Posts Tagged ‘Agriculture’
Imagine taking a brand-new tractor, worth tens of thousands of dollars, and purposefully trying to break it. That’s what the folks at the AGCO manufacturing facility in Jackson, Minn., do just about every workday.
It all happens at Jackson’s Quality Gate Five. The $1.97 million-facility can hold and check two tractors at once, one on the “jounce” and PTO testing station, and the other on a chassis dynamometer.
For the jounce test, a tractor’s rear wheels or tracks are positioned on pads that rock back and forth. This test is used to verify that there are no loose fittings, hoses or electrical connections. Afterward, the tractor is physically inspected to make sure nothing came loose as a result of the shaking, which is so violent no one is allowed to be in the cab.
While still at the first station, the PTO is tested at various speed and load levels, and its output measured across the rpm range. Each tractor is then moved to the second station and the chassis dynamometer. Here, a multi-roller bed is used to verify different functions like the steering, brake, transmission shift quality, DEF functionality and limited powertrain performance.
Six winches hold the tractors in place as they speed up to 33 mph and rev to as high as 400 HP. The dynamometer reads the engine rpm, what gear it’s in and how well it shifts, and when it shifts, how low the rpm goes.
“What we learn,” says Eric Fisher, the plant’s director of operations, “also affects what we do upstream.”
Overall, according to Fisher, the work in Gate Five takes about two hours, and includes 250-plus tests and the analysis of more than 150,000 data points. In just the first month of operation, the inspections, he says, “yielded a 25% reduction in defects, and that’s just a start.”
“Like its customers, AGCO doesn’t embrace technology for its own sake,” says Bob Crain, AGCO Senior Vice President and General Manager, Americas. “There must be a return on investment.”
The expansion and upgrades at the Jackson plant, as well as those throughout the company’s global facilities, offer just that, says Crain, “in the company’s relentless pursuit of its stated goal—to be No. 1 in customer-perceived quality.”
In its heyday a century ago, scores of horses were used to do dozens of jobs at Biltmore. Today, one utility tractor—with 99 HP—performs multiple jobs at one of the country’s most beautiful agricultural operations.
Biltmore has long been a Massey Ferguson® customer. Their small fleet includes Massey Ferguson tractors dating back 35 years. The nearly new MF4610 is the most recent jack of all trades making life easier in a diversified operation.
“Masseys are easy to operate and affordable to work on. They do the job,” says Kevin Payne, Biltmore’s farm manager. “The 1979 MF1100 is as strong as when it was new.” And he should know. Payne has worked at Biltmore since the year that MF1100 was purchased.
Payne loves the smooth but powerful shuttle transmission on the MF4610. At Biltmore, Payne and crew can be hauling cattle feed in the morning, cutting thick sudangrass by afternoon and moving rolling chicken coops by evening.
“The shuttle transmission is really nice when you are picking up feed pallets or baling, then loading hay,” says Payne. “It is a whole lot quicker doing anything where you are moving from forward to reverse frequently.”
The MF4610 does it all with a 3-cylinder engine that generates torque as well or better than comparable 4-cylinder engines. “I use this tractor to disk ground, and it moved through the field like the disc wasn’t even back there.”
How do you get a tractor into the middle of Australia’s third largest city? Drive it down a river of course!
The long awaited Challenger E series made a dramatic entrance to the Australian and New Zealand region, surprising a gathering of Challenger Dealers on the banks of the Brisbane River.
Built upon three decades of Challenger’s tracked tractor leadership, the industry leading E Series demanded an unveiling that would leave a lasting impression with the dealership team and kick off the launch of this exciting new range with a bang.
Local challenger dealers were invited to a social evening at a restaurant overlooking the Brisbane River in Brisbane’s business district. As guest presenters introduced the new ground breaking E Series with informative presentations and videos, Challenger dealers would have been excused for assuming the evening was following a familiar schedule.
Drifting down the river under the cover of darkness, on a barge set up as a stage, the Challenger E series was poised to disrupt that familiarity.
Arriving at its destination with precision timing, the floating E series nudged closer towards the dealer group now congregating on the restaurant’s balcony and was revealed in a coordinated show of lights, smoke and the beat of ACDC’s thunderstruck.
And thunderstruck the crowd was. The unique unveiling was captured by a contingent of photographers as well as the dealership group and onlookers, with hands quickly diving into pockets in search of iphones to capture the sight.
Speaking after the event, key organiser of the E series launch and Challenger Product Manager Jeremy Duniam said that the evening went as planned.
“There were a couple of dealers that had a suspicion of what was going to happen, but most were stunned when the tractor was lit up and floating only metres from the river bank.”
“It was an exciting way to introduce the exciting new Challenger E Series,” Jeremy said.
A behind the scenes video of the spectacular unveiling will be available soon on AGCO Blog and www.facebook.com/ChallengerAg
This year’s SIMA Paris International Agri Business Show was a triumph for AGCO’s core brands. Massey Ferguson debuted two new tractors and showcased the MF 5610 tractor that journeyed to the South Pole. Challenger’s MT775E was the winner of the “Machine of the Year XXL” award. The new Fendt 300 Vario was named “Machine of the Year” in the category for tractors below 150 hp. And the new Valtra T Series won the “Machine of the Year” award in the 180–280 hp category.
SIMA is one of the largest indoor agricultural industry shows in the world. This year, the event focused on a theme of “Innovation First!” and brought together 1,700 companies from 42 countries with an emphasis on three key topics: people and territories, equipment and crops.
AGCO embraced innovations in communication by sharing this year’s SIMA experience through social media. Those who weren’t able to attend the show could follow the #AGCO25 hashtag on Twitter and Instagram, and additional news and videos can be found on the company’s social media portal created specifically for the event.
AGCO, now in its 25th year as a global leader in the agriculture industry, had a powerful presence at SIMA as an exhibitor. The company is living the “Innovation First!” concept through its cutting-edge Fuse™ Technologies — a platform that brings together machines, technology products, support, training and dealer services to ensure that farmers’ operations are optimized, coordinated and seamlessly connected through all phases of the crop cycle.
For being named the 2013 Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year, James Cooley received use of a Massey Ferguson® tractor for one year. He chose the MF8670, known for its continuously variable transmission (CVT), fuel efficiency and comfort.
It is not, however, his first Massey Ferguson. “We love Masseys,” says Cooley. “We’ve got 17 of the old 135s” used for bringing out peaches and light work. For parts, he calls on Nance Tractor and Implements in McConnells, S.C.
Adds Cooley, the vintage workhorse “was Massey’s special tractor, Daddy always said. The 135 is a tractor that everybody can drive. It’s easy to maintain regarding its parts and availability of them.”
As for his new MF8670, which Cooley calls the “Cadillac of tractors,” he plans to put it to work preparing peach and strawberry land. “We’ll use it for making the soil loose and ready for the roots to spread out on the peach trees,” he says. “And we’ll use it for fixing the ground for the strawberries.
“The view is remarkable,” continues Cooley. “It’s a smooth ride and the turning radius is remarkable. And, of course, it [has] unmatched power.”