Now you can find McCormick tractors at local equipment dealers instead of just antique tractor shows. Selected Vermeer Manufacturing dealers and other ag equipment retailers are selling 2002 models of four new McCormick tractor lines that range in size from 53 to 176 hp. The tractors feature a low-profile design, high-quality components and a bright red color.

The familiar McCormick name returns to the U.S. market as the result of a divestiture agreement made when Fiat purchased Case Corporation, merged it with New Holland, and formed CNH. Fiat was required to sell the McCormick name and Case’s manufacturing plant at Doncaster, England. The Landini Corporation bought both and became the fourth largest tractor manufacturer in the world as a result. Last year, Landini created McCormick Tractors International and located it in Doncaster.

Both McCormick and Case brand tractors are manufactured in the Doncaster plant until the end of 2002. After that, the plant will make only the McCormick tractors.

Vermeer alliance. The newly formed McCormick Tractors International sought an alliance partner in the U.S. to sell and service its machines. According to Joe Michaels, McCormick general manager, the company chose Vermeer because of its strong dealer network, lack of a tractor line and heavy livestock focus. The first tractors marketed with medium horsepower are targeted to livestock producers.

“Vermeer is positioned well in livestock with its hay background,” Michaels explains. “We’ve already talked to Vermeer dealers who may partner with us. However, we know not every Vermeer dealer is prepared to take on this level of commitment.” For that reason, Michaels also is recruiting other dealers who are familiar with the product line to sell McCormick.

The Vermeer operation in Pella, IA, will handle parts support and whole-goods logistics for McCormick. McCormick will run marketing, sales and customer service.

How unique? The big question from growers is how the McCormick lines differ from Case tractors. McCormick states that although the lines parallel current Case tractors, there are differences. For example, the 6-cyl. McCormick tractor features a Perkins engine, not a Cummins. And the 118- to 176-hp MTX tractors include a full Speed Sequencer transmission. The company promises the tractors will be unique to the McCormick line within a year.

The first four lines of McCormick tractors are the CX, C, MC and MTX series. In the spring, the company will introduce another line featuring 40 to 50 hp tractors. And next year, McCormick plans to round out its tractor selection on the high end with a series topping at 250 hp.

CX series. The smallest of the three McCormick lines, the CX series is designed for hay, row crops and front-end loader operations. Featuring a high-torque, 4-cyl., diesel Perkins engine, the tractors are available in 73, 84, 90 and 102 hp. Synchromesh shuttle transmissions along with powershift speed and creep speed control systems make the tractors productive and easy to control. A 4-wd front axle gives good ground clearance and high load capacity. A 2-wd option is available on most models. Suggested retail price range: $32,600 to $48,900

C-series. This line is similar to the CX series, but pared down. Two models, a 70- and 100-hp, are included in this line. Prices range from $24,200 to $37,6700.

MC series. Calling it a compact workhorse, McCormick states the MC series is built for power, speed, rugged reliability and tight turns. The 4-wd tractors provide just 14.3- to 14.7-ft. turning radiuses without brakes, depending on the model. Turbocharged, 4-cyl., diesel Perkins engines power the tractors that come in 90, 102 and 115 hp. The MC series tractors come with a spacious cab, four-speed power shift and power shuttle. Retail price range: $54,400 to $66,000.

MTX series. Offering more power, the MTX series provides top operator ease and comfort, a smooth transmission, responsive hydraulics and top power, according to McCormick. Five 6-cyl. models, with 118, 132, 147, 163 and 176 hp, make up the MTX line. The 4-wd models are standard-equipped with turbocharged Perkins engines. Retail price range: $69,700 to $98,400.

No clutch, on-the-go shifting occurs with a four-range, four-speed powershift transmission. Growers may add a creep speed transmission as an option. Also available is the Speed Sequencer that allows operators to change speeds and ranges with the flick of a switch. A large cab with wide front window and wraparound side windows provides good visibility. An independent, front-axle suspension creates a smooth ride.

For more information, contact McCormick, Dept. FIN, Box 81, Pella, IA 50219, 866/327-6733, www.mccormickusa.com.