As more data is captured on machines, more data has to be transferred and managed. As such, manufactures have been bending over backwards to develop ‘connected’ solutions. James Rickard looks into Case IH’s latest developments for its articulated tractors.
Outwardly, there is nothing much to differentiate between the previous Steigers and Quadtracs from Case IH with its new AFS Connect versions. But delve a little deeper and the differences soon become apparent, with the latest tractors sporting an all new control layout and extensive suite of connected technology. This follows in the Magnum AFS Connect’s footsteps, launched in 2019.
Fully available in 2021, eight Quadtrac AFS Connect tracked models will be available from 525 to 692hp (maximum rated) and six Steiger AFS Connect wheeled versions from 469 to 558hp (maximum rated).
According to the manufacturer, the aim of these latest generation tractors is to make data capture and transfer as simple and seamless as possible. AFS Connect enables two-way data transfer between the machine and farm, allowing farmers to manage their farm, fleet and data from their office or mobile device.
To work, AFS Connect comprises three main components:
To manage the farm, fleet and data, this can now be done via the new online Case IH AFS Connect portal. This can be accessed by any device, says the manufacturer.
Users can log on and view current field operations, fleet information and agronomic data, for example, while owners and managers can also choose to share selected agronomic data down to field level with third parties such as agronomists.
This greater connectivity also provides more support features. Remote display viewing allows the farmer/manager or dealer to view what an operator is seeing on the display in the cab, helping with setup and to identify problems.
In addition, dealers can remotely upload software updates and use remote service support to identify maintenance and service needs, without needing to visit the machine.
Visually, the most obvious updates to the Steigers and Quadtracs come in the form of an updated cab. Boasting improved controls and automotive-grade materials, at the heart of the cab is the firm’s new Multicontroller armrest and joystick. An evolution of the old control setup, it offers greater functionality and improved layout.
For comfort, a new heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system has also been included and a 360 degree lighting packages allows various lighting modes to be programmed.
A new steering system also allows steering ratios to be adjusted for faster field turns. Adapted from other Case IH tractors, this enables the ratio between the number of steering wheel turns made and the steering angle to be altered according to the operator’s requirements. This can be setup and adjusted through the terminal.
As before, both powershift and continuously variable transmission (CVT) options are offered on the articulated machines. Improvements have seen the powershift variants achieve up to 20% faster acceleration with each gear change, while CVTs are available in the Steiger 420, 470 and 500 and Quadtrac 470, 500 and 540 models.
Reducing downtime, Steiger 500 and Quadtrac 470, 500 and 540 models are available with larger fuel tank capacities. The new optional saddle tanks increase capacity by 44% from 1,230 to 1,779 litres.