30 April 2024

What gearbox is in your tractor?

Continuing with our exploration of the various options available to farmers when purchasing a tractor, we now turn our attention to gearboxes. We have already provided an overview about the different engine options in previous discussions, the gearbox remains a crucial component that warrants consideration. Now, we focus on medium and high-power tractors of the best-selling brands in Spain.

The choice of gearbox is an important matter when buying a tractor... It directly influences the tractor's performance depending on the work to be carried out. For instance, a tractor intended for heavy pulling with a plow has different gearbox requirements than one used primarily for transporting goods with a trailer. Similarly, tractors employed in stone crushing jobs have distinct gearbox needs compared to those used for fertilizing and spraying tasks . These varied applications identify whether the gearbox needs to be powershift or continuously variable (stepless), as well as the number of gears required and the potential need for creeper gears.

We still remember when we bought (year 2012) our Deutz-Fahr M600. At the time, the dealer emphasized the inclusion of a 40x40 gearbox with creeper gears—a feature we didn't initially appreciate. However, fast forward to today, and it is a basic requirement for us, because without creeper gears it would be very difficult to use the pruning crusher through olive and almond orchards would be incredibly challenging. Therefore, one of the first lessons to learn is that the more gears... the better.

Another detail that we have seen when looking for information is the lack of emphasis on minimum speeds by many manufacturers. They show the maximum speed, which is very important because we already have many models that go up to 60km/h, but the minimum speed is also very important because the tractor does work at a low speed: stone crushing, fruit and vegetable planting work, etc.

Some other conclusions could be:

  • All manufacturers offer stepless gearboxes, usually in their premium models.
  • Deutz-Fahr in the 6-series offers the gearboxes with the most gears on the market (54x27). McCormick X7 also offers it as the manufacturer is the same (ZF).
  • Fendt continues to prioritize its renowned Vario transmission system, setting itself apart from competitors, now with the innovative VarioDrive concept.
  • Stepless gearboxes excel in providing unmatched minimum speeds, making them ideal for tasks requiring precise control and low speeds.
  • John Deere's 6M Series offers a versatile range of options suitable for diverse farming needs.
  • It has come to our attention that the giants CaseIH Quadtrac, New Holland T9 and Claas Xerion 12000 use stepless gearboxes.
  • Claas and Valtra have little variety in terms of gearbox options.

In conclusion, the diverse range of gearbox options available in today's tractor market reflects manufacturers' ongoing efforts to cater to the specific needs and preferences of farmers across various applications. From traditional manual transmissions to advanced stepless gearboxes, each option offers unique benefits and advantages, ensuring that farmers can find the perfect match for their specific requirements. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see further innovations in gearbox design and functionality, driving greater efficiency, productivity, and user satisfaction in agricultural operations.

Versión en español.

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