16 November 2001

Four Challenger crawlers on the way from Claas

By Andy Collings

CLAAS is set to launch a new series of Challenger crawler tractors – four models in the 220hp to 306hp power range.

The Challenger MT700 models are powered by Cat C-9, 8.8-litre engines fitted with the companys hydraulic electric unit injectors (HEUI) system, which senses load changes and enables the engine to deliver more torque in tough conditions. The engines comply with Tier 11 emissions regulations.

A transmission offering 16 forward and four reverse gears has eight of these ratios in the 4-9.3mph working speed range and, if required, an optional creeper speed range is available.

Extensive use of electronic control systems draws on the manufacturers Intellitronics management system to "communicate" with the entire power train and allow smooth gear shifting, optimum power management and the best fuel economy.

Caterpillar has fitted a refined track system to the new models which has a track wheel base 25cm (10in) longer than previous models. This is designed to provide greater flotation and less compaction without the need to fit wider tracks, although there are a number of different track widths available.

Use of suspended midwheels are also said to improve traction and ride quality, with further suspension being provided by isolating the chassis on two large rubber/fabric springs. Top road speed is put at 24.6mph.

Up in the cab, the operator is treated to a spacious working area surrounded by 6.2sq m of glass. Climate control helps to maintain a required temperature regardless of outside conditions, says the maker.

The MT700s Tractor Management Centre (TMC) displays – including the TMC display, transmission control lever, hydraulic levers, throttle lever and three-point hitch control lever – rotates with the operator seat.

Claas says it expects to launch the new Challengers either late this year or early in the New Year. &#42

Designed to match any farm application, the Challenger MT700 series tractors increase productivity with high-tech performance and comfort.