Tractor’s new shape improves visibility, allows sharper turns

TULARE, Calif. — Versatile has replaced its mid-sized tractor lineup with new Tier 4 interim rated ma-chines, sporting the latest in Cummins engine technology, bigger cabs and a much tighter turning radius.

“These are whole new tractors. If you saw a black silhouette of them, you wouldn’t think it was a (Genesis-Versatile),” Paul Manaigre, Versatile’s director of engineering, said during an engineering meeting in Kansas City.

“We have rethought the tractor from the farmer up,” he said.

The tractors do have a new look, but function drives that more than bold appearance.

The heavily sloped hood ending in a much larger front grill that the new four-wheel-drives got last year comes across in the new front wheel assist machines.

The shape improves the ability of the operator to see the ground below, while the big grill holds larger cooling components needed for the new Cummins Tier 4i engine with its exhaust gas recirculation and variable geometry turbo systems.

Those cooling components self-clean every 20 minutes by automatic fan-reversing.

“It is Tier 4 compliant and there’s no DEF fluid. Farmers don’t like to deal with it, and with these tractors they don’t,” said Keith Mitsdarffer of Versatile at California’s World Ag Expo.

He said the machines’ smoothly pinched-in hood and formed front frame rails allow for the steering tires to turn more sharply.

“The machine can turn far more sharply than the models it replaces,” he said.

“It is kind of shocking when you first make a tight turn. It has a longer wheelbase than the old one, so you really notice it. Useful for 310 horse tractor that might see some serious (seeding) time.”

The standard flow hydraulic system is 55 U.S. gallons per minute for large air seeders and other high-consuming hydraulic fluid suckers, with a 75 gallon per minute option.

The extra large cab is shared by the fleet, coming from the big four-wheel-drives and will make an appearance on the new self-propelled sprayer when it debuts, likely in the fall.

Farmers can plug into 110 volt AC and 5v USB or the four 12v sockets. USB power in the cab and leather seats are an option.

The new armrest console swivels with the seat and provides finger-tip controls for the electronic over hydraulic system and a seven inch terminal display. The training seat is nearly as large as the operator’s seat of the 1990s.

The tractors are available in 260, 290 and 310 horsepower.

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