Photos by Willie Vogt
FAST MOVER: This is the world’s fastest tractor, built by JCB. The most recent version of this machine, Fastrac Two, hit a record of 135.191 mph, which was the average of two runs and was ratified by Guinness World Records. Fastrac Two tractors did hit 153.771 mph during those runs. At Agritechnica, it was hard to get a clean picture because so many people wanted to have their photo taken with it. Learn more at jcb.com.
BIG, ELECTRIC AND AUTONOMOUS: This John Deere prototype got a lot of attention during the show in the Twitterverse. The unit has twin electric engines and is designed for heavy work. As for supplying electricity to the machine? In some field tests, the company used a power cable. That’s right, the early prototype was using an extension cord. However, as these concepts continue to develop, there are many power choices for the future. This is an area that will be interesting to watch.
HYBRID MACHINE: This prototype from Steyr, a CNH Industrial brand based in Austria, got its fair share of attention. It has electric motors on each wheel, and a hybrid power train with batteries. It may be possible that a future tractor would use the engine to power the generator for the wheel motors, and keep the batteries charged; during transport, a low-horsepower job, the electric motors would power the machine from place to place. There are many possibilities for the future. You can get more information on the prototype at steyr-traktoren.com.
NEO-RETRO PROTOTYPE: This Next tractor from Massey Ferguson is a design exercise that includes some interesting visible tech. The company shared that there are many design ideas at play, from high-intensity lighting to an autonomous operating design. The standout feature is those white tires, which are a carbon-free design from Trelleborg, combined with that company’s Central Tire Inflation System called CTIS+. The lunar landscape around the tractor references the 50th anniversary of putting a man on the moon, which was thought impossible at the time. The idea here is that this tractor design offers a range of design solutions for a changing ag world.
COMING TO MARKET: This is the Claas 900 Terra Trac, which many farmers may have seen in prototype at the Farm Progress Show. This machine, which is ready for row crops, is coming to the U.S. market in 2020 in limited release. The company reports that the machine will have four track widths — 18, 25, 29 and 35 inches. Yet the machine’s transport width will not be higher than the European-required 3-meter standard. The fuel tank has also been modified and moved for added capacity, and will hold 227 gallons for a full day’s work. Visit claasofamerica.com to learn more in 2020.
HYBRID TRACTOR: This Farmtrac machine from Escorts, an India-based tractor maker, features an electric motor in that case on the front, adding needed ballast. The electric motor can serve two purposes. First, during field operations, it can provide a 20-hp boost to the tractor for added power — kicking the 70 hp machine to 90 hp. And for road travel, the motor can be the only power source saving fuel and cutting emissions. Get more information at escortsagri.com.
FULLY ELECTRIC: The Escorts company in India has also made this electric compact tractor. Note that it’s sold out. It has a lithium-ion battery and can provide two to three hours of heavy operation before it needs a charge. In applications such as large greenhouses, it will be popular. It’s shown here and indicates a trend toward rethinking tractor power for the future. How that plays out remains to be seen. Get more information at escortsagri.com.
NEW COMPACT: Solis tractors are sold in the United States in a marketing agreement with Yanmar, and the Solis C Series is coming to the U.S. in 2020. There are two models — the C35 at 35 hp and the C48 at 48 hp. The machine offers a 1,450-pound lift capacity, integrated loader control valve and pipe routing, and a three-cylinder engine that meets Europe’s Stage 5 standards. Learn more at solistractors.com.
BIG POWER FROM RUSSIA: The Kirovets 435-hp tractor won’t be coming to the U.S. soon, but the company showed that tractor makers in that part of the world are kicking up their game with modern designs and enhanced cabs. This machine has a redesigned cab, high-flow hydraulics and a Category 4 three-point hitch. It can be outfitted with duals, Trimble navigation and forward hydraulics.
ONBOARD FIRE CONTROL: The Fields Fireman is an onboard fire control tool that mounts to the front of a tractor. The tank holds more than 170 gallons of water and comes with a 60-foot hose. It can provide high water pressure for up to 16 minutes to take on fires fast. Designed by a farmer who lost a tractor and combine in two minutes in a single fire five years ago, Fields Fireman is his solution. For now, it carries water. The developer is looking at a foam system for more effective suppression, which could also double fire-stopping capacity. The inventor is looking for a U.S. distributor. Learn more at fieldsfireman.com.