A Case IH Maxxum tractor was among the award winners at last week's Royal Highland Show (June 20-23) in Scotland; the event drew to a close on Sunday.
The accolade - a 'Technical Innovation Award - Silver' - was bestowed by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, the organiser of the show. It related specifically to Case IH's dual-clutch, eight-step semi powershift transmission - namely ActiveDrive 8.
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It offers eight powershift steps in each of three ranges. It provides a total of 24 speeds in both forward and reverse.
The corresponding transmission from Case IH's sister 'CNH Industrial' brand - New Holland - is known as Dynamic Command.
So, what do we mean when we describe ActiveDrive 8 as a 'dual-clutch' type transmission? In a nutshell, the four odd-numbered gears and one clutch are located on one shaft; the four even gears and another clutch are on a second shaft.
Power is then modulated between the two clutches; as an odd gear is disengaged with one clutch, the second clutch is engaging the even gear ratio.
This double-clutch technology is conceptually similar to that employed in John Deere’s DirectDrive transmission. It, too, has odd-numbered gears and one clutch on one shaft; the even-numbered gears and the second clutch are on a second shaft.
Biggest tractor at the show
Meanwhile, elsewhere at the show on its own corporate stand, Case IH showcased what must surely have been the most powerful tractor at the event. This Quadtrac 620 (pictured below) took pride of place on the company's exhibit.
Interestingly, there is a Case IH Quadtrac 620 here in Ireland. It belongs to Walter Furlong Grain Ltd; it was supplied by Cooney Furlong Machinery Company (Co. Wexford). This picture (below) shows the tractor (alongside a considerably smaller vintage Farmall Cub) at a Cooney Furlong open day late last year.
The latest version of the Quadtrac 620 delivers a peak output of 682hp - making it one of the most powerful tractors in commercial production.
The 620, like the slightly less powerful 580, is fitted with a 'PowerDrive' full powershift transmission. Other models in the Quadtrac range can be had with either the 'PowerDrive' or 'CVXDrive' continuously-variable 'box'.