Re: MFD'S .vs. Track Machines
This subject always perks my interest up. If your buying a Green Tracked machine, there is no comparison to an MFD tractor. Go with a red or Green MFD, it doesn't matter, don't go with the tracked machine. But, Challengers are in an entirely different class of tractor than a John Deere tracked machine. The MT765 is simply an unbelievable piece of equipment for a row crop tractor.
Challenger tracked machines are very smooth in fields and on the roads. We have owned MFD's, big four wheelers, and Challengers. Fuel consumption is 6-8 percent better with tracked machines when comparing the same tier of engines.
I have said before, if your a hay farm, a tracked machine would not be for you. Also, if your running small equipment the end rows can get rough. Running 16-24 row equipment makes end rows berming a non issue. We use to run some 12 row equipment and we would sometimes skip passes to turn around without berming. The kinds of soils your turning in makes a big difference in how sharp you can turn. The other place I don't particularly like tracked machines is mowing and moving dirt in rough areas.
The one thing people always ask me about the Mt 765 machines is how smooth are they on the road. They go 24.6 mph and are much smoother than any other tractor we have or have ever been in. Last week I was in a new Case 330 and a 305 and they were both loping down the road. I almost got sick cause i was sitting in the buddy seats. Of course the driver was in a full suspension seat and hardly even noticed it. I asked if it was always this rough going down the road. He didn't know what I was talking about. We got in a Challenger and went down the road. It was smooth and he now thinks differently about how his 330 and 305 go down the road.
Never had a flat on any of our tracked tractors this last year. 2 flat tires on the 8010 and one flat on 2388.
As far as spraying. We have a JD 4920. 120 foot booms and I never feel anything at the end of the fields.
JD on their own website tries to push people to MFD over JD tracked machines. They know they cannot even come close to competing with Challengers tracked machines. We purchased a 3-pt mounted strip till rig with no assist wheels. The JD 8530T tracked machine would not even pick it up. The JD four wheel drive would not pick it up. They max out at like 15 or 16 thousand lbs. The challenger MT855 picks it up without even noticing its on the machine. The three point cylinders are twice as big.
This last stuff comes off JD website and are for their tracked tractors. For challengers, their bogey suspension is night and day different than JD. JD's are just not smooth going down the road. The JD site says they are higher priced, but with autoguidance systems installed on both, they are pretty much the same price if not a little less than an MFD. We always trade our machines with 4,000 hours on them and it looks like the tracks have about 3,000 hours left on them. I'm not sure how many hours we get out of tires cause we always trade them, but costs on tires vs tracks is hard to figure out. Every farm runs differently. There is virtually no slip in tracks, where tires slip much more and wear faster. Just my two cents. Didn't look through the Deere info too much, so there is some stuff in there I don't agree with it.
8030 Series Track Tractor advantages and disadvantages
Since track tractors act and ride differently than tire tractors, a thorough understanding of the advantages, disadvantages, and operating considerations of tracks should be understood before determining whether tracks or tires are the best choice for the applications.
Smoother ride on rough fields (diagonally across rows)
Higher level of tractive efficiency over a wider range of soil conditions
More stability on hillsides (able to maintain traction)
Better maneuverability (zero turn radius possible)
Easier implement hookup
Minimal ballast changes and no tire pressure to adjust
No power hop
Reduced steering control under heavy draft load (following terraces, contours)
Possible PTO and drawbar interference when making sharp turns
Not compatible with loaders and dozers
Higher initial purchase price
Higher cost to maintain
Faster tread/lug wear possible when operated more on hard-surfaced roads (compared with tires)
A track tractor will exhibit a higher level of flotation in wet conditions and ride smoother on rough fields than a tire tractor. This is because of the tracks' ability to bridge over ruts and irregularities rather than dropping into them like each set of tires on a tire tractor; however, when crossing ditches or waterways, the bridging effect of tracks creates different characteristics. As the tracks tractor rides up to the top of the ditch or levee, it will teeter forward and drop down on top of the road surface or field.
Tracks tractors are more maneuverable than tire tractors. The 8030T Series Tractor has the ability to counter-rotate, providing a zero turn radius. They also have the ability to make turns even when the tractor is stationary. With the shift lever in neutral, forward, or reverse and the clutch pedal fully depressed, the tractor will counter-rotate when the steering wheel is turned, providing the ability to make small side-to-side adjustments when hooking up implements. Because the 8030T Series Tractors have the ability to counter-rotate when making turns, it will cause berming when turning on end rows. Also, when turning on end rows with an implement that is hooked to the drawbar, it is possible to jackknife the tractor into the implement. Special care should be taken to prevent this from happening. It is recommended to make two 90-degree turns when making headland turns. Make two short turns, leaving plenty of room between the track and the implement. This will also reduce the berming and crop damage that is caused by tracks when making sharp headland turns.
8030T Series Tractors will exhibit a higher level of straight-ahead drawbar pull when operating at the same weight-to-horsepower ratio as a tire tractor. However, when turning under load, such as following contours or waterways, most track tractors will exhibit some speed loss. 8030T Series Tractor engines can provide up to 10 percent power boost at engine speeds above 1200 rpm during turns in order to minimize any speed loss. It simply requires more power to turn a tracked tractor than it does to turn a wheeled tractor pulling the same load. To improve steering performance when under load, follow these recommendations:
Use gradual turns (larger turn radius) or small frequent turns (ratchet- or bump-steering).
Add ballast if slip is greater than 5 percent.
Reduce the load and/or downshift.
Allow drawbar sway with towed implements.
Allow hitch sway with 3-point implements and carry implement weight with gauge wheels.
When operating on road surfaces where traction is less than optimum such as ice, wet black tops, or gravel roads, transport speed should be reduced in order to maintain steering control.
Tracks tractors have a harsher ride than a tire tractor on hard surface roads due to a lack of the suspension system that the air inside tires provides. Just like a tire tractor, it is important to have proper balance on the tractor in order to attain the best possible performance and steering control.
Due to the unique operating characteristics of the track tractors, the 8030T Series Track Tractors are not recommended for scraper applications.