Big tractors are getting more powerful and small tractors more comfortable for 2011. The big news coming from tractor makers this year is the rollout of Tier IV engines for high-horsepower equipment, while compact and mid-size tractor manufacturers expanded horsepower offerings and introduced more creature comforts.

Both Case IH and New Holland joined AGCO in introducing Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) Tier IV technology, and John Deere countered with its Exhaust Gas Recirculation design. Both technologies meet EPA’s requirements for lower NOx and particulate matter (soot) emissions. Both New Holland and Case IH will also offer the biggest and most powerful tractors they’ve ever built designed by Fiat Power Train.

New HollandAbe Hughes, vice president sales & marketing announced that NEW HOLLAND’S new T9 Series 4WD represents the biggest, most powerful tractors the company has ever offered. Available in two frame sizes, the standard frame T9.390, T9.450, T9.505 and T9.560 models were developed especially for row-crop work, and pack 350-500 hp in a 36-inch-wide frame. The wider frame T9.615 and T9.670 models, with rated power of 535 and 600 hp, feature a new, well-balanced chassis that delivers more power to the ground for improved productivity in broad-acre applications.

Case iH SteigerCASE IH is also launching its newest generation of Steiger tractors with 390-660 peak hp. Three new models include narrow wheel tread settings needed by row-crop producers, along with three larger high-horsepower, wide-frame models built with to handle the world’s biggest and most productive broad-acre implements, says Mitch Kaiser, Case IH marketing manager for Steiger tractors.

He says that the 12.9-liter engine has been used in Steiger tractors for the past several years, and with the new SCR technology not only meets Tier 4a emission standards, but also improves fuel economy.

With an array of advanced technologies built in, JOHN DEERE calls its 8R and 8RT Series equipment the “smart tractor.” These include JDLink, which allows the tractor to send location operation and performance data via the web and cell phone for remote diagnosis of mechanical and electrical problems.

Other options available include ActiveCommand auto-steer, GreenStar 3 Command Center display with AutoTrac and Swath Control Pro application to eliminate the need for additional displays, reducing cab clutter.

“What makes the new these the most intelligent tractors available is not just the technology itself, but how that technology is integrated into simple-to-use controls in the cab that allow all skill levels of operators to increase productivity,” says Chad Hogan, division marketing manager.

At 305 engine hp, Adam Reid reported that VERSATILE is launching its biggest front-wheel assist tractor ever. Like Deere, Reid says it’s Cummins Tier IV engines will utilize EGR technology.

MCCORMICK USA introduced a new line of utility tractors aimed at material handling and general farming operations. The T-MAX Series features 3 models, including the T90 MAX, T100 MAX and T110 MAX offering 83-102 engine (70.5 to 86.5 PTO) horsepower.

The new line features a 4-cyl. Perkins 1104D Tier III compliant diesel engine with an innovative design that allows the air and the fuel to mix at the to ensure better combustion and efficiency. This results in higher power and torque backup with reduced running costs using a turbocharged after-cooled engine, according to Kurt Schenck, vice president of marketing for McCormick.

MAHINDRA USA made a splash with the launch of 13 new tractor models for 2011, including one of the lowest horsepower cab models available. “We’re adding 2 more cab models in 36 and 70 hp versions, beefing up our 30 Series 2WD utility tractors with Synchro-Shuttle functionality, and rounding out our 35 Series compact tractor line with HST and Power Shuttle options,” says Mike Hilderbrand of Mahindra USA.

TYM TractorTYM also unveiled its newest, smallest cab model. According to John Mickel, vice president of sales, models T233 HST and T293 HST are available with cabs and a host of other features not usually found on tractors smaller than 30 hp. They include an independent PTO switch that allows the operator to select between the rear or mid-PTO separated or simultaneously. This allows for the use of various implements, including a mid-mount mower.

>> Click here to read the rest of FE's 2010 Farm Progress report