Modern tractors need to offer high power to weight ratios which allows them to show versatility by carrying out PTO operations such as rotary hoeing or powering triple mowers, transport duties as required but they also add weight when required for all- important draft work.
Case IH sits in an enviable position of having two great tractors that fall into this sector, with the well -known Puma, and the new kid on the block, the Case Optum.
The Optum is the brawn of the brace and is said to offer the power of the mighty Magnum, with the manoeuvrability of the Puma, with a choice of 270 or 310hp from a 6.7 litre FPT engine, which interestingly differs from the pack by offering rated horsepower at all times and doesn’t rely on power boost. Tier 4 emissions standards are met with the HI-eSCR system which does away with heat inducing Exhaust Gas Recirculation, or Diesel Particulate Filters. Featuring a load bearing sump which does away with chassis rails, turning tightly on the headland belies the tractor’s size making it suitable for the high demand PTO user, whilst its ability to be fully weighted to 16 tonnes opens the door to cultivation work. Coupled to the legendary Case IH CVT transmission, and the integral APM, fuel savings of up to 25% can be achieved by running at the least possible engine revs whilst maintaining speed, while on the flipside a new exhaust brake system lends itself to haulage work, and improves braking efficiency by up to 40%.
The SurroundVision cab offers 360 degree vision which is improved by the one-piece windscreen, and driver comfort is right up there with the Grammer Evolution seat which senses movements up to 500 times per second and moves in both vertical and lateral directions. Operator friendly controls sees an easy to use headland management system, a large screen which supports ISOBUS implements, and a must with a big tractor, electrically adjusted rear view mirrors. A choice of trim levels sees Classic or Ultimate specification, with the latter offering front linkage/PTO as part of the standard build and a luxurious leather appointed seat.
The Puma series takes the form of two layouts the Short Wheelbase with 140 to 160hp, and the Long Wheelbase version pushing out 165 to 240hp. Using the same 6.7 litre FPT engine as its bigger sibling, the electronic common rail engine offers up to 35hp “power boost” in high speed work, PTO use, or when there is demand from the hydraulic system. A choice of transmission offers a full powershift with 19F/6R speeds or the renowned CVT option offering step-less speed control from 0 to 50kph, and suited to tasks such as harvesting where precise adjustments are required.
For the 2017 season product improvements take the form of evolution rather than revolution with subtle upgrades that enhance the overall package. Take a look at the new cab roof which incorporates 360 degree LED lighting for long working days, and combines with the one piece front screen for excellent visibility. The Grammer Evolution seat is carried over from the larger Optum, and headland management takes a leap forward with HMC 2, for easy set-up, recording and editing of sequences, which are displayed on the plus sized PRO 700 touch screen monitor. Of course the final choice is yours, keep it subtle with Classic specification, or take Ultimate to make sure all bases are covered.