It’s been almost 30 years since Caterpillar launched the first rubber tracked tractor for farming — the Challenger 65 was created in 1986 and introduced to the market in 1987.
There are obvious similarities between the original and the latest version of the Challenger, but there have also been some noticeable changes, including the transition to a much larger drive wheel, as explained by Ash Alt of AGCO in the video below.
Filmed at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, he describes how the Challenger has changed and how it’s been engineered to follow the contour of the ground, for a smoother ride, more traction and less compaction.
Questions about durability and the replacement cost for tracks are common when it comes to tracked tractors. Alt says they’re seeing tracks last as long or longer than tires, while the price of two tracks is similar to the cost of tires for a four-wheel-drive tractor with duals.