2001 - Volume #25, Issue #5, Page #06[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
All-New Challenger TractorsReleased at the end of August, four new tracked tractors from Caterpillar range in horsepower from 185 to 255. The new line is the third generation of rubber-belted Challengers from Cat. The all-new "Mobil-trac" undercarriage has a track wheelbase that's 10 in. longer than on previous models.
The longer wheelbase provides more flotation and less compaction without having to use a wider belt. Undercarriages can be customized to fit your intended application, with six different belt widths available and various combinations of idlers, midwheels, and drivers.
Tractors are available with either a standard 3-pt. hitch or a "steerable" hitch that helps stay on the row in row crop work.
The tractors have a new 538 cu. in. Cat C-9 engine. It features a patented injection system that senses load changes for quicker response to changing conditions and improved fuel economy.
The tractor also have a new suspension system that isolates the chassis with two large rubber-fabric springs.
Maybe the most important change to the new Challengers is the integrated electronic system which links the entire tractor together electronically. Control modules throughout the tractor constantly share performance data so that the engine is monitoring the power train for smoother shifting, optimum power management and the most efficient use of fuel. The comprehensive electronic system also lets you continually monitor performance of every aspect of the machine, diagnose mechanical problems, and integrate with GPS systems.
What's more, you can program repetitive tasks. You simply "record" a series of functions, such as transmission shifting, throttle, 3-pt. hitch position, pto, and implement raising or lowering, and then you can perform that function again and again by simply pushing a button.
Using GPS technology, the tractor also auto-steers when making parallel swaths. The tractor provides accuracy to less than 1 in.
You can read more about the new tractors at www.cat-ag.com.
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