The styling is certainly different for the hood and grille on Challenger’s next-generation MT700 Series track tractors and as you take a closer look, tick off this list of changes as well: engine, transmission, undercarriage, and hydraulics.
Challenger is fighting to gain back some its worldwide market share lost to other big badges and also to its own stablemate with the Fendt 1000 Series expected to be sold in preference to the Challenger badged 1000 Series models in many European markets at least.
The three track models in the MT700 Series have power ranging from 279 to 317kW (380 to 431hp), bringing them into line with Tier 4F emissions regulations. All are anchored by an AGCO Power 9.8-litre 7-cylinder diesel engine equipped with concentric air systems (CAS). These models will replace the previous 261 to 298kW (355 to 405hp) MT700E Series.
Operators will also be rewarded with an AccuDrive powertrain that offers a smooth, seamless speed control of the Challenger Accu-VT continuously variable transmission. This is a major upgrade over the previous Caterpillar sourced 16F/4R powershift transmission. Top speed is 40kph.
The upgraded hydraulic system also offers greater flow at lower engine rpm with the aim to reduce fuel cost. Instead of operators running at full throttle to meet the hydraulic needs, the AccuDrive system allows full 220-lit/min output at 1700rpm.
The Challenger MT700 Series is also claiming another first with this two-track machine offering a MaxxRide integrated comfort system that incorporates three stages of suspension and oscillating mid-rise. This allows the tracks to precisely contour to the ground over furrows and humps. Operators will find a greater ride quality in the paddock, and improved handling at higher road speeds.
The primary suspension has been redesigned with rugged coil springs and high-capacity shock absorbers, while the MobilTrac system has been improved by moving the hardbar further forward. This provides a longer wheelbase and more stability.
The steel hardbar acts as a front axle. It is attached to the forward point of the roller frame and providing up to 11-degress of oscillation, to improve the ride but to also minimise compaction. The pivoting carrier attached to the roller frame is now incorporated with the Tri–Bogie suspension.
There is a two-point cab suspension system on the MT700 Series. This offers increased suspension at the rear of the cab, as it absorbs and dissipates the vibration from the ground through the rear axle.
Operators will soak-up the air-ride seat set in spacious and comfortable surroundings that offer more legroom and interior space. Nearby is a 264mm (10.4-inch) touch-screen AccuTerminal that allows the operator to manage all tractor settings and adjustments. This includes the monitoring and control ISOBUS compatible implements, camera functions, paddock documentation, variable rate applications, guidance and wireless data transfer, and the headland management system.
Other operator functions are gleaned from the Advantage armrest and joystick, and a color-coded keypad for concise control puts all task mastering within easy reach for more precise operation.