Back in early 1970, International Harvester released two tractors that made up what it called its Worldwide Series. The idea was to use shared platforms to build tractors that could appeal to farmers in every market where the brand had a presence. They would meet a global need — or that was the hope.
Standardized platforms are a great idea for saving millions in development, manufacturing and distribution costs. Besides, other manufacturers were already doing the same thing by the ’70s. Ford had its 6X Series and Massey-Ferguson had the 100 Series, which were being sold nearly everywhere.
Today, AGCO executives are attempting to recreate the global success of the old 100 Series by launching three new model ranges of MF utility-class tractors. Together, they are designed to have universal appeal, with engine ratings that can be pushed up into the mid-horsepower category.
A panel of 23 international judges at Agritechnica in Germany last year was sold on the idea. They pinned a “Tractor of the Year” award on one of the new models, the MF 5713SL, in the Best Utility class.
So, in those judges’ eyes at least, it seems these new tractors apparently do have some measure of global appeal.
AGCO launched the first model range in this globally focused group of tractors with the 4700 Series last year. But the series didn’t make its first North American appearance until the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky in February. And alongside them at the show were their bigger brothers in the 5700SL Series, also making their U.S. debut.
The three “introductory” 4700 Series models, i.e. the 4708, 4709 and 4710, cover the 80- to 100-horsepower range. The three models in the 5700SL Series push the horsepower offerings to 110, 120 and 130, and eventually a 6700 Series will cap the worldwide group.
Adding to the international theme is the fact all of these tractors will be built at AGCO’s state-of-the-art facility in Changzhou, China. The assembly process will use a module-oriented manufacturing approach that standardizes components and reduces production costs, and that is intended to improve product quality and performance, according to AGCO.
The 4700 tractors get power from a Tier 4 Final, AGCO Power three-cylinder diesel mated to a standard, synchro-shuttle or power-shuttle transmission. The 5700SLs get the turbocharged 4.4-litre, four-cylinder engine with the same Dyna-4 powershift carried forward from the previous 5600 Series.
The engine emissions systems will use a diesel oxidization catalyst system rather than a diesel particulate filter, making them maintenance free. The emissions system is located under the cab steps on the 5700SL tractors, which frees up space in the engine compartment to allow for a sloping hood that improves forward vision during close-quarters work.
Both series are available in a deluxe edition that offers higher specifications and more operator comforts. In the 5700SL Series, this means factory-installed auto-guidance is also an option, and buyers can opt for a suspended front axle and cab too.
The 5700SL tractors get a standard hydraulic flow rate of 57 l/min. (11 g.p.m.) to the rear remotes, although an optional Twin Flow system can boost that to 98 l/min. (26 gpm).
AGCO believes the new globally focused models will appeal primarily to mixed farmers and livestock producers here in North America.
“We are proud to introduce these tractors to the North American market,” said Shaun Allred, tactical marketing manager for mid-range and high-horsepower tractors in the brand’s press announcement. “Livestock producers will especially appreciate these tractors,” Allred continued. “After operating one, they’ll understand why the MF 5713SL model was named Tractor of the Year 2016 in the Best of Utility Category at Agritechnica this fall.”