High-Horsepower Fixed-Frame Tractors
In 2016, AGCO spent some serious time launching what it’s calling the largest fixed-frame tractors in the world. As a company made up of more than a dozen known and respected brands, AGCO was able to tap into design and engineering resources from around the world. The result was the 1000 series tractors the company launched through Fendt and Challenger.
“The Challenger and Fendt lines may appear similar on the outside, but they differ in their standard features, operator experience, and distribution footprint,” says Josh Keeney, tactical marketing manager at AGCO.
Fendt’s 1000 Vario line debuted at the National Farm Machinery Show in February 2016, and Challenger’s 1000 Series was unveiled at the Farm Progress Show in August. Both lines were created to accommodate high-acre agribusiness operations and to take advantage of the same innovation and technology advancements. To do this, each brand launched a line of tractors that could handle big jobs with lower fuel consumption.
Powered by 12.4-liter displacement, six-cylinder MAN engines, these little giants can manage 1,770 foot-pounds of torque at only 1,100 rpm. Lower fuel consumption is a perk of these tractors, as they can offer high torque at lower speeds through Challenger’s AccuDrive and Fendt’s VarioDrive drive trains.
“AccuDrive employs variable four-wheel drive that distributes the torque independently over two transmission outputs on each axle,” says Keeney. “An intelligently controlled, four-wheel clutch manages the torque, so it can be shifted between the axles according to need.”
Speed is no issue, though. The 1000 series models can hit 31 mph and can creep along at just 0.012 mph, which is half the speed of a garden snail.
“Distribution of the two brands rarely overlaps in any geography,” says Keeney. “For that reason, AGCO made the strategic decision to bring this innovative, first-class technology to both the Fendt and Challenger product lines to best serve the needs of our customers.”
Both brands are offering four different tractors with identical horsepower and power take-off capabilities.
The largest of these tractors can weigh as much as 50,700 pounds, so ballasting and tire pressure management is key.
The 1000 Series tractors have a front ballasting system that involves interchangeable monoblock weights. Self-leveling front axle suspension and simple ballast pickup make ballasting a quick and relaxed process. Fendt operators can use VarioGrip to get the right tire pressure with just the click of a button.
Each line has the unique features associated with that brand, which means special cabs for Fendt and Challenger. Both cabs have been redesigned to offer exceptional visibility and comfort.
Challenger 1000 Series tractors are only available in North America, and Fendt’s 1000 Vario line is available worldwide. All tractors are manufactured in Marktoberdorf, Germany.
The tractors are available at Challenger and Fendt dealers and cost from $369,000 to $476,000.