Case IH is marking 20 years since the introduction of the Quadtrac, the world’s first high-hp articulated rubber-tracked tractor, by offering a special anniversary colour scheme on all Quadtrac 620 models ordered before November 30, 2016. The livery reflects the styling of the original 360hp model launched in 1996.
Developed from the articulated tractor knowledge inherited by Case IH when it acquired high-hp specialist Steiger and its Fargo, North Dakota factory in 1986, Quadtrac development began in the late 1980s, when engineers began studying headland-scrubbing and traction-loss problems associated with turning twin-track differentially-steered rubber tracked crawlers, plus loss of ground contact when traversing undulating ground.
Articulated steering and four triangular pivoting tracks were found to be the best way of addressing this, and the first public showing of a Quadtrac prototype, based on a 300hp Case IH 9150, was at the 1992 US Farm Progress Show in Columbus, Indiana. As development work progressed, the tractor platform was upgraded to a 300hp 9250 and then a 335hp 9270, while cable-reinforced tracks and a patented sealed mid-roller design were designed to allow faster road travel of up to 40km/hr (25mph).
Based on a 360hp 9370 tractor, the production Quadtrac was launched in September 1996, also at the US Farm Progress Show, this time held in Amana, Iowa. The machine then made its European debut the following February at the SIMA show in Paris. UK farmers got their first glimpse of the Quadtrac at the open day of Cambs Case IH dealer Collings Bros, and later that year at Cereals ’97. The first UK sale was to CWS Agriculture’s Essex Farms estate at Ongar.
In 1998, the 360hp Quadtrac was joined by a 400hp model, with the machines latterly gaining 9370 and 9380 model designations. Two years later the range was replaced by an all-new 375-440hp STX line with new cab and styling. Since then, while finding favour on large farms worldwide, Quadtracs have also been used to twice break the world 24-hour ploughing record, most recently in 2005, when an STX500 and Gregoire Besson 20-furrow reversible covered 320.5ha (792ac). Further records achieved have included a charity gathering on July 28, 2012, of 50 Quadtracs in one Lincs field to raise money for Cancer Research.
Today, the range offered to UK farmers spans five models from 525-692hp, and while competitive machines are now available, Quadtracs retain unique design features such as their triple mid-roller design for full load bearing along the track, plus proven drivetrains and 20 years of manufacturer and dealer knowledge.
“Although the Quadtrac 620, with a maximum output of 697hp, is our largest model, it’s also one of our biggest sellers,” says Paul Freeman of Case IH.
“We’re proud of the success Quadtrac has had here in the UK, and we know that those who run Quadtracs take pride in owning and operating them. That’s why we’ve decided to offer this special edition Quadtrac 620, with matt black bonnet and cab frame, plus special decals, on all orders placed before November 30.”