26 February 1999

Thumbs-up for linkage

LYNX front linkages, manufactured by Zuidberg Techniek, have been given full approval by Claas Caterpillar Europe for use with its rubber tracked Challenger 35, 45 and 55 tractors. It is a move Lynx believes will enable operators to make better use of the tractors lighter tread.

"Many Challenger users are exploiting its low ground pressure capability for top work with high output power harrow/drill combinations. With the front linkage users can increase output through using a front mounted seed hopper in place of counterbalance weights," points out Lynxs Nick Ewbank.

The linkage is suspended on its own subframe running forward from the Challengers rear axle – an arrangement which overcomes the potential problem of imposing additional stresses on the tractors engine and transmission assembly. It also ensures the additional weight of a front press or seed hopper has the maximum counterbalancing effect to weighty three point linkage mounted equipment.

To assist the operator when hitching up to a machine, the linkage incorporates external electronic remote controls mounted at the front of the tractor.

These enable the linkages double acting hydraulic cylinders to be activated to raise and lower the arms.

From the seat, however, the linkage operates only in single mode – powered lifting with gravity lowering – to prevent downward pressure being applied to the implement, which would remove weight from the forward section of the Challengers tracks.