The CVX130 – a Case of brains and brawn
Are continuously variable
transmissions destined to
standards in the 21st
Century? Andy Moore took
to the wheel of the Case
CVX130 to find out
NEW millennium tractor operators should be prepared to make way for greater levels of transmission technology and operating efficiency when embracing Cases latest CVX range.
Launched at Agritechnica 99, the CVX tractors are equipped with Cases first continuously variable transmission, which is available across the entire line-up from 120hp to 170hp.
The 130hp CVX130 and 170hp CVX170 models will become available in the UK next spring, with the entire range – including the 120hp and 150hp tractors – destined for overseas markets.
"The CVX130 and CVX170 will be marketed specifically in the UK based on the sales success of the MX135 and MX170," says Steve Smith of Case.
The transmission, which was developed by Steyr-Daimler-Puch, is also available on Steyrs CVT range, which includes a full line-up of models from 120hp to 170hp.
CVT transmission works in a similar way to existing stepless transmissions. It is designed to provide stepless ratio changes from 0-40kph by employing a combination of mechanical and hydrostatic drive mixed in a planetary gear system.
But unlike other systems, the CVT is equipped with four mechanical speed ranges designed to enable a higher proportion of the more efficient mechanical drive to be achieved.
To find out what the transmission has to offer, farmers weekly put a CVX130 through its paces in front of a five-furrow plough.
Costing a slice below £65,000, the CVX130 is not only £7000 more expensive than the MX135 but, according to Case, a completely different animal.
Keen-eyed operators will note the absence of chassis side rails – the engine absorbs front-end loads – together with a deeper cab roof and wider rear fenders providing square-cut looks.
The transmission, along with hydraulic services and pto throttle, are operated from the Multicontroller II unit which is an integral part of the right armrest.
Putting wheels in motion calls for the shuttle to be moved forward and then its down to the Automatic Productivity Management (APM) facility which is designed to set the most efficient engine speed according to load for any machinery operation.
So, with shuttle lever moved forwards, what happens? Well, nothing at first. The operator has to depress the accelerator pedal so the APM computer can sense how far and quickly it has been moved to calculate the optimum engine speed and gear ratio. Although the accelerator pedal is perhaps handy for roadwork, essentially, it is not suitable for in-field use.
This is where the console on the Multifunction Controller II comes into play – with plus and minus buttons for altering forward and reverse speeds and a further button for linkage lower/lift.
Press the plus button and the fun starts.
After the five-furrow plough is lowered into work, engine and transmission are gradually synchronised – with no grumble or whine from either.
Forward speed then gathers pace smoothly in proportion to engine rpm, stimulating an unusual, eerie, feeling for the operator.
Surely the engine will give in or traction start to slip? Not by a long shot. The plus button can be pressed until the 130hp 6 litre turbocharged unit winds itself up to 2300rpm, shifting the tractor and five furrow plough up to 9kph (6mph).
Keep pressing the minus button and the CVX130 will slow to a painstaking 100m/hr snails pace – again without complaint from either the engine or transmission.
Below 20kph (12mph), a cruise control button on the console can be set to maintain and memorise a constant forward and reverse speed and then pressed again to cancel.
But the technology does not stop there. The tractor can also be set up in three operating modes. In Traction mode, electronics control the optimum engine rpm and transmission ratio relative to load. PTO mode enables separate control of engine and transmission speeds, allowing the pto rpm to be kept constant while the travelling speed is adjusted separately.
This facility is designed for operations such as baling or forage harvesting where pto speeds need to be kept constant.
The final Sprayer mode regulates engine and pto rpm so they change in proportion with the travelling speed. *
Brains as well as brawn… The CVX130s 130hp 6.6 litre engine winds itself up to 2300rpm automatically accelerating both CVT transmission and five furrow
plough up to 9kph (6mph).
Captains log… The multifunction controller includes a console with plus and minus speed buttons, together with joystick and switches for operating hydraulic services.
Engine 130hp 6 cylinder Sisu.
Transmission CVT 40kph.
Hydraulics 112 litres/min PFC.
Fuel tank 280 litres.