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Evolution of the Case IH Quadtrac
In the late 1980s, an increasing number of farmers started to use duals and triples to more effectively put power to the ground on high horsepower tractors. The wide tractors made traveling down the road difficult, causing some farmers to wonder if there was a better way.
The Innovation Team at Case IH took on the challenge, researching dual and four track designs. They discovered there were inherent advantages to the four track system that better met the performance requirements and provided superior productivity. Their solution was an articulated four-track tractor – the first Quadtrac.
“In 1992, we put the concept forward at the Farm Progress Show in Columbus, Indiana,” says Mitch Kaiser who was the Case IH tractor marketing manager for North America at the time. “It was an immediate hit from farmers who drove the tractor.”
Not quite ready to launch the revolutionary product, Case IH continued to have farmers test the Quadtrac. “In addition to helping put power to the ground, the farmers found that the Quadtrac had an excellent ride with oscillating tracks, leaving no berms. It also eliminated power hop and reduced wheel slippage,” says Kaiser, quoting many of the benefits the Quadtrac is still known for today.
In 1996, Case IH launched the first Steiger Quadtrac models. The original lineup included two models while today’s product line includes seven Steiger Quadtracs plus the Steiger Rowtrac and Magnum Rowtrac models.
The Quadtracs have been continually updated since the introduction, adding more horsepower and redesigning the chassis and undercarriage to produce a tractor that can handle heavy loads at high speeds while providing a smooth ride for the operator.
The continued innovation on an already revolutionary design has led to an increase in market share. When the Quadtrac was first launched, it made up 10% of Case IH’s four-wheel drive tractor business. Now, more than half of Case IH four-wheel drive tractors sold are Quadtracs, according to Kaiser.
Farmers aren’t the only ones drawn to the Quadtrac. Quadtracs are well loved in the scraper business because of their ability to pull heavy loads. “We also have Quadtracs running in Antarctica, Egypt, and Alaska for oil exploration projects,” adds Kaiser. “This is a very versatile, adaptable tractor with many different applications.”
Case IH has had a monopoly in the four-track tractor industry for almost 20 years. With the original patents for the Quadtrac expiring, Kaiser predicts the industry will soon have more four-track tractors available.
“The patents expiring will have an affect on other manufacturers coming into the marketplace,” he says. “Case IH will continue to increase track durability, reliability, and add horsepower to take the Quadtrac to the next level.”