Steiger's new Rowtrac tractors
Four tracks are better than two. It's the foundation on which Quadtrac technology was built more than a decade ago.
“In 1996, we launched the 9370 and 9380 Quadtracs,” recalls Mitch Kaiser, Case IH Steiger marketing manager. “We used 11 Steiger Quadtracs in field operations for dealers and sales personnel to operate with tillage equipment. They could see that you could place more power to the ground with less compaction. You would have to operate a four-wheel-drive tractor with triples to apply that much power to the ground, which would triple the amount of compaction being placed on the soil profile.”
The Case IH four-track, positive-drive system “puts more power to the ground, improves traction, and simplifies transport,” Kaiser says, “which allows you to cover more ground in less time, even when field conditions are less than optimal.”
The company is extending the reach of the Quadtrac technology by incorporating it into its new line of Steiger Rowtrac tractors.
“We developed a new line of Steiger Rowtrac tractors – which includes 350-, 400-, and 450-hp. machines – to be able to fit into 20-, 22-, 30-, and 40-inch row spaces,” notes Kaiser. “We love the heritage of the Quadtrac, but we want to see a track fit into the row.”
By stretching the chassis 6 inches to 160 inches, each track has more ground contact. This means better transfer of power to the ground. “It also means a better ride, less ground pressure, and better traction,” adds Kaiser.
And better traction equals less slippage, which helps reduce compaction.
“Compared to two-track systems, you will see no ridging or berming in turns,” explains Kaiser. “There's a 10° up and 10° down oscillation on each track; they are independent of one another. By doing this, there is track surface on the soil profile at all times, giving the minimum amount of compaction with the greatest amount of power to the ground.”
That translates into earlier planting and giving the seed a better environment to germinate in and to develop strong root systems that extend down into the soil area for better access to nutrients.
“Less in-row compaction translates to earlier emergence of crops and the opportunity for increased yields,” he says.
While Quadtrac is a key feature on these machines, it also serves as the building block for others. “The undercarriage of these machines was designed with Quadtrac in mind,” he notes.
The undercarriage has been totally redesigned for better suspension. “New circular rubber mounts act like shock absorbers. This keeps that track profile narrow to fit into corn, soybeans, and cotton,” explains Kaiser. “It means one machine has the ability to work in a variety of applications like row-crop planting, sidedressing, fertilizing, and tillage.”
The overall size of these machines is small, which provides added visibility and a tight turning radius.
“This means the Quadtrac four-track, positive-drive system is highly maneuverable in the field,” he says. “If you have large operations spread across many miles, these machines are very transportable.”