DES MOINES, Iowa - McCormick International USA has announced more additions to its line of tractors as the company continues to work to meet its goal of joining the ranks of major farm equipment manufacturers for the U.S. market.

The latest McCormick offering is the C-Max Series, a new range of utility tractors that it says meets the requirements of price-conscious acreage and small farm owners. The company has also introduced its entry in the loader market with the McCormick L700, L900 and L1000 series loaders.

“The C-Max Series offers customers a utility tractor that can be customized to their needs,” said Chad Huyser, marketing manager for McCormick USA, speaking at a media briefing in Des Moines, Iowa.

“Our dealers are telling us to keep the product simple, and the C-Max Series accomplishes that,” he noted. “We’ve heard dealers for other manufacturers say they have so many options they have no idea what to stock.”

Huyser told ag journalists that 2004 has been a very strong year for McCormick, which like other companies has seen sales increases on the heels of last year’s sharply higher prices for corn and soybeans.

“As we have said before, we are continuing to build the company on our three pillars – quality products, good dealer support and the 107-year-old heritage behind the McCormick brand,” he said. “We are continuing to introduce new products, and this spring we will have even more.”

The McCormick brand actually dates back to the early 1800s when Cyrus McCormick developed the first McCormick reaper. McCormick International USA Inc. purchased the McCormick brand name and some of its tractors a few years ago and set about building a new company.

It started with tractors in the 60 to 120-horsepower range and then introduced larger tractors to fit the large farmer market. Now it’s going back to mid-size tractors with the C-Max Series to fit that need.

The C-Max Series features five models ranging from 59 to 99 engine horsepower that utilize the latest generation of three- and four-cylinder Perkins 1100-Series engines, according to Huyser. The 3.3L and 4.4L engines not only meet Stage 2 Tier II emission levels, but also run more quietly, reducing bystander noise levels.

The engines feature a cross-flow cylinder head with the intake and exhaust manifolds on opposite sides of the engine to ensure no pre-heating of the inlet air. This results in a combustion process that is more efficient since the inlet air is cooler.

Both the three- and four-cylinder models use a rotary-type fuel injection pump.

“Lower running costs are an additional benefit across the C-Max Series as the Perkins 1100-Series engines promise more economical fuel use,” said Huyser. “The new C-Max Series also offers lower maintenance costs by having oil and filter changes at 500-hour, rather than 300-hour, intervals or annually, whichever comes first.”

Customers can choose between three transmission options, 12+12, 24+12 with creep and 24+12 with overdrive. All feature a dry-clutch synchronized shuttle to ensure easy operation of directional change.

The shuttle lever incorporates a neutral position, ideal for operations that require periodic pauses. “If the tractor is fitted with either an overdrive or creep transmission, selection is also made using this lever,” said Tom Ogle, product manager for McCormick International USA. “Creep speed reduces the standard speeds by 80 percent, allowing travel speeds to go as low as 0.19 miles per hour at rated engine rpm.”

The C-Max Series open-center hydraulic system delivers 14 gallons per minute of flow at the standard remote. Customers may choose up to four auxiliary remotes for maximum flexibility. Two individual levers and an optional joystick control operate the valves.

The joystick is dedicated to control two valves and is ideal for operating attachments such as front-end loaders. The C-Max features Category II linkage with mechanical top link hydraulic sensing that provides a maximum lift capacity of 5,292 pounds or up to 8,159 pounds with twin assistor rams.

The new line features a choice of 540- or 1000-rpm PTO with mechanical engagement and an independent multi-plate dry clutch. An interchangeable PTO shaft allows the 6-spline shaft to be replaced quickly by the 21-spline shaft. Ground speed PTO is standard on all models. “Ground speed PTO is useful with PTO-driven spreaders, sprayers and other implements where it is important to keep a proportional PTO to forward speed,” said Ogle.

The four-wheel-drive is a simple mechanical engagement to provide additional traction requirements, he notes. A 55-degree steering angle ensures good turning radius of 13 feet when equipped with 4WD.

Working in conjunction with the rear brakes, the C-Max Series also can be equipped with a front-axle IBS system fitted on all the 4WD models as standard. The “Integral Braking System” incorporates four wet disks within the front axle housing. The C-Max Series is also available in a 2WD configuration when 4WD is not required.

The operator platform sits on four “silent bloc” mounting points. Enhancing driver comfort and reducing vibration and noise. A shallow transmission tunnel allows convenient access, while providing a spacious operating environment. A foldable two-post ROPS frame is standard equipment and can also be fitted with a canopy.

A new cab design is available that incorporates rear hinged full-length doors which not only offer excellent visibility, but wide open access. The cab models will feature air conditioning and a well-designed layout with controls in logical, easy-to-reach positions.

McCormick’s new line of loaders features nine models designed for the McCormick C, C-Max, CX, MC and MTX tractors. (The C line ranges from 73 to 102 horsepower; C-Max, 58 to 98; CX, 73-102; MC, 90-132; and MTX, 115 to 195.)

“The loaders come with features such as n integrated joystick control, quick-attach mountings and fast-fit attachment couplings to make them convenient and easy to use,” says Ogle.

“These loaders have been developed with livestock and acreage owners in mind,” he said. “These heavy duty loaders will handle an material-handling job on the farm and can be outfitted with a broad variety of loader attachments.”

The L700 series and L1005 loader feature a rugged, non-self-leveling design, while the L900 series and L1000 loader offer a parallel linkage design to automatically keep the bucket level and prevent spillage of loose loads. A standard level indicator gauge helps keep track of the implement’s angle in relationship to the ground.

The L1000 series loaders for the McCormick MC and MTX Series tractors feature the patent-pending “Lock and Go” system that allows the operator to simply attach the loader unit to the tractor without leaving the operator’s platform. To disconnect the loader, the operator simply pulls out and turns a locking wheel on the loader frame.

All McCormick loaders offer the optional SoftDrive, which reduces the more violent jolts and considerably reduces the stress on the tractor and loader. With SoftDrive, the loader becomes a stabilizing factor and a shock-absorbing counterweight. It also provides even weight distribution when working.

Each model is equipped with a Euro Tool Carrier enabling quick installation of a broad range of loader implements, says Ogle. “Euro brackets are the most common loader linkage in the world. The operator simply hooks the implement top brackets with the tool carrier, rolls the implement completely back, and the release lever is automatically released to secure the implement in place.”

Hydraulic latching and release of implements from the operator platform is also an option. Implements for the McCormick loaders include multiple bucket sizes in both standard and high volume styles, two styles of buckets with grapples, bale spike and fork, pallet fork and wrapped bale handling equipment. These implements are specifically designed to work with the loaders and offer Euro-style quick-attach mounts.

The full-strength sub-frame is wider, larger, and stronger to provide all-around strength and stability by placing the linkage between the loader and tractor as far to the rear of the tractor as possible. This helps maintain good weight distribution and guarantees the tractor and loader become a perfect operational unit.

The L700 and L1005 loaders lift 3,300 pounds to 5,500 pounds from the ground, to a maximum lifting height from 138 inches to 157 inches. The L900 and L1000 loaders lift 3,850 pounds to 5,950 pounds from the ground, to a lifting height of 138 inches to 181 inches. All loaders offer the capacity to load feed wagons and high-sided manure spreaders, and to load and unload heavy round bales. Bucket dump angle at maximum height ranges from 48 degrees to 56 degrees; and the roll-back force at a 59-inch lift height ranges from 3,300 pounds to 6,400 pounds.

For more information, click on www.mccormickusa.com.

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