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Tractor of the Week #31

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  • Tractor of the Week #31

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    The tractor for this week is the Caterpillar 45 Challenger.

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    Originally posted by
    Challenger is a brand of agricultural tractors, created by Caterpillar Inc. in 1986 and sold to AGCO in 2002.

    The original model was the Challenger 65 featuring the Mobile-Trac System (MTS) consisting of rubber tracks and a suspension system. Although marketed as the world's first rubber-tracked agricultural tractor, East German Company VEB Traktorenwerk Schönebeck had produced a tracked tractor (the ZT 300 GB) since 1983. The MTS combined the flotation and traction of steel tracks with the versatility of rubber tires. The use of tracks gave the machines increased tractive performance compared to traditional four wheel drive tractors equipped with tires. The Challenger 65 began as a 270[1] gross HP machine used primarily for heavy tillage.

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    Originally posted by
    In 1995 Caterpillar introduced the first "row crop" tracked machines with the Challenger 35, 45 and 55. These machines ranged in power from 130 KW PTO to 168 KW and were designed to be used for a variety of tasks the larger machines could not. The Challenger tracked tractor was produced by Caterpillar at their
    Dekalb, Illinois loccation until the Challenger name and all of its associated agricultural assets were sold to AGCO.
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    The Cat 45 was produced from 1995 through 1998. Power came from a Caterpillar 6.6 liter (403 cubic) six cylinder diesel good for 240 engine hp. An 86" wheelbase along with it's tracked drive system made for quick turns in fields. The wheelbase is shorter than a Ford Pinto! Original cost when new was just a bit more than $125,000.

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    Norscott offered this 1/64 model is 1998. ERTL also issued a Cat 45 during the same time period. The 'rubber' tracks on this model are functional. The undercarriage was actually trademarked by Caterpillar. The advantages of a crawlers style tractor are tremendous allowing field work to occur quicker in wet or sandy soils that wheeled tractors would otherwise be unable to work in. Thus crops can be planted earlier with a machine such as the Cat 45. After Caterpillar divested their agriculture line to AGCO the new owners started to offered wheeled variants of the new models albeith with AGCO derived power trains. The influence of the Caterpillar Challenger series has been great over the past 20 years. Case IH and John Deere among others have designed and developed their own tracked tractors that either offer 4x2 or even 4x4 powertrains. The technology has also made it's way to combines and grain wagons as well allowing for field work to continue in soggy conditions.

  • #2
    I have a weakness for CAT farm tractors as they were one of the common ag tractors in the area I grew up in in the rolling hills of eastern Washington where they do the side hill farming. Of course those were the old D6's, D8's and D9's and not these modern creations. These are fairly common here in western North Dakota. Again, I had most of the CAT models before I got out of small scale farming.


    • #3
      CAT tractors are pretty cool !!
      they have come a long way since the beginning of production!!
      Have quite a few CAT models. From tractors to implements .
      Matchbox even had a deal with CAT , making a number of CAT branded models.
      They even made this very model .
      the Norscot models are hard to find in 1/64th ,and pricey if you can find them at all .
      SPECAST makes a highly detailed models of CAT products, along with ERTL , which is not as detailed or as costly .
      . another great job Zach !!
      FB PAGE :
      BTM'S Diecast toys / farm toys 4 - sale


      • #4
        A CAT with tracks! And it's a model I already have! (The 65 too!)

        I was wondering when it would show up here.

        "It looks like that monster from Alien."

        Yeah, sorta. Funny how they did that...
        Bert sez...
        "Wanna sell more?
        MAKE IT 1/64!!!"