Farm Progress

Equipment Forum: Case IH adds power to Steiger tractor line

Forrest Laws 1, Director of Content

April 25, 2006

6 Min Read

When you stand beside one of Case IH’s Steiger or STX series tractors you would think you’re looking at enough horsepower to pull half the state of Texas. But Case IH is introducing new versions of both the wheeled and Quadtrac versions of the Steiger that will provide even more drawbar horsepower.

“Our new 15-liter, Cummins QSX15 engine offers 40 percent torque rise, growing an additional 54 horsepower at 1,800 rpm,” says Kyle Rushing, marketing manager for 170+HP and 4WD tractors at Case IH. “These new Tier 3-compliant, 24-valve, electronic engines will provide power for all six models in our STX series.”

Rushing, speaking at a media briefing at Case IH’s Big Red Roundup in Phoenix, said the increased horsepower, which will top out with the STX530 rated at 530 hp, is another case of the company listening to its customers.

“Our customers’ requirements break down into three key areas,” says Russell, who works with the company’s Magnum and Steiger tractors. “They look at performance and productivity, comfort and convenience and cost of ownership.

“We’re responding with these six new models based on three frame sizes and 29 different configurations. We can expressly match horsepower to any four-wheel drive task, whether that’s pulling a row-crop cultivator with an AccuSteer tractor, land-leveling with a scraper package or minimizing compaction with a Quadtrac model.”

Russell says operators in the 4WD and tracked market segments are looking to make the most of their horsepower, a trademark of Case IH Steiger tractors.

Like the STX530, the other five new models also match engine horsepower to their names. The wheeled STX280 and STX330, which feature AccuSteer versions, use new 8.3-liter and 9.0-liter engines, respectively.

Both the STX 380 and the STX430 share a new 12.9-liter Case IH engine with 40 percent torque rise, and are available in wheeled, heavy-duty wheeled, scraper and Quadtrac configurations. The STX 480 offers the same configurations as the STX 380 and STX 430 and is powered by the same engine as the STX530.

“One of the key features of electronic engines is their ability to continually monitor operating conditions and adjust fuel and air flows,” says Russell. “By automatically optimizing performance, engine life and fuel efficiency are improved.”

A good example of the productivity advantages of the next generation Steiger tractors is the new 12.9-liter engine powering the STX380 and STX430 models. “We built in five extra horsepower over previous models and improved power growth, while also reducing the engine size from 15 to 12.9 liters,” says Russell. “We actually gained fuel efficiency and performance.”

Each of the in-line, six-cylinder engines found in next generation Steiger tractors are turbo-charged and air-to-air after-cooled using an efficient cross flow head design that intakes air from one side and vents exhaust directly out the other side.

Compared to systems that exhaust air on the same side as the air intake, the cross flow head keeps air cooler, provides smooth air flow and better coolant circulation for longer engine life, says Russell.

To accommodate the extra cooling needs of higher-horsepower engines, the engine air filter for the STX380, STX430, STX480 and STX530 tractors has been relocated under hood, improving the efficiency of air flow and filter life. Engine speeds have also been decreased to 2,000 rpm for the majority of the line, rising to 2,100 rpm on the STX530.

“Lower rpm speeds help prolong engine life, reduce noise and increase fuel efficiency,” Russell notes.

To improve ride, reduce operator fatigue and extend the life of the transmission, the Case IH 16F/2R speed Full Powershift transmission has been upgraded with electronic pulse with modulated shift solenoids. During a gear change, these solenoids will modulate the pressure to the clutch packs for smooth engagement.

“Our PWM design feathers the gear engagement, creating smoother shift cycles on the road and in the field,” Russell says. “Operators who have put the new Steiger tractors through their paces really like how smooth this feels.”

STX tractors also offer AutoShift with Auto Field and Road Modes. Autoshift automatically selects forward gears based on transmission output shaft speed, the current gear and engine torque load. In Auto Field mode, the transmission maintains engine speed by upshifting and downshifting between the nine gears in working range under load conditions.

In Auto Road mode, it uses the throttle to shift from 8th to 16th gear to achieve maximum transport speed, up to 23 miles per hour.

“With AutoShift and Powershift transmissions, we minimize the need for manual shifting, allowing operators to concentrate on other aspects of their jobs,” Russell notes. “It’s also proven to be fuel efficient.”

Another unique feature is the Electronic End-of-Row function that allows producers to program their tractors to do all the steps they normally have to do as they approach the end of the field. The system will record and then control up to 30 steps in two sequences, including up and down shifting, raising and lowering the 3-point hitch, using remotes, throttle and more, through a single switch.

To further automate field operations, producers can now choose a factory-ready AFS AccuGuide autoguidance system, paired with a new, armrest-mounted AFS200 color monitor, for their Steiger tractors. The latter allows the operator to maintain perfectly straight rows, pass after pass.

“Our customers have seen substantial financial benefit from fewer skips and overlaps, reduced compaction due to controlled traffic patterns and reduced operator stress,” says Russell. “Steering is only required at row ends.”

AFS AccuGuide customers can choose from four levels of accuracy, depending on the source of differential GPS and their operations’ requirements. RTK correction with a base station makes possible planting, spraying, strip-till, zone management and controlled traffic operations with 1-inch accuracy.

For row-crop applications where precision steering and implement trailing is required, the small-frame STX280 and STX330 models offer optional Case IH AccuSteer. The latter allows an articulated 4WD tractor to function like a MFD tractor in the field. AccuSteer-equipped tractors have a turning radius of 12.4 feet, smaller than many rigid frame row crop tractors. They also reduce side-to-side motion on the implements.

All six Steiger models are equipped with quiet Surveyor cabs, which Russell says are the largest in the industry. The cab offers superior visibility through a full 67.8-square-feet of tinted glass, a comfortable Optima seat and ergonomic armrest controls.

The tractors also have a new 360-degree lighting package with up to eight high intensity discharge lamps for up to 350 feet of near-daylight visibility after dark. HID lamps, which replace standard halogen work lights, are designed with a bulb life of 6,000 hours for low replacement costs.

“Everyone knows that using the right size tool to do a job will make the task easier and more efficient,” says Russell. “The same holds true for tractors. Well-engineered, well-paired engines and frames are the starting point for operational efficiency.”

Producers will also have a choice of two transmissions to meet their needs. An efficient 24F/6R synchro transmission with 12 speeds in the working range is available, along with a Full Powershift 16F/2R version for more automated use.

e-mail: [email protected]

About the Author(s)

Forrest Laws 1

Director of Content, Farm Press

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