VIDEO: Versatile gains traction with articulated tractor

REGINA — Versatile publicly unveiled its tracked, articulated tractor during Canada’s Farm Progress Show held June 19-21 in Regina.

The Delta Track uses a custom designed drive engineered by track maker Camoplast rather than an off the rack track.

However, it retains the durability and serviceability of the outboard planetary axles, for which the company’s tractors are known.

Adam Reid of Versatile said the tractor isn’t just one of the company’s large frame, four-wheel drives on which it has set tracks.

“This tractor was designed from the ground up to be a tracked machine,” he said.

“Our engineers and those at Camoplast worked together to develop the system. They know tracks, they’re one of the biggest in the industry. We wanted to take the best features of our tractors and marry all that knowledge together.”

Power flows to the ground through large, floating sun gears. Planetary hubs ride on heavy bearings mounted on the axle tubes. The load is held by the axle system rather than the drive train.

The drive sprocket receives 8.5 inch lugs, seven of which are engaged at all times.

“It helps avoid flexing and wear of the tracks,” said Reid.

Track systems typically use three mid-rollers, one of which falls directly below the drive sprocket. The middle mid-roller or bogie then pushes up against the drive wheel or transfers energy directly up to the axle.

“With only two of those idlers, it is a much smoother ride,” he said.

The company compared its machine to the Case IH Quadtrac during testing and said the new Delta Track provides as smooth a ride as the suspended cab Case.

Versatile uses polyurethane coated mid-rollers, for increased durability, compared to rubber rollers found in most track systems.

“The position of the two mid-rollers means the system has a better ability to roll over obstacles than systems with three,” he said.

“And should servicing need to be done in the field, the unit can be fully accessed and repaired right there.”

The final drives can be serviced without removing of the tracks.

Cabs, engines and transmissions are shared between the new tracked tractor and the large four-wheel drives. The Delta Track has a set of distinctive steel fuel tanks, compared to the black poly ones on the wheeled tractors.

A power take-off is in development, along with features such as a suspended cab.

“We’re not done with it when it comes to improvements. We have 10 out there right now and we are looking for producers’ feedback. That is the way we’ve always made our products better,” Reid said.

All three models of Delta Track use the Caterpillar TA22, 16-speed power shift transmission. The engine is the Cummins QSX 15 litre set to produce 450, 500 or 550 horsepower.

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