Using larger implements increases efficiencies, but the four-wheel-drive (4WD) tractors needed to pull the larger implements can be too clunky to navigate crops with rows. Fortunately, tractor manufacturers have recognized this problem and are responding with new models with better controls that still pack enough power to pull big implements.
Here are some 4WD options for farmers with row crops:
John Deere 9030: The 9030 series has a frame with components specifically designed for the demands of pulling wide, heavy implements in rough soil conditions. But, the narrow width of the frame provides solid support in a compact, robust design. This helps improve visibility from the cab. (www.deere.com)
Versatile 4-WD: This series ranges from 305 to 575 horsepower. According to the company, the tractors are designed to improve the profitability of large-scale operations. They have powerful engines and axles designed to pull heavy implements, but they are also designed with easy-to-use cab controls designed for precise movement. (www.versatile-ag.ca)
Challenger MT900C: The MT900C series from Challenger emphasizes frame, axle, comfort and power. The company says its robust frame serves as the foundation for the machine, and the driveline is one of the largest in the industry and connected to the largest standard diameter axles. The size, strength and weight help to efficiently put power to the ground without hampering the maneuverability of the tractor. (www.challenger-ag.us)
New Holland T9: With models ranging up to 670 maximum engine horsepower, NH T9 Series tractors offer best-in-class power. They also are designed for night farming with up to 21 halogen work lights—eight that can be optional high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps. Ten lights are adjustable. Egress lighting is standard, so lights will stay on for up to 120 seconds after the key is switched off. Optional rotating beacon lights add even more safety. (http://agriculture.newholland.com/us)
Case IH Steiger: The 2011 Case IH Steiger and Quadtrac 4WD tractor lineup is designed to meet the power, durability, comfort and productivity needs of large-scale agricultural producers, as well as tough new Tier 4A emission standards. The lineup ranges from 390 up to 660 peak engine horsepower and features Case IH Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) Technology, which allows the engine to be tuned for efficient power, not emissions. http://www.caseih.com
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