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First 8-Wheel Drive Tractor In Production
An 8-wheel drive 670 hp tractor with the same steering and maneuverability of a skid-steer loader - believed to be the first of its kind in commercial production - is new from the Melrose Multi-Wheel Co., Longmount, Colo.
Although initial models rolling off the assembly line have been designed primarily for clearing land and strip-mining coal, its developers feel the new high-horsepower tractor's 8-wheel drive and maneuverability will find favor with large farmers.
It's equipped with two 335 hp engines (choice of Cummins, Caterpillar or GM). One engine drives the four wheels on one side, and the other engine the 4 wheels on the opposite side. Running the wheels forward on one side, and in reverse on the other, gives you the maneuverability of a skid-steer loader, explains Jim Huff, marketing director. There is a footoperated throttle for each engine, and individual foot-operated brake pedals.
Seven Melrose Multi-Wheel M870 "power modules" have been built and sold. The two 335 diesel engines, each coupled with a four speed power shift transmission, provide a full range of operating gears with road speeds up to 15 mph in both directions.
The new 8-wheeler is designed as the basic power module for a variety of attachments, including a 22 ft. by 7 ft. angle blade, push blocks and rippers. Blade control is achieved by
centermounting the attachments on the push axis of the M870. Combined with the weight, horsepower and all-wheel drive, it can be used in a wide range of land clearing, mining and farming operations, according to the manufacturer.
Here are other key specs:
Drive train (each side): The transmission is a Clark 8420 power shift with 4 speeds forward, 4 reverse, and full-power shifting through hydraulically actuated multiple disc clutches. Rockwell International 800 series planetary wheelend has a 5.21 to 1 ratio. Heavy duty positive, allwheel chain drive (100-4 roller chain with 4 to 1 ratio on the primary drive).
Travel speeds: Four forward and four reverse speeds at 2.1, 3.9, 7.4 and 13.7 mph.
Tires: Standard for dirt are 29.5 by 29,34 ply.
Hydraulics: Capacity of the open center system is 112 gpm.
Dimensions: Measures 16 ft. to top of cab. 30 ft., 6.5 in. long, and 15 ft. wide. Frame alone weighs 60,0001bs. Complete unit weighs right at 140,000 lbs.
For more details, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Melrose MultiWheel, Les Melroe, Pres., Box 1059, Longmount, Colo. 80501 (ph 303 776-0490).

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1979 - Volume #3, Issue #2