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Challenger MT500E Series tractors unveiled at Jackson, MN, factory

Take a look inside the updated, user-friendly cab interior

When it comes to model numbers on its line of Challenger tractors, AGCO has kept with the tradition originally used by Caterpillar when it owned the brand. Each updated version gets a higher letter designation behind the model number. So when it pulled the wraps off the newest incarnation of the mid-range MT500s in a field near its Jackson, Minnesota, assembly plant, the new tractors were sporting an “E” designation.

The five-model line of MT500E tractors, which range from 185 to 255 engine horsepower, see a host of upgrades both inside and outside the cab.

Under the hood, they’re powered by Tier 4 Final versions of AGCO Power’s 6.6 and 7.4 litre, six cylinder diesels. Electronic waste-gate turbos and the new Engine Performance Management system (EPM) apparently provide faster warm up and cleaner combustion, eliminating the need for a diesel particulate filter.

“We’re continuing to use our AGCO Power 6.6 and 7.4 litre engines with this 500 series,” says Conor Bergin, marketing manager for high-horsepower tractors. “But what’s unique is we’ve now added a single-stage turbocharger in conjunction with an electronic waste gate. And that allows us to operate that tractor at lower RPMs with higher torque levels. It’s the ability to get a lot more work done in a day and do that with a lot more fuel efficiency.”

A blend of analog and digital gauges are used on the forward dash.

A blend of analog and digital gauges are used on the forward dash.
photo: Scott Garvey

To keep those diesels cool, the modified hood and grille design improve airflow. AGCO claims the new CYCLAIR cooling package boosts overall performance of the previous cooling system without increasing its size. But the A/C condenser does get a size boost to help keep the cab cool.

Buyers can chose to mate those AGCO Power engines with either a CVT or the brand’s Auto Power VI semi-powershift transmission. Hydraulic capacity gets an upgrade to a 50 GPM pump (with the CVT transmission) or a 29 or 39 GPM system with the semi-powershift.

For those who want a smoother ride, the suspended front axle option gets double the suspension travel range of the previous series. Frame mounted double-acting cylinders allow the operator to adjust the suspension characteristics.

“That allows for better movement left-to-right or right-to-left to ensure we’re always maintain constant contact with the ground for better tractive ability and, of course, a better ride for our customers,” says Bergin. “When ordered with front-axle suspension, that tractor will have the ability to go up to 33 MPH down the road. So you can get from field to field very quickly.”

For a virtual test drive in one of the new MT500E tractors, visit Equip TV at grainews.ca.

Take a look inside

Inside the cab of Agco’s MT500E tractors, the SIS (Setup and Information Screen) grows in size by 50 per cent and gets a substantial 10-fold increase in resolution. The forward dash is also nicer with a blend of analog and digital readouts. The tractors now come ready for integrated auto guidance with a simpler user interface, allowing first-time users to catch on more quickly.

MT500E cab interior

MT500E cab interior
photo: Scott Garvey

“We have a nice new dash display,” says Conor Bergin, marketing manager for high-horsepower track. “And our SIS system is a lot bigger, a lot brighter, it’s very easy to navigate through, set up different tractor features and tractor functions.”

About the author

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Scott Garvey

Scott Garvey is a freelance writer and video producer. He is also the former machinery editor at Grainews.

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