AGCO Corporation has introduced the all-new Challenger MT800 Series track tractor to its US customer base, complete with new engine and transmission combinations, an enhanced track and chassis system, more hydraulic and hitch options, and a redesigned operator-friendly cab. Featuring the AccuDrive powertrain, AGCO claims the MT800 Series is the most powerful two-track tractor available with a stepless transmission. The new range will be available in 2021, and comes with a two-year or 2,000-hour limited warranty.
Whether the task at hand is deep ripping, subsoiling, installing tile or high-speed planting, AGCO has designed the MT800 Series with the power to get the job done quickly and efficiently. Producers can choose from among four models, all of which feature reliable and proven engines by MAN. The MT851 (511hp), MT856 (564hp) and MT862 (618hp) are powered by MAN 15.2-litre, six-cylinder diesel engines, whereas the MT867 (673hp) is equipped with a MAN 16.2-litre six-cylinder diesel engine. Both power plants utilise a low engine speed approach that creates high torque, even at lower speeds. Meanwhile, AccuDrive allows for an engine speed range of 1,000 to 1,700rpm, providing maximum torque from 1,100 to 1,450rpm.
The Challenger Accu-VT continuously variable transmission (CVT) is engineered to optimise the benefits of track tractors. Accu-VT can achieve ground speed from 65ft per hour to as much as 25mph, all at reduced engine speed. The Tractor Management System (TMS) automatically controls engine speed and transmission ratio to ensure constant ground speed.
“AGCO is excited to introduce the long-anticipated new Challenger MT800 Series track tractors to our loyal Challenger customers throughout North America,” said David Soliday, AGCO senior tactical marketing manager. “They’ve been asking for improved efficiency in a high-horsepower track tractor with the benefits of flotation and the ease of a stepless transmission. The new MT800 Series is a great addition to the Challenger line of track tractors and a perfect example of AGCO’s commitment to serve the producers who require a proven, dependable high-horsepower tractor to pull today’s heavy tillage and planting implements,” he continued.
“The Accu-VT allows producers to pull the heaviest implements through the toughest conditions with maximum torque and minimum fuel usage. The transmission continually adjusts to optimise fuel consumption based on load. When no torque is needed, fuel savings are even more significant.”
Minimal soil compaction, maximum power transfer
Soil compaction can impair water infiltration into soil, crop emergence, root penetration and crop nutrient and water uptake, all of which can lead to stunted, drought-stressed plants, and reduced crop yield. With this in mind, AGCO has ensured the MT800’s efficient powertrain is harnessed to an innovative undercarriage backed by more than three decades of track system experience.
“The MT800 Series offers a suspended undercarriage and the widest offering of track belt choices on the market,” continued Soliday. “The longer wheelbase provides ideal track-to-ground contact, improving flotation and minimising soil disturbance and compaction while also maximising power transfer.”
The MT800 Series’ two-track design affords advantages over quad-track tractors. There are fewer components to maintain, which helps reduce operating costs. There’s also less weight, which allows horsepower to be directed to the task at hand, instead of moving the machine. Numerous ballasting options – including front and chassis weights – are available to improve machine balance, headland quality and drawbar pull capacity.
Whereas quad-track tractors have a fixed track width, the MT800 Series allows for track widths from 88 to 128in, so operators can select a width for the specific task at hand or maintain controlled traffic lanes to reduce soil compaction across a field. Four track styles are available in as many as four belt widths from 18 to 36in, depending on the style. Suspended mid-wheels help to maintain constant contact on all surfaces, providing excellent ride comfort.
Increased operator comfort and productivity
Further improvement in operator comfort in both field and road conditions is achieved through the Challenger SmartRide suspension. The hard-bar front axle is connected to the chassis via the suspension system that uses coil springs with rubber dampeners. An optional load-levelling system, SmartRide+, integrates hydraulic cylinders within the springs, allowing the tractor’s pitch to be controlled. Not only does this help maintain the correct implement and linkage geometry, but a level tractor will also have an improved ride because suspension travel is optimised.
Sitting atop the chassis is the all-new MT800 Series cab. Customers can choose from either the standard suspension of four-point shock absorbers with rubber elements or the two-point cab suspension – a first among conventional track tractors.
“This cab has sturdy coil springs with integrated shock absorbers at the rear and two shock absorbers with rubber bumpers on the front,” noted Soliday. “With nearly four inches of travel at the rear of the cab, the cushioning efficiently absorbs vibrations that are sent from the ground over the fixed rear axle.”
Inside the cab, operators have a choice of three air-suspended seats: cloth, leather with heat and leather with heat and ventilation. Integrated with the seat is the adjustable multifunction armrest with the 10.4in Challenger AccuTerminal, which places both tractor and implement controls at the operator’s fingertips. The layout of the controls is similar to that of other Challenger equipment, allowing for familiarity as operators move from one machine to the next. The exclusive, single-spoke steering wheel is ergonomically shaped for effortless steering. Integrated audio system controls are optional.
Challenger Guide smart farming guidance package options allow an operator to connect the MT800 Series tractor to a multitude of systems available on the market today. Systems such as Challenger Guide Contour Assistant and the TI Headland automated operating sequence, for example, save operators time and improve the quality of work, especially on headlands, according to the company. The AGCO Connectivity Module enables communication with Challenger Connect, the MT800 Series’ telemetry system, simplifying fleet management and quickly identifying error codes.
Hitch system options
Multiple rear hitch systems are available to connect the power of the Challenger MT800 Series to any number of implements. Customers can choose from three drawbars and two, three-point hitches.
A Category 5 fixed drawbar with an 11,000 lb vertical load rating is standard. Operators may also choose a wide-swinging roller drawbar with 11,000 lb load rating or a hydraulic-controlled drawbar with 15,000 lb load rating. These options offer 28 degrees of horizontal swing both left and right, so the tractor can turn more smoothly while under load, reducing fuel use and improving operator comfort.
AGCO offers the only tractors on the market available with a steerable three-point hitch. This feature allows the MT800 Series to make headland turns closer to the centre point of wide implements when under high draft loads. It also reduces the amount of steering power needed while maintaining a higher draft force.
“This feature really allows an operator the ability to make steering adjustments and continue pulling a ground-engaged implement forward instead of sideways,” explained Soliday. “This reduces stress on the implement while allowing the operator to keep rolling.”
Both standard (15,000 lb lift capacity) and high-capacity (20,000 lb lift capacity) hitches are available. Each also includes a Category 5 free-swinging drawbar with 15,000 lb vertical load rating. With the drawbar unpinned and the hitch allowed to swing, the combination can achieve 23.5 degrees of horizontal swing both left and right.
To meet the needs of today’s most sophisticated implements, the Challenger MT800 Series is equipped with a hydraulic system that is entirely dedicated to the valves, hitch, drawbar control and power beyond.
Two options are available: a single pump providing 58.1gpm at 1,700rpm or the exclusive dual pump, dual circuit system for up to 116.2gpm. This unique dual system dedicates one pump each to the left and right valve blocks, so implements can be connected according to their flow requirements. Each pump delivers only the flow that is required, whether high or low, without throttle losses.
“This dual system allows the operator to increase hydraulic efficiency and not work the pumps any harder than needed for the implement’s operation,” claimed Soliday. “For example, a central-fill planter will have a high-flow hydraulic requirement for its vacuum system and a low-flow requirement for the cylinders raising and lowering the transport wheels.”
In addition, separate oil reservoirs for the implement and tractor hydraulic systems prevent cross contamination and extend the service interval to 2,000 hours.