Like last season's AGCO tractors, the model number on the new RT series indicates PTO horsepower, with this year's models coming in at 100, 120, 135 and 150 PTO hp. But these RTs are quite different from last year's models. Some might say they've evolved.

There's a trend among tractor engineers to talk about “tractor DNA.” The catchphrase has nothing to do with genetically engineered tractors. Instead, it recognizes that individual tractor brands have unique characteristics, technologies, and even personalities. And, in an age of accelerated buyouts and acquisitions, it provides a convenient way to represent how those qualities can be transferred from one brand to another.

AGCO DNA

AGCO's big genetic experiment on tractors began when it changed labels on its White brand tractors to create AGCO brand tractors. More than just a change of paint, it was the start of an evolutionary process with the potential to combine the best characteristics of several brands. The gene pool is a deep one: AGCO has accumulated some notable tractor brands, including Massey Ferguson, White, Challenger, Fendt, and, most recently, Valtra.

Tracing the most recent gene transfer, it appears that Fendt has jumped the fence to share the pasture with the AGCO RT tractors. The new RTs have a different look, bigger engines, front 3-pt. hitch, front PTO and a smooth-shifting PowerMaxx CVT (continuously variable transmission) similar to the one on Fendt tractors. The new RTs deliver engine power to the ground more smoothly, quietly and efficiently via a wastegate turbocharger-equipped engine that uses fuel more efficiently.

The new design also allows a tighter turning radius, with improvements in front axle and cab suspension. The RTs integrate the 6.7-l, 6-cyl., liquid-cooled Cummins engine as part of the frame itself. This structural design reduces engine sound levels.

CVT transmission

The most notable feature is the new PowerMaxx CVT transmission. The RTs are the first of the AGCO tractor line to offer CVT. Just like the premium-priced Fendt tractors, CVT-equipped RTs will go from 0 to 32 mph while constantly adjusting for the most efficient combination of engine speed and transmission ratio, whatever the load. If you've never driven a CVT tractor, the experience is like farming with an automatic transmission, only better because of the precise engine and ground speed control afforded to the operator. John Deere introduced a similar option on its tractors last year, called IVT (infinitely variable transmission). Case IH introduced its version, called CVX, in Europe last year but has not yet done so in North America.

AGCO's PowerMaxx CVT is an option on all RT models equipped with power front axle. Ground speed is controlled by moving a speed lever forward or back on the right-hand console. Two preferred forward speeds can be set with console controls. Once set, the speeds are shown on a digital screen on the dash display. Another feature is foot pedal control. This allows control to be shifted from the armrest speed lever to a floor throttle. The Power Control shuttle lever mounted on the left side of the steering column controls speed and direction. Shuttle speed forward and reverse also can be preset. Activate the power shuttle, and the tractor will automatically slow, stop, reverse direction and then accelerate to the programmed speed shown on the dash display when at rated engine rpm. Acceleration and deceleration are smooth and extremely efficient due to the stepless variable-speed design.

If you don't want to pay extra for CVT, RTs with 2-wd or PFA also are available with the auto Quadrashift 32F × 32R transmission.This transmission combines four-speed powershift with eight-speed synchromesh technology. An electronic control system regulates clutch engagement to shift smoothly and reduce shock loads to the drivetrain.

Cab comfort

A completely redesigned cab comes as standard equipment on all new RTs. Models equipped with HydraMaxx front-axle suspension and AirMaxx pneumatic cab suspension are more efficient, stable and comfortable in and out of the field. Interior sound level is only 71 dB.

Other new options in comfort and control available with the new cab include climate control. Once a preferred temperature level is set, the cooling/heating system maintains the temperature at that level. Power-adjustable mirrors have a defrost feature.

Price range for the RT series of tractors is $59,895 to $118,934. For more information, contact AGCO Corp., 4205 River Green Pkwy., Duluth, GA 30096, 770/813-9200, visit www.agcocorp.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin.