Bigger planters, sprayers and tillage equipment in the row crop world creates power challenges. To answer the need Case IH is launching the RowTrac line for 2013. The narrow-track machine with its four-track design will be a trend setter in the competitive landscape.
"There are advantages of the four-track design," says Mitch Kaiser, Steiger Tractor marketing manager. "The tracks are always under power, and with their design you don't get a berm when you turn." Similar to big brother QuadTrac, there are some significant differences for the row crop market.
New track design
First thing you'll notice is that the main drive wheel is larger than what you'll find on the bigger machine. "We've increased the size by 43%," Kaiser explains. "We have 13 lugs in contact with the drive versus 8 lugs in our QuadTrac. This is a positive power system."
That larger drive wheel could have elevated the tractor above its bigger siblings, but the drive housing is offset from the drive axle to help keep the machine's lower profile. The design, with its narrow tracks, can vary from 16 to 24 inches depending upon the application and the tractor model. The table on this page shows the choices of machine based on the row-widths used on your farm.
There are three machine models available - 350, 400 and 450 - with the names matching the engine horsepower offered in each machine. And the narrow track of the machine makes road travel easier, while still providing power to the ground for pulling bigger implements.
In 2010, Case IH suspended the Steiger cab on all four corners, increasing ride comfort. That continues today with these new RowTrac machines. That means a smoother ride for long days of work. Individual tracks in the system "gimbel" 10 degrees up and down over terrain, maintaining consistent contact with the ground.
In addition, the suspension for the Rowtrac is unique from its big brother. On each end of the roller beam, a mount controls pitch roll and yaw along the with some vertical load, and two mounts in the center handle the primary vertical load. While the tractor is oscillating in the middle, each track moves independently. The new design fits in a very narrow undercarriage width for row crop applications.
When Case IH designed the new version, engineers looked at power transfer issues with tracks. To maintain a more level application of power across the length of the machine, the wheelbase was extended to 160 inches, from 154 in the bigger model.
The machine also features a 1/2-inch thick steel frame for heavy duty pulling and high-flow hydraulics with a 113-gallon-per-minute flow. That flow is important for newer large planters and seeders these machines can pull.
The machines are Advanced Farming Systems ready out of the plant with their AFS 700 displays allowing improved operation, and a quality interface to the system.
Maintenance is easy too, with enhanced access. In addition, the roller wheels on each track will have see-through bearing covers for easier checks of fluid levels. The idea of the easy maintenance is to help owners and operators improve their uptime. And the machines have a 600-hour oil change interval.
Production starts on the new machines beginning in 2013, but farmers can take a look at the major fall farm shows - starting with the Farm Progress Show Aug. 28, 29 and 30 and Husker Harvest Days Sept. 11, 12 and 13.