For 175 years, agricultural equipment from Case IH has been helping ag retailers and their grower-customers work the land across the globe to produce crops. In honor of this milestone, the Racine, WI-based company recently had members of the media attend a special field day event at the Farm Progress fairgrounds in Boone, IA.
“This is a very exciting year for us, the 175th anniversary of Case IH,” said Sy Stevens, Brand Communications Manager, at the event on July 31. “Welcome to our new permanent structure here at the Farm Progress grounds in Boone. And we will also have new permanent structures at the Farm Progress fairgrounds in Decatur, IL, and at the site of Husker Harvest Days [in Grand Island, NE].”
Jim Walker, Vice President, Case IH North America, talked even more in-depth about the company’s long history and its accomplishments in agriculture over the decades. “Over 175 years of history, our brand has evolved into what it is today,” said Walker.
According to a timeline presented to attendees by Walker, the company’s beginnings are closely linked with those of the American economy, as pioneers moved West and new farms were established to feed the growing population centers in the East. In 1869, Case manufactured the first steam engine tractor, which, although wheel-mounted, was drawn by horses and used only to power other machines. In 1876, Case built the first self-propelled traction steam engine. As steam engines quickly replaced horses for threshing, the J.I. Case Threshing Machine Company became the world’s largest producer of steam engines by 1886.
In 1902, five companies merged to form the International Harvester Company in Chicago, IL. The company produced its first combine harvester in 1915 and, in 1923, introduced the Farmall, the world’s first row crop tractor. International Harvester sold more than 5 million Farmall tractors and, in 1977, launched the unique single-rotor Axial-Flow rotary combine. Case IH was formed in 1985 when J.I. Case acquired the agricultural division of International Harvester, uniting the legacies of Case and IH into a single brand.
Most recently, said Walker, Case IH continued its commitment to furthering agricultural machine technology when the company debuted the automatous tractor during the 2016 trade show season. “This automatous vehicle was our way to show all the different, forward-thinking technologies that are now available for agriculture,” he said.
A Combination Unit
For the 2017-18 season, Case IH is introducing several new products featured at the Field Day event. These includes various new tractors and planters for growers.
For the ag retail marketplace, the company is introducing the Trident 5550. “Efficient use of capital and resources is a priority for everyone in agriculture these days,” said Mark Burns, Case IH Application Equipment Marketing Manager. “So is timely application and nutrient delivery. The Trident 5550 combination applicator delivers on both fronts.”
The No. 1 on the priority list for Case IH, Burns said, was to design a true combination applicator from the ground up. “Other so-called combination applicators simply are adaptations of an existing spray rig or other application equipment,” Burns explained. “The Trident 5550 is an all-new, single-chassis applicator that quickly converts from liquid to dry and back to liquid, making it a valuable piece of equipment across three seasons of use.”
A combination applicator that takes several employees the better part of the day to convert isn’t a true combination applicator, Burns said. Fast changeover times for the Trident 5550 combination applicator starts with the new Case IH Aerial Lift Device. “We’ve switched the Trident 5550 from liquid to dry in as little as 42 minutes with three people — and that was outside using a telescoping telehandler,” he said.
The Trident 5550 combination applicator features the optional New Leader NL4500T G4 Edge variable-rate dry nutrient applicator and a new level of precision dry-product application. “The NL4500T G4 Edge uses patented precision spinner technology,” Burns said. “It spreads dry product faster, wider and more consistently.” And it does so with outstanding flexibility.
“Since the new chassis on the Trident 5550 can carry liquid or dry application systems, it requires a suspension package capable of carrying high-capacity loads and applying those loads over a wide range of speeds,” Burns explained. The system features a pneumatic cylinder at each suspension joint to help maintain ride quality and load leveling. An engine-powered air compressor supplies the air to cylinder, which automatically adjusts according to operating mode and load weight.
Another unique feature of the Trident 5550 is its dual wheel set-up. “Compaction is a big concern these days,” Burns said. “A larger footprint on the ground can help make wet fields more accessible and reduce soil compaction.” The Trident 5550 combination applicator is the first applicator featuring factory-available duals in row crop tire sizes. A variety of tire options help support operating over three seasons in a variety of ground conditions, crop types, and sprayer or spreader configurations.