06/01/2016 New Challenger E Series Helps South Australian Family Move to Controlled Traffic Farming
South Australian farmer Clinton Tiller’s new 590hp Challenger E Series tractor is already proving a great asset to his family cropping operation, making big jobs easy and simple.
Clinton farms a 3500-hectare family farm at Pinery, north of Adelaide, with his father John and brother Derek. They grow wheat, lentils and a small amount of canola, under the name Pinery Grain Growers.
The Tillers recently bought the all new Challenger MT865E tractor with the Mobil-trac track system with factory spacings up to 3m.
“We’re using it for seeding and to pull chaser bins at harvest time,” Clinton says.
“It pulls a 12m disc seeder with a 15-tonne air-seeder box behind it. We’ve had the new Challenger for a few weeks but we’ve already sown about 1000 hectares with it.”
The MT700E and MT800E are Challenger’s new series of track tractors. They are available in a range of models with power offerings up to 431hp and 637hp respectively. They feature efficient new AGCO Power 9.8 litre engine and 16.8 litre V12 engines.
Clinton says the 590hp V12 engine in his new MT865E has plenty of grunt and offers good fuel efficiency.
“We’re sitting at around four litres per hectare for fuel, which is pretty good compared with what we had before. It was a smaller tractor that had to work a lot harder and used more fuel per hour,” he says.
“We’re doing 18 hectares per hour at speeds of around 15.5 kph. We’re three to four kph faster with this tractor and we’re using less fuel doing it.”
The 16.8-litre V12 engine features two-stage turbochargers. By generating a greater torque rise over a wider RPM range, it delivers unmatched lugging ability for maximum productivity.
With these new AGCO Power engines, maximum torque is maintained over approximately 20% of the total RPM range, providing an unmatched lugging ability for those tight spots. The Tillers are establishing a controlled traffic system on their farm, with all machinery on 3m spacing.
“That’s the way we’re heading and this tractor is a good start to be doing that as it doesn’t have big dual wheels,” Clinton says.
“This is our first track tractor and the tracks are very good at maintaining the power to the drawbar, over changing terrain, due to the Challengers unique MTS system that follows the grounds contours.” We’re sowing into a lot of standing stubble, so we don’t want to be knocking it flat, which is an advantage with the tracks,” Clinton says.
The new Challengers’ cab is positioned at the centre of the tractor to give operators 360 degrees of visibility. Clear sight lines to the tracks, drawbar and implements reduce operator strain, and a powerful lighting package allows work to continue into the night.
“The cab has quite a simple layout and is easy to get your head around, which is good because we have a few different drivers that jump in it,” says Clinton.