With updates to its legendary Maxxum range of tractors, and a new name to its line-up of tractors, Case IH has been busy fettling its small and medium machines. James Rickard reports.
Luxxum. It might sound like a brand of soap, but it is actually a new name in Case IH’s tractor line-up, given to what was formerly known as the Farmall U Pro range of tractors.
Outgrowing the Farmall family in terms of specification, Case IH felt the U Pro needed a new name to differentiate it from the lower-spec, more utilitarian Farmall A, C and U models.
In addition, the manufacturer hopes the new naming will make it easier for customers and dealers to see the differences in its tractor ranges. If nothing else, it is less of a mouthful than the old name, unlike the experience you may have if you visit a certain club in Munich with the same name.
More importantly, the Luxxum takes on the mantel as Case IH’s high-spec compact offering. Three models make up the range; the 100, 110 and 120 (see panel for power ratings), with full availability in Q1 of next year.
Apart from the name, what has changed? Key updates include a new armrest controller, automised transmission, a new front axle suspension offering and cleaner engines.
|Rated engine power at 2,200rpm||99||107||117|
|Maimum torque at 1,500rpm||430||468||491|
Taking inspiration from its larger tractors, operators will now be greeted with a new Multicontroller armrest control, replacing the old gear lever which was used to shift between ranges.
Integrated into the armrest is a new fixed lever, or ‘grip,’ which takes care of all primary tractor functions such as transmission, hydraulics, engine and linkage. Adjacent to this is a new electric joystick control lever which can be used to operate a loader, the front hydraulic services or the rear services. Also included in the joystick are buttons for changing powershifts and de-clutching.
If you are inclined to exit the tractor through the right hand door, the armrest does fold up out of the way.
As an option, a mechanical joystick to operate the loader can be specified, as can Case IH’s AFS 300 terminal which is IsoBus class two-compliant and can be used for section control, for example. However, the tractor cannot be specified with integrated, automatic steering.
As before, the tractor uses a 32 by 32 transmission comprising two main, high and low ranges, changed by a mechanical lever, incorporated into which are four more ranges with four powershifts in each.
Developments to the transmission now include two automatic modes; field and road. Field mode allows the powershifts to change automatically within the range, while road mode (only available in the main high range) also includes automatic changing of the four ranges.
Delve into the dash settings and you can also limit which gears are automatically shifted through, and you can programme a start up gear for the road mode.
A split throttle allows you to alter the transmission characteristics, i.e. when it automatically changes gear, from short shifting to save fuel, through to full power mode. For economy, the transmission can achieve 40kph at 1,750rpm.
Shuttle aggression can now also be altered in three settings; soft, medium and hard, selected via a three-way rocker switch.
Up front is a new, optional front axle suspension system – the same system which is used on the larger Maxxum tractors. It too has been improved which now gets an extra accumulator for a smoother ride and increased traction.
Suspension softness can be altered in three settings and it can be manually controlled to raise and lower the nose of the tractor, useful if trying to line up when attaching a loader, for example.
Above 12kph, the suspension system is automatically activated, and its new found beefiness means the tractor’s total permissible weight is upped to eight tonnes.
In addition, larger rear tyres can now be fitted, up to 600/60 R38.
Hydraulic options include 80 or 100l/min closed circuit load sensing pumps. With the 80l/min versions, mechanical-only hydraulic controls are fitted, while 100l/min models can be specified with mechanical or electrical.
Loader-wise, the Luxxum can now accommodate an 80cm wider loader frame for improved stability and visibility, says Case IH.
Fitting in with the Luxxum’s pint sized proportions is a new Stage 4 compliant engine from sister manufacturer, FPT.
The four-cylinder, 3.4-litre unit uses a combination of selective catalytic reduction and cooled exhaust gas recirculation to clean up emissions.
However, FPT says, unlike its competitors which typically recirculate between 15 and 20 per cent exhaust gasses back through the engine, this motor only recirculates a maximum of 10 per cent. In turn, it means less cooling is required to cool the engine.
Instead of two valves per cylinder, four are now used, and the pressure in the engine’s common rail injection system has also been increased to 1,800bar, for improved combustion, says FPT.
For prompt reaction to changing loads, a waste gate turbocharger is employed. Maximum torque is also up by 7 per cent, now 490Nm available at 1,500rpm on the 120 model, and maximum power is available from 1,900rpm plus.
Engine oil changes are up to 600 hour service intervals.
Adopting the styling from the new Optum range of tractors, Case IH’s venerable Maxxum range has undergone a refresh.
As well as now meeting Stage 4 emissions regulations using the firm’s Hi-eSCR system using AdBlue and a diesel oxidation catalyst, Maxxums also get a change in wheelbase, a new roof design, an updated headland management system and a boost to class three IsoBus compatibility.
Five models from 116hp to 145hp (145hp to 175hp boosted) make up the range; four, four-cylinder machines and now only one six-potter, which represents the top of the range 150 model.
While power levels for the range could easily be achieved using four-cylinder engines, a six-cylinder has been retained for its ‘low-down’ torque characteristics, and partly to keep six pot fans happy.
In addition, all wheelbases are the same, regardless of using four- or six-cylinder engines. And to match the six cylinder models length, the four cylinder variants have been fitted with a 26cm spacer between the engine and transmission. Benefits, according to Case IH, include better stability, balance and traction. And even though the four cylinder tractors are now longer than their predecessors, the same turning circle is still maintained.
Each model is available in one of three spec levels; Maxxum which features mechanical spool control and a simplified armrest, Maxxum Multicontroller with integrated armrest controls, and Maxxum CVX with a continuously variable transmission (not available on the 150, six-cylinder model).
As mentioned with the Luxxum, uprated front suspension offers improved comfort and traction, while cab updates include a new roof design, which can incorporate up to 16 LED work lights, and a new, one-piece windscreen.
Its new HMC II headland management system allows sequences to be either pre-programmed or recorded, which can be later edited.
Finally, all Maxxums now come guidance-ready, and class three IsoBus certification means an implement can now ‘tell’ the tractor what to do, such as a rate control system on a baler which will automatically instruct the tractor what speed to work at.