Now that it’s autumn, market analysts are looking for signs of recovery in many parts of the general and agricultural economies. A good gauge of this could come from the ag equipment suppliers, who tend to wait for sure positive signs before making major market moves.
Using this criteria, Duluth, CA-based AGCO Corp. is expecting big things in 2011. In late July, the company invited many members of the media to attend a 2011 product showcase in St. Paul, MN. Here, visitors got to see and hear about seven new and upgraded AGCO brands making their way to market in time for 2011. This included four with ag retail applications.
First up are a series of new models in the company’s popular RoGator self-propelled sprayer line, including the 1194H, 1194 and 1396. “The application business is changing all the time, so innovation and continuous improvement is critical to our customers’ success,” said Mark Sharitz, director of marketing for the AGCO Application Equipment Division. “Even though we introduced many significant enhancements in our 2010 RoGators, from larger product tanks to unmatched visibility on the road, we knew we couldn’t stop there.”
The 2011 RoGators feature a new drive system with two-piece construction — a hydraulic motor and separate gear reduction hub. This allows the systems to run cleaner, says Jim Lipscomb, business development specialist, AGCO Application Equipment, extending the life of the hydrostatic components. Other new features include a flexing C-channel frame to handle tough terrain, optional GatorTrak four-wheel steering and choice of boom options from 80- to 120-feet.
In addition to these extras, 2011 RoGators will also feature new tires. According to Michael Vandel, agriculture tire segment manager, Michelin North America Agricultural Tires, the Michelin SprayBib will now be the tire of choice for RoGator models.
This D-speed-rated radial tire is the only high-clearance sprayer tire that can carry 14,330 pounds at speeds up to 40 mph. “The new Michelin SprayBib tires flexes more than competitive products, and it runs at significantly lower air pressures,” said Vandel. “As a result, it delivers a larger footprint with more lugs in the soil, giving the operator better traction, less slippage, a better ride and the opportunity to get into the fields sooner without damage.”
With its popular TerraGator line, AGCO is planning to add models 6303 and 8303 in 2011. According to Sharitz, these units will feature the company’s Continuously Variable Transmission, SISU Power 8.4-liter diesel engines and several cab upgrades, including an adjustable floating armrest and a semi-active deluxe seat.
“From the frame to the application system, the TerraGator has historically been tougher than any other applicator on the market,” he said. “None of that has changed in the new model 6303 and 8303 machines. Our goal was to put even more brains to the brawn of the TerraGator.”
Speaking of brains, this is coming to AGCO application models in the way of the company’s AgCommand vehicle-tracking system. For years, AgCommand’s telematics-based data-recording has been used on AGCO’s combine lines to monitor machine location, operation and efficiency. But for 2011, the system will be made available for use on RoGators and TerraGators as well.
“Telemertry-based tracking is an emerging trend within agriculture that has the potential to help managers optimize the performance of their equipment and cover more ground more efficiently,” said Martin Melander, technology marketing specialist, Advanced Technology Solutions. “The AgCommand system collects GPS satellite location and machine performance every 60 seconds, allowing users to see where machines are, where they have been and the information collected at each interval. Machine data can then be sent via a modem over a cell phone network to a Web site that users can access at any time.”