The 2017 Tractor of the Year title has been awarded to Case IH for its Optum 300 CVX tractor, a result that acknowledges the marque’s focus on farmers’ commitment to soil care and fuel efficiency. Awarded by a judging panel from some of Europe’s most important agricultural journals, the accolade acknowledges the importance of the high power/compact Optum CVX tractor which fits in the growing customer segment
“Following the Machine of the Year 2016 award won by the Optum, this Tractor of the Year title shows the recognition across the European agricultural press that the Optum design and features represents a significant advancement in tractor technology,” says Dan Stuart, Case IH high-hp tractor product marketing manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Optum CVX is positioned between the US-built Magnum and our Puma range, which like the Optum CVX is built in St Valentin, Austria. We have created a totally new, strong yet lighter weight design, with new strong front axle and structural engine oil sump design, to meet demands for customer requiring a 250-300hp tractor with a high power-to-weight ratio in a compact, manoeuvrable layout.
That means it’s well-suited to tasks where high power is essential but weight less so – such as working with large mowers, for example, where it’s important to protect the sward. But for jobs where traction and grip are the critical factor, such as heavy cultivations, Optum CVX can be weighted to make it as capable as any ordinary tractor of this power. And for road transport, the Optum can be ballasted according to the weight of the load it is pulling, for maximum safety and fuel efficiency.
Driving through the continuously-variable Case IH CVX transmission, the Hi-eSCR equipped FPT 6.7-litre six-cylinder engine in the Optum CVX is built around a structural sump. While the tractor’s typical unladen weight is 11,000kg, this design allows for a maximum gross vehicle weight of 16,000kg. Further fuel-saving features include idle speed management, cutting engine speed from 850rpm to 650rpm if the tractor stands still without moving for two minutes.
The result is a tractor that protects the soil, in that it can be operated at a weight that suits the work. It protects the owner’s business from the tyre and component wear that can occur when a heavy tractor is used for lighter field or transport tasks. And it protects against high fuel consumption, as proven by DLG Powermix test results of 249 g/kWh. The Tractor of the Year award shows how important those characteristics are considered to be in modern agriculture.