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Challenger Unveils Next-Generation Track Tractors
The new styling is certainly the most obvious change on Challenger’s next-generation MT700 Series track tractors. But look beneath the new sheet metal and customers will find a tractor that’s practically new from the ground up. First introduced at the 2017 Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois, the MT700 has been designed using AGCO’s AccuEngineering platform and features a new hood and grille, as well as a new engine, transmission, undercarriage, and hydraulics.
Three available models from 380 to 431 hp., powered by AGCO Power 9.8-liter diesel engines equipped with concentric air systems (CAS), replace the previous 355- to 405-hp. MT700E Series. Gone, too, is the Caterpillar 16/4 powershift transmission. It’s been replaced by an AccuDrive powertrain that features the smooth, seamless speed control of the Challenger Accu-VT continuously variable transmission.
“It’s the same transmission that is used in the Challenger 1000 Series wheeled tractors,” Josh Keeney, AGCO, explains, noting that the only difference is the way it powers the track system. “It also uses the same state-of-the-art technology to produce a high-torque, low-speed operating approach. This allows the Challenger MT700 Series tractors to run in the maximum torque range, while delivering low fuel consumption to help increase productivity and reduce costs.”
The upgraded hydraulic system also offers greater flow at lower engine rpm to further reduce fuel cost, while meeting the demands of today’s larger planters and implements. “Now instead of running at full throttle to meet the hydraulic needs, the AccuDrive system allows full output at 1700 rpm,” Keeney adds.
“Operators are also going to notice a significant difference in the ride comfort,” Keeney continues. “The Challenger MT700 Series is the first two-track machine with the MaxxRide integrated comfort system that incorporates three stages of suspension and oscillating mid-wheels that precisely contour to the ground over terraces and uneven surfaces. Operators will not only experience greater ride quality in the field, but will appreciate the improved comfort and handling at higher road speeds.”
As Keeney explains, the primary suspension has been redesigned with rugged coil springs and high-capacity shock absorbers, while the MobilTrac system has been redesigned by moving the hardbar farther forward, providing a longer wheelbase and more stability. The steel hardbar acts as a front axle, attaching to the forward point of the roller frame and providing up to 11° of oscillation, to improve ride and minimize compaction. The pivoting carrier attached to the roller frame is now designed with the Tri–Bogie suspension. The midwheels provide unmatched suspension and track-to-ground contact, improving performance and comfort. Finally, a new two-point cab suspension system, with increased suspension at the rear of the cab, absorbs and dissipates the vibration from the ground through the rear axle.
Last, but not least, owners and operators will appreciate the new spacious, comfortable cab that offers more legroom and interior space. New features include a 10.4-inch touch-screen AccuTerminal that allows the operator to manage all tractor settings and adjustments, plus monitor and control ISOBUS 11783-compatible implements, camera functions, field documentation, variable rate applications, guidance and wireless data transfer, and the headland management system. Other amenities include a new Advantage armrest and joystick, a color-coded keypad for concise control of tractor functions and a new LED light package on the outside that adds more lights at the rear of the tractor.
AGCO lists the base MSRP of the Challenger Model MT743, which is the largest model of the series, at $387,000. Of course, the actual price will depend upon the model and how it is equipped.