmartTrax have a 91 centimetre (36 inch) wide track.
“Which provides 1.7 square metres (2600 square inches) of ground contact per module,” he said.
Mr Smith said a lot of questions he fielded on-site were regarding the make-up of the tracked system.
“The tracks are supplied by a third party, then factory fitted at plant,” he said.
“The track modules each weigh in at about 2.5 tonnes.
“They are only available in the 16 speed power-shift transmission.
“Maximum road speed is 31 kilometres an hour.”
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