26 October 2001

Renault improves its front suspension unit

By Andy Collings

BETTER operator comfort, optimum traction and improved safety at higher road speeds are considered by Renault to be the key features offered by its Proactiv tractor front suspension system.

Available as an option on the companys 700 and 800RZ Ares, the unit comprises a Carraro front axle within a Renault design suspension unit.

Differing from several other systems, the Proactiv is basically two suspension units – one for each wheel – so each wheel is free to rise and fall independently.

Each wheel is mounted on a parallel linkage to ensure all the tyre tread remains in contact with the ground and maximum grip is maintained.

Suspension travel is 8.7cm and when operated in automatic mode provides 4.2cm upward and 4.5cm downward movement – the suspension itself produced by the compression of gas in accumulator bottles.

A manual operation mode allows the operator to set the height of suspension to accommodate different types of operation. When operating a power harrow and the amount of lift must be reduced to save damage to pto joints, for example, the suspension would be set in a low position to raise the rear of the tractor.

It is also possible to deactivate the suspension system after setting it to a required height. This could be used when ploughing, when draught control action might be hindered by changes of suspension height.

Height sensitive operations such as fertiliser spreading or spraying with tractor mounted kits could also require the suspension to be deactivated.

The Renault Proactiv suspension system adds about £2,500 to the price of the tractor – a figure, when assessed as a percentage of the cost of a new tractor, could be considered a useful investment. &#42

Front suspension for Renaults 700 and 800RZ Ares tractors is now an option. Inset: Parallel linkage ensures the full width of the tyre remains in contact with the ground.