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New “multi-purpose” tractors

Case IH’s new Optum tractors are aimed at squarely at forage and hay growers

Case IH has introduced a new two-model line of tractors designed to closely compliment its hay and forage equipment. The all-new, multipurpose Optum models are rated at 270 and 300 engine horsepower, giving them 240 and 270 on the PTO.

The brand has tailored the specifications of these machines exactly to the needs of forage growers and livestock producers, even giving the machines a more compact size in comparison to their horsepower ratings.

The Optum “was born on the foundation of the PUMA tractor, but it’s much more than just a higher horsepower version of the PUMA tractor,” said Case IH marketing manager, Dave Bogan, at the U.S. Farm Progress Show in Illinois in August.

The Optum, he said, is a preview of what’s to come. “The first thing you notice is the dramatic new styling. This is a new style that’s going to permeate the entire Case line in the coming years.”

The hood and grille have been redesigned, and lighting has been upgraded to LED.

In the cab, there are new seat options, including ventilated (HVAC cooling) leather.

“We have the same 6.7 litre engine, but we beefed it up and gave it some more horsepower. We did that through electronic variable geometry turbocharge that’s available in these tractors,” Bogan said.

In the rear, Case IH has increased the hydraulic flow: “43 g.p.m. (162 l/min) is standard,” Bogan said. “You can opt up to 55.5 (210 litres), which is going to be very useful for some of our planters and tillage operations.”

The Optum comes autoguidance-ready, and its Class 3 ISOBUS compatibility enables it to work with all implements that use that technology. There are also hydraulic, electrically activated brakes, with an anti-lock brake system, “just like you have in your car.”

Bogan referred to the new Optum as a “Fendt Defender” designed to compete in the market with the high-spec, German-built Fendt tractors.

“Fendt’s really trying to make inroads, and they are making inroads, especially up in the northeast, especially with our French Canadian friends.”

As for the Optum, Bogan said, “the French Canadians are ecstatic about this tractor.”

This tractor might not be a fit for your grain farm now, but, as Bogan says, “Who knows what it might develop into? Especially with some of those features.” †

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