Workhorses: Potato Grower's Buyer's Guide

Published in the January 2014 Issue Published online: Jan 17, 2014
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A new year means one thing: New models of everything, including tractors. Manufacturers have unveiled powerful new row-crop tractors made to pull any implement and new and more versatile than ever utility tractors. Taking a gander at these, it’s no wonder she thinks your tractor’s sexy.

Mahindra mPower 85

Mahindra USA, the No. 1-selling tractor brand in the world based on volume, offers the mPower 85, a full-size, heaviest-in-class tractor with an 83 HP, emission compliant mCRD engine. Now available nationwide, the mPower 85 is equipped with the unique Mahindra Common Rail Diesel (mCRD) engine, an innovative, fuel-efficient high-performance engine that reduces greenhouse gas emissions by over 360 tons per year.

The mPower exemplifies Mahindra’s fast-growing presence in the North American farm equipment industry through its multimillion-dollar investment in product development, training and distribution.

The tractor offers a choice of transmissions and is equipped with a loader, three-point hitch and large front and rear radial tires. One of its many best-in-class features is an operating weight of 7,297-8,177 pounds for better built-in traction, stability and control as well as a safer operating environment. The Mahindra mPower 85, like all Mahindra tractors, comes standard with a five-year power train warranty.

Contact Mahindra

New Holland Genesis T8 Series

New Holland has new six models in its Genesis T8 Series lineup, with outputs ranging from 273 to 419 horsepower. Each Genesis T8 tractor is powered by state-of-the-art, efficient ECOBlue SCR Cursor 9 engines, developed in collaboration with FPT Industrial and delivering Tier 4A emissions compliance. The range-topping T8.420 features an impressive maximum 419 horsepower with engine power management, making it the world’s most powerful continuously variable transmission (CVT) tractor.

The Auto Command CVT transmission offers infinite speed changes and precise speed control, up to 0.1 mph. Controlled via the ergonomic CommandGrip handle, the four modes of operation—auto, cruise, PTO and manual—provide the flexibility to optimize task or fuel efficiency. Easy to program and operate, it provides a smooth, seamless application of power: If working in auto mode, the operator simply selects the desired working speed, and the Auto Command will adjust the engine speed and transmission settings to achieve the most efficient performance.

The Auto Command transmission is standard on the T8.420 model and optional on other Genesis T8 Series models. The option of a full powershift transmission is also available on T8.275, T8.300, T8.330, T8.360 and T8.390 models.

A new Terraglide front suspension axle is offered as an option on all Genesis T8 Series tractors. The new saddle-style design increases suspended load capacity and improves traction in the field.  It also reduces cab bounce and improves ride and handling during higher-speed transport operations. The result is an ultra-smooth ride with maximum traction, stability and steering control.

Case IH Steiger Quadtrac

Case IH Steiger Quadtrac tractors are equipped with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology that sets new industry standards for fuel-efficient power. The Steiger Quadtrac can help growers stay in the field as long as they need to while providing a more comfortable, intuitive cab.

Case IH Advanced Farming Systems (AFS) autoguidance systems give operators more freedom in the cab to look back and check on a potato planter or harvester. The exclusive, industry-leading 40-degree, right-hand swivel seat in Steiger tractors gives 180-degree vision.

Case IH Steiger Quadtracs are equipped with the MultiControl Armrest which allows operators to adjust speed, gears and direction with up to eight hydraulic remotes and much more without even raising their elbow. Comfortable, simple controls make work easier because there’s nowhere else to reach when controlling the tractor—everything is right at the driver’s fingertips.

The Steiger lighting system is five to six times brighter than standard lighting for those late nights. With optional roof lighting, the entire area around the tractor is flooded so growers can get out and make adjustments, fuel up or anything else.

Case IH Steiger Rowtrac

Case IH Steiger Rowtrac row crop tractors are built to handle any size potato planter or harvester. With the proven technology of Case IH Steiger Quadtrac tractors, the Rowtrac uses a four-track, positive-drive system to minimize ground pressure, reduce compaction, improve traction and simplify transport. The Rowtrac’s equal-sized, independent tracks oscillate 10 degrees up or down to maintain constant ground contact and minimize compaction. All four tracks maintain constant power for turning without berming. Even when field conditions are less than optimal, producers can cover more ground in less time.

The Steiger Rowtrac is one of the highest-horsepower tracked row crop tractors on the market. It has the capacity to pull larger implements, including disk rippers and planting and harvesting equipment. The narrow track can be set to a wide range of tread settings for different cropping applications. Four models are available with between 350 and 500 horsepower. With an extended wheelbase of 160 inches, each track has more ground contact, resulting in better transfer of power to the ground. In addition, the unique design delivers less ground pressure, better traction and the most comfortable ride in the industry.


John Deere 8R Series

The evolution of John Deere’s popular workhorse 8R Series tractors continues in 2014 with the launch of six new wheel and three new track models, all with Final Tier 4 engines ranging in horsepower from 245 to 370. These new 2014 models integrate the latest technology to provide the most in power, comfort and performance for row-crop tractors in this class.

The new 8R/8RT Series tractors feature a new CommandARM and a Generation 4 CommandCenter with 10-inch display, along with other cab improvements that enhance operator comfort and convenience. Additional new options include LED lights, larger wheels and tires, and increased hydraulic capabilities.

The new 8R/8RT tractors are engineered to provide uncompromised performance in the field. Both the wheel and track models have John Deere’s highly efficient selective catalytic reduction system.

John Deere has increased the engine horsepower ratings of all the new 8R models and boosted the max hydraulic flow capacity to 85 gallons per minute. This 8R option allows customers to operate at reduced engine speed while handling larger implements such as planters that require high, constant flow rates. All tractors have the option to be equipped with Intelligent Power Management, which increases power and torque to maximize performance.

Also new on the 8R/8RT tractors is a completely redesigned CommandARM with improved ergonomics and integration of intuitive controls for the major tractor functions such as AutoTrac resume, throttle, transmission, SCVs, PTO and hitch.

John Deere has designed the new Comman View III cab with laminated glass, a strategically placed insulation barrier, and an options carpet floor mat to reduce noise and vibrations. Other enhancements include additional sunshades, window wipers and iproved key location, which are complemented by the swivel seat to make it a quieter and more comfortable work environment. For more information, contact or 800-572-0391.