Wednesday, November 22, 2017

McCormick: Agritechnica debut for McCormick X8 Series

By WniF editors

The most powerful McCormick ever built was unveiled by Argo Tractors at Agritechnica 2015, signalling a new entrant into the market for high horsepower, heavy-duty tractors.

The McCormick X8 VT Drive, with engine power outputs of 264hp, 286hp and 310hp, is the culmination of one of the most intensive new product investment programmes undertaken by any of the World’s tractor manufacturers.

Argo Tractors’ director of corporate business, Simeone Morra, said that two years ago the company presented its new product strategy to renew the entire McCormick range with more modern designs, new features, new technologies, greater comfort for operators and, of course, more power.

“We have delivered our plan with the stylish X4, X5, X6 and X7 families from 64hp to 212hp, and now also the X8 Series – the flagship of our new line-up of modern tractors,” he added. “This programme represents an investment of €75 million in R&D across three years, 5.5 per cent of our turnover, which demonstrates the commitment of the Morra family as owners and the company as a whole to the Argo Tractors enterprise.

“We’re now selling tractors to more than 100 countries around the World, produced exclusively in our factories operating to the best Kaizen principles of efficiency,” Mr Morra added. “We’ll continue on a consistent path of product development to ensure we have a tractor range that delivers the best operating efficiency and performance for our many customers.”

Bright lights, music and stilt-walkers helped launch the new McCormick X8 VT Drive tractor.

Although the new X8 Series tractor is substantially bigger and heavier than the 165-212hp McCormick X7.6 design, it continues the same successful formula of bringing together proven components and assemblies in a unique combination. With up to 310hp and a heavy-duty CVT transmission, the X8 VT Drive will provide farmers and contractors with the highest levels of performance using the biggest ploughs, cultivators, seed drills and grass harvesting equipment.

An integral three-point linkage and PTO assembly is a new feature of the cast steel load-bearing frame that forms the front half of the tractor’s chassis. It enables the X8 VT Drive to work effectively with implements at the front and the rear while keeping the machine relatively compact and very manoeuvrable for its power.

At the rear, a 12t capacity three-point hitch and electronically-controlled hydraulics with 157-lit/min or  212-lit/min load-sensing pumps – plus 115-lit/min dedicated to steering and other ancillary systems – caters for large-scale implements.

Beneath the engine hood with its distinctive, striking design is a 6.7-litre power unit that meets the latest emissions rules using SCR exhaust after-treatment.

An electronically-controlled turbocharger with variable geometry manages power and torque outputs to deliver excellent low-speed response and high levels of torque starting at low rpm for strong pulling power with excellent fuel efficiency.

For the ultimate in traction, the McCormick X8 VT Drive can be equipped with 900/60R42 rear tyres, that can be used at modest inflation pressures to protect the soil, but are also capable of carrying the tractor’s 18t gross weight when ballasted for maximum tractive performance.

A front axle with sophisticated parallelogram hydraulic suspension also helps deliver efficient traction while contributing to the comfortable ride provided by a sophisticated air seat and the new electronically-controlled active hydraulic suspension on the cab.

Drivers take command of the X8 VT Drive tractor using controls placed at their fingertips by the seat-mounted console and the 12-inch Data Screen Manager colour terminal. Precision Steering Management guidance can be added for accurate bout-matching and to simplify the driver’s workload, while enjoying first-class all-round visibility, automatic air conditioning and the ease of control that comes from connecting to Isobus-enabled implements.

Sharp styling gives the McCormick X8 VT Drive a distinctive appearance; integral front linkage and PTO is part of the cast steel frame chassis.

Argo Tractors plans to start production of the McCormick X8 VT Drive in the second half of 2016, and the sales director and general manager at McCormick distributor AgriArgo UK, Ray Spinks, said he looked forward to the first units arriving in Britain.

“The McCormick name is closely associated with efficient power and performance, and the new X8 VT Drive is the ultimate expression of that image,” he added. “It has great driver appeal and its unique combination of proven engine, transmission and hydraulics will make it a powerful performer in the field.”

Range showcased
To complement the X8 launch, various models from the McCormick VT-Drive range were also display at the event. VT-Drive models share many of the features showcased on the X8 and these can be seen on models X6, X7.4 and X7.6 at Hanover. These tractors also offer continuously variable transmissions which rely on the most advanced technology ever adopted by McCormick to satisfy the increasing demands of professional farmers of today.

Sharing the same features as the X6 Series, the X6 VT-Drive features an Argo Tractors designed continuously-variable transmission. A multifunction armrest and VT-Easypilot system provides precision control of all tractor functions. This solution makes the tractor extremely easy to operate across a variety of applications, such as heavy field work, yard activities, livestock farming operations and municipal tasks.

A strong point of the X7 VT-Drive series is that it features a ZF transmission with four ranges. The X7VT-Drive range comprises three four-cylinder models – the X7.440, X7.450 and X7.460 with power ratings of 147hp, 160hp and 176hp – and two six-cylinder models – the X7.660 and X7.670 delivering 181hp and 195hp with the Power Plus system. All models are powered by BetaPower fuel efficiency engines.

McCormick’s X7 VT-Drive will be available in yellow for municipal customers.

The X7 VT-Drive range comes standard with Data Screen Manager that is a 12-inch touchscreen monitor allowing the operator to constantly control the tractor’s operating parameters and performance. On board Isobus technology complies with industry standard ISO11783. Precision Steering Management systems are available as options providing an additional 8.4-inch touchscreen monitor on all models to manage the satellite-based guidance system, EazySteer active steering system and the advanced Isobus section and task controller functions.

Agritechnica also saw the launch of an additional model in the X7 range: the new McCormick X7.650 will offer max power of 150hp and will be powered by the well proven six-cylinder, BetaPower Fuel Efficiency engine. The new model will be displayed in a configuration designed to ensure the same high standards of quality and comfort as the other models in the X7 range, while satisfying customers’ needs for a functional and simple to operate tractor.

The new McCormick X7 cab.
The new McCormick X7 cab.

This new specification level will be available also on other X7 models. In designing this new version, McCormick engineers focused on functionality and simplicity without compromising on the main structural features of the X7. Ergonomically arranged controls are maintained to allow the operator to drive with maximum ease and comfort.

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NB: Story updated with X8 images and additional text from Agritechnica on November 11, 2015.

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