1 October 1999

Revisions at rear end of Challenger crawlers

By Andy Collings

CATERPILLAR-BUILT Claas Challenger B-Series crawlers have now received improvements intended to make them more suitable for UK conditions.

The changes, which are to be found mainly at the rear of the machine, affect the rear linkage system and drawbar.

Next year, the Challenger 35, 45 and 55 models will be equipped with a three-point linkage incorporating a quick coupler system with replaceable ball joints and linkage arms that have been shortened by 1.9cm (0.75in) to improve stability.

The linkage arms, along with the top link, have also been strengthened and the surface area of the sway blocks has been increased to improve wear characteristics.

For the drawbar, an extra 6mm of metal – to 50mm – allows extra weight to be carried and the clevis is now a four-bolt design incorporating a heavy-duty self-locking pin. The drawbars swing system has large rubber bump blocks and wear plates are fitted to the drawbar hanger and cage.

Other changes include better suspension for the cab and, for the 55, engine tweaks to increase torque response.

&#8226 Production of the Challenger 35, 45 and 55 models has been moved from New Hollands Winnipeg factory to Caterpillars DeKalb plant in Illinois – bringing assembly under the total control of Caterpillar. &#42

Challenger data

Model Hp £

Challenger 35 212 93,100

Challenger 45 242 98,700

Challenger 55 272 104,150

Challenger 65E 310 128,250

Challenger 75E 340 138,700

Challenger 85E 375 142,500

Challenger 95E 410 152,000