Case IH's Maxxum 145 Multicontroller tractor has been awarded the title of Tractor of the Year 2019. The tractor also scooped a Best Design 2019 gong at a special award ceremony at EIMA International, the farm equipment show held in Bologna, Italy. The other two tractors that made the three-model finalist line-up this year were McCormick's X7.690 and Zetor's Forterra HSX 140.
Launched last year, highlights of the 145hp Maxxum 145 Multicontroller include its eight-step semi-power shift transmission and the Multicontroller armrest and joystick. The Maxxum has also won recognition for lowest fuel use in its class.
These were attributes recognised by the competition judges for aiding ease of operation and enhancing efficiency. Maxxum tractors are also available in four-step power shift and continuously-variable transmissions guises.
The transmission and many other tractor operating functions can be controlled through the Multicontroller armrest and joystick. In a note detailing why the Maxxum beat the other contenders this year, the judges called it a high-tech tractor that convinced on several fronts, with engine power, efficient fuel consumption, driving comfort, as well as being visually pleasing.
The double clutch semi-power shift transmission also impressed in terms of manoeuvrability and performance.
Last year, a Case IH Maxxum 145 Multicontroller equipped with the company's new transmission achieved the lowest specific fuel consumption ever recorded for a four-cylinder tractor.
The results came from a power mix test conducted by Deutsche Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft (DLG), the German Agricultural Society.
The model being tested achieved an average specific fuel consumption of 258 g/kWh in the field-work section of the test, which is almost 9.5pc lower than the 282 g/kWh recorded by its nearest competitor.
Tests cover pure pulling work, for example with a plough or cultivator, as well as mixed work with the PTO shaft and hydraulic system, as with a rotary manure spreader or baler. Heavy and light transport tasks are also reproduced to obtain an overall picture of the tractor's energy efficiency in use.
The results are summarised in the respected Powermix figure, providing an accurate assessment of the fuel efficiency of different makes and models of tractor under practical conditions.
The Maxxum 145 Multicontroller is powered by a 4.5 litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged and intercooled FPT engine which meets Stage IV emissions regulations using a selective catalytic reduction system.
This has a rated power output of 107kW (145hp) at 2200rpm and produces up to 118kW (160hp) with Power Management, the maximum power of 114kW (155hp) being produced at 1800rpm, and 129kW (175hp) with Power Management.
Judges for the Tractor of the Year competition said a key factor in the result was the Maxxum's ActiveDrive 8 transmission, a new 24 x 24 semi-power shift which provides eight power shift steps in each of three ranges.
The transmission can now be specified on all Maxxum Multicontroller tractors from 116hp to 145hp as an alternative to ActiveDrive 4, which is a four-step 16 x 16 40 km/h semi-power shift system, and the continuously-variable 50 km/h CVXDrive continuously-variable (CVT) transmission. With features that make the tractor more efficient and more relaxing to drive, Case IH claims.
ActiveDrive 8 is suited to power-hungry tasks where maintaining momentum is critical, such as cultivations or operating large mowers, because the clutch pedal is not required to change gear.
Range One of ActiveDrive 8, which covers speeds up to 10.2 km/h and is designed for heavier draft work and applications requiring very low speeds, is also available with additional creep speeds.
Range two covers nearly 90pc of field, grassland and loader requirements, allowing the tractor to work under full load without any torque disruption from 1.6-18.1 km/h.
For road travel, the transmission is designed to be able to start in range three; a smart range change function allows quick progress through the ranges up to the third, which allows ground speeds of up to 50km/h.
"We are delighted to have been awarded the 2019 Tractor of the Year accolade for the Maxxum 145 Multicontroller," said Thierry Panadero, Case IH Vice-President for Europe, Africa and the Middle East. "It's a fitting recognition that greater transmission efficiency and ease of control both have parts to play in not only making farming more profitable, but more sustainable too. Helping to make operations easier, more efficient and more environmentally-friendly is a core criteria in the design of our machines, so it's gratifying to see the Maxxum Multicontroller's features recognised in this way."