Tractor cabs have reached a whole new level of comfort. New models for 2012 incorporate the best features from home to your glass palace in the field.
You’ll see redesigned control arms that move with the seat. Touch-screen display consoles, capable of streaming live video. Heated seats that swivel. Remote vehicle-monitoring systems. Automatic climate control. Wireless Internet. Intelligent cab suspension. Hookups for MP3s. USB ports and Bluetooth technology. Even a refrigerator under the seat to keep your drinks cold.
Tractor introductions were rampant this year because of the new engine requirements, which basically required a rebuild of the tractor frame. Manufacturers took the opportunity to revamp the cabs of these tractors to make the ancillary price hikes less painful.
Here’s a preview of the creature comforts you’ll get with your next tractor purchase.
Fendt x5 cab
This year German-made Fendt tractors were equipped with an all-new cab called the Fendt “x5.” The cab is named for the five extras it provides in visibility, space, climate control, comfort and controls.
Fendt is the only tractor available with a reversing operator station. This option allows the front console, driver station and dash to rotate 180 degrees during jobs such as mowing, grading, snow blowing and tree shearing. Low lines of sight have improved visibility, and the front and side windows are now tinted to reduce eye strain.
For improved ride, all Fendt tractors can be ordered with mechanical three-point cab suspension as well as front-axle suspension featuring Fendt Stability Control that helps to keep the machine level at higher speeds. Customers can option up to pneumatic cab suspension and active seat suspension.
Tractor and implement controls are located on an adjustable, ergonomic right-hand armrest featuring a standard 10.4-in. touch-screen monitor. The monitor has up to four split screens so you can view multiple operations at once, including those captured on video camera. Data on the display can be recorded, stored and transferred to an office PC for analysis.
Cab temperature is controlled by an automatic air-conditioning system with an operator-selected preset and an optional seat heater for warmth. Other features include an air-conditioned cool box, USB power and service-supply jacks for mobile phones and media players.
For more information visit your Fendt dealer or visit www.fendt.com/us.
Challenger Pinnacle View cab
At its August product launch, Challenger unveiled the new MT500D Series tractors featuring a redesigned cab with a number of new updates to enhance operator comfort and control. A cleaner six-post construction provides for panoramic visibility. The rear window is now curved to allow for a three-quarter view in back. Noise has been reduced to 71 dBA. A wider cab has made room for a swivel armrest. The doorway also was widened to improve cab access.
Another new feature on the MT500D is OptiRide Plus hydraulic cab suspension. It works with an air-suspended seat to control bounce, rolling and pitching. The suspension system consists of an electronic control unit that relays leveling information to hydraulic cylinders that automatically adjust the tension.
Cab controls also were improved. An ergonomically designed right-hand control armrest, combined with a new multi-pad control and new multifunction joystick, provide fingertip control of all tractor and implement functions. The Tractor Management Center (TMC) is mounted on the armrest and now has a single, easy-to-read display screen that lets you monitor and adjust more tractor and implement settings. The display complies with the international standard for electronic communications called ISOBUS so that any compliant tractor can communicate to any compliant implement, no matter the manufacturer.
The cab comes prewired for autosteering and a new telemetry system called AgCommand that lets you remotely monitor your vehicle fleet to improve machine performance.
For more information about the new Challenger MT500D Series, contact your local Challenger dealer or visit www.challenger-ag.com.
Massey Ferguson cab
In August AGCO released the new Massey Ferguson 7600 Series high-horsepower row-crop tractors that feature an all-new cab, also found on the Challenger MT500D.
The cab has what Massey Ferguson describes as “a purposeful layout and intuitively placed instrumentation.” All key tractor and implement functions are controlled from a right-hand, seat-mounted control arm with a new multi-pad control and multifunction joystick. Each is designed to be comfortable, ergonomic and easy to reach. Incorporated in the control arm is a video-capable Datatronic CCD display screen, where you can monitor and adjust tractor and implement settings. The display screen meets the ISO standard so that it can communicate with any ISOBUS-compliant implement.
The company says a clean, six-post structure allows for a panoramic view of the field. Rubber mounts and padding are incorporated into the frame to keep noise down to just 71 dBA.
An air-suspended swivel seat comes standard. Operators can upgrade to hydraulic cab suspension called OptiRide Plus. This system sends electronic signals to hydraulic cylinders and automatically adjusts to control bounce, rolling and pitching for a more comfortable ride. Operators also can choose either semi-active or standard reactive damping.
For more information, contact your local Massey Ferguson dealer or visit www.masseyferguson.us/products/tractors.
This year, Canadian tractor maker Versatile broke the record on available cab space with the launch of two new families of 4-wd tractors. The new cab has 20% more space than previous models and 14% more window glass. The glass, measuring 85.9 sq. ft., offers a panoramic view and is curved to keep sound levels down.
The larger cab has freed up space for a high-definition, 7-in. display screen that controls the Versatile Precision Ag GPS system. It also gives a digital readout of speed, 3-pt. hitch, slip and acres covered. An adjustable right-hand console contains the controls for the tractor and implement. A single button in the middle of the console, called the “super button,” controls headland management functions such as acceleration, engine speed, transmission speed and hitch lift.
New convenience features include four cup holders, a lunch-size storage compartment, and contoured training seat that folds up into a work surface. Ten eyeball vents, placed in a circle, create a “mini-hurricane” to keep the driver cool and prevent the windows from fogging. The cab comes wired with four 12v outlets, a 5v USB port and a Bluetooth connection.
For more information, visit www.versatile-ag.com.
John Deere CommandView II cab
In 2009, John Deere came out with a brand-new cab called CommandView II, first featured on its 8R Series tractors. This year the company has incorporated the new cab in all of its large tractor series, including the 6R, 7R, and 9R Series.
Deere describes this latest iteration of CommandView as “spacious and sleek,” with 10% more space than the previous CommandView cab and four times the storage space. It comes with a premium sound package, redesigned control arm, video-capable touch-screen display and instructor seat that converts into a desk for your laptop.
Deere beefed up the air conditioning by putting the unit back on the roof (where it used to be) and installing 10 vents around the operator for added comfort. The result is similar to going from a window air conditioner to central air, Deere says.
The company also improved the operator's view by adding 7% more glass area and repositioning cab supports. A new lighting package offers 360-degree vehicle illumination to reduce eye strain at night. Right-hand steps also have been added for easy access to the right side of the tractor.
An option on these tractors is an adaptive hydraulic cab suspension system called ActiveSeat. The system reads multiple tractor inputs and actively makes adjustments to control for bounce. Track models feature an AirCushion suspension system, which automatically adjusts to improve traction and ride.
All of the tractors now come prewired for autosteer and are telemetry-capable for wireless communication. Another new option is ActiveCommand Steering (ACS), which is designed to compensate for oversteering and to give the driver more control at higher road speeds.
For more information, contact your local John Deere dealer or visit www.JohnDeere.com.
New Holland cab
New Holland has now outfitted all of its high-horsepower tractors with a brand-new cab equipped with features previously offered only on its self-propelled forage harvesters and combines. A new SideWinder II armrest now glides forward or back electronically to stay within the driver’s reach. Incorporated in the armrest is the CommandGrip multifunction control lever and the IntelliView IV touch-screen monitor, which is the first on the market to integrate both tractor and implement controls and autoguidance.
The company describes the cab environment as “super quiet and spacious, offering 109.5 cu. Ft. of interior space. Ride has been improved with the option of ComfortRide cab suspension, an industry-first on a 4-wd. On front-wheel-assist models, front-axle suspension is offered in addition to cab suspension to handle rough terrain and allow for tight, 55-degree turns.
For more information, contact your local New Holland dealer or visit www.newholland.com/na.
Case IH Surveyor cab
Case IH unveiled its upgraded Surveyor cab last year with the launch of its new Steiger and Magnum tractors. The hallmark of the new cab is a new MultiControl armrest designed by farmers. The control arm gives the operator fingertip control of six key functions: engine throttle, up/down shift, forward/reverse shuttle, hydraulic remote valves, 3-pt. hitch and the automatic end-of-row function. Autoguidance is controlled from an optional AFS Pro 700 display.
Controls that used to be located in the middle of the headliner have been moved to the right so that the operator doesn’t have to reach as much to adjust heating, air conditioning or the sound system.
To reduce jarring and bouncing during fieldwork, cabs can now be optionally equipped with a suspended cab that stabilizes front-to-back, side-to-side and up-and-down motions with four torsion springs on each corner of the cab.
Case IH says the inside of the tractor cab “is about as quiet as the inside of a sedan on the highway” so you can listen to the radio or use a mobile phone while driving. Elevated footrests let you stretch your legs. Storage has been added along with extra outlets to accommodate cellphones, laptops and MP3 players. Other enhancements include frameless cab doors and latching mechanisms, staircase steps, wall-to-wall carpeting and a high-performance leather seat that swivels 40 degrees for a clear view of the implement.
For more information, contact your Case IH dealer or visit www.caseih.com.