Challenger range cuts fuel costs

By: Andrew Hobbs

Presented by

AGCO Corporation’s Challenger MT700 Series of track tractors were redesigned for the operator’s comfort – including their all-important hip pocket



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The redesigned Challenger MT700 Series of track tractors has taken a few tips from stablemate Fendt in building a new machine designed to be simpler and more comfortable to operate.

Launched in 2018, the new Challenger range comprises the 405 horsepower (298 kilowatt) MT740, the 431hp (317kW) MT743 and the MT738 – which at 380 horsepower (279 W) is a shift for Challenger, product manager Tim Oldaker says.

"We hadn’t had a 380 for quite some time because [with prior models] it was a really expensive 380hp tractor," he told reporters at a media event in March.

"But with the changes that have happened to the tractor now we have been able to offer it again."

Click here to read Farm Trader NZ’s review of the Challenger MT740.

Oldaker says its wheel tracks are the only feature of the tractor to be the same as earlier models in Challenger’s 700 range.

"It’s been a complete redesign from the ground up – an updated undercarriage, new suspension system, new engine concept, new cabin, new transmission, new hydraulic system."

The Challenger MT700 Series is the first two-track machine with three stages of suspension and oscillating midwheels that contour to the ground over terraces and uneven surfaces, which Oldaker says makes it a better option than bolt-on track systems.

"A lot of the design of this tractor has gone into making it nicer at high speeds, giving it a bit of utility around the farm, so it is not just a big straight pulling tractor," he says.

"Operators are going to notice a significant difference in the ride comfort – one they won’t find on any other track tractor."

Moving the tractors’ hardbar forward to provide a longer wheelbase and upgrading the suspension with coil springs and high-capacity shock absorbers have helped to improve ride quality as well as handling at higher road speeds – with the tractors able to reach a maximum speed of 43km/h.

Standard on the two larger models, a new two-point cab suspension system with increased suspension at the rear of the cab absorbs and dissipates the vibration from the ground through the rear axle.

While they run on the same AGCO Power 9.8 litre tier 3 diesel engine that ran on earlier 700 models, the new AccuDrive powertrain and its variable transmission allows the tractors to run in the maximum torque range "as soon as the keys are on and the tractor is running," Oldaker says.

"In the working range we have got maximum torque – between 1100 and 1600rpm. That is good for a tractor like this which is designed primarily for pulling."

The tractors also have separate reversing fans that are hydraulically driven and completely separate from the engine.

"Each part of the cooling pack has its own sensor and can increase or decrease the speed of the fan depending on temperature, which all comes back to [reducing] fuel burn and load on the engine, as well as a reduction in noise," Oldaker says.

Inside the cabin, a control panel common to AGCO machines is located on the armrest, including an easy-to-use 10.4 inch touch screen AccuTerminal that can manage all tractor settings and adjustments, plus monitor and control ISOBUS 11783 compatible implements, camera function, field documentation, variable rate applications, guidance and wireless data transfer.

The air-conditioning has been moved from underneath the cab to the top, improving efficiency, while LED lighting on the two larger models stays illuminated for a while after the driver leaves the cab.

"When you shut it down and you are walking to your ute, it does light up a fair way and you can see what you are doing without tripping over," Oldaker says.

The cab also offers amenities including enhanced cab suspension, an air-ride seat, larger instructor seat and Bluetooth capability.

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