Tractors have always had a variety of uses, and over the years unusual designs have been introduced. Many domestic tractors are typical looking; however, the Italian company Antonio Carraro has a long history of unique designs and its new SRX 10400, part of the Ergit 100 series, is no different.
Rather than go along with the usual design process, Carraro adopted a "kakushin" philosophy in the development of the Ergit 100 tractors. Kakushin does not just involve simplifying existing production processes but enables, according to the company, "profound, courageous, and not entirely painless change" in product development.
Specifically designed for tightly spaced row crops, the 10400 has several unique features that are well suited to varying terrain. The most notable for the SRX model is the RGS or reversible drive system. Activating the system enables the tractor to head back in the direction it came, using an implement at each end. The process takes 5 s, and because the steering comes about through the chassis flexing in the center, the problems associated with rear steering are gone, claims the company.
With the steering in the center, more maneuverability is gained in tight spaces, and to add to this, Carraro has added Quick Steer to SRX 10400 models. Through a control on the dashboard, the operator can change the steering ratio to obtain a full steering turn by moving the steering just half a turn, allowing more rapid changes of direction and less driver fatigue.
The power for the 10400 comes from a 96-hp (70-kW) four-cylinder diesel with an intercooler. Power is sent through a 32-speed gearbox, with 16 in each direction to allow equal speeds no matter which way the operator is facing. It also has a synchronized inverter that allows the drive direction to be changed even while the tractor is in motion.
The oscillating chassis can flex 15º in a twisting motion, allowing constant grip in undulating terrain. The weight balance is 60% front, 40% rear, or with a rear-mounted attachment, equal, offering better traction vs. traditional tractor design.
A StarLight cab, so called because of the partially clear roof, is optional, making the tractor more capable in changing weather. The cab comes with full heating and air conditioning, and the seat and control console are mounted on four Silent Block bearings that are intended to protect against transverse movements. The anti-reflective gauges and optional joystick controls further simplify operations.
As the 10400 is envisioned to be working in tight spaces, the braking system is geared for constant use. It has internal oil bath discs with hydraulic controls that do not need to be adjusted. The two hydraulic systems, one for the attachments front and rear and the other for the braking, steering, clutch, and reversible drive, are separate to maintain pressure and full control in both.