Is this machine the ultimate ‘systems tractor’?

Here’s an interesting contraption (pictured above) from Syn-Trac; the manufacturer reckons that it’s the ultimate ‘systems vehicle’.

The company hopes that it will appeal to all manner of users, including agricultural contractors. Other potential users include forestry and municipal companies.

Syn-Trac

Among its ‘claims to fame’ is its ability to automatically ‘dock‘ (attach) with another powered (driven) axle.

It can also automatically ‘couple’ up to another power unit (connecting “seamlessly” to the main vehicle via the PTO).

Syn-Trac

It also has a relatively low centre of gravity, thanks to the siting of the engine and transmission.

It’s possible to quickly ‘dock‘ with (or decouple from) the assembly that comprises the rear linkage and PTO output shaft.

Syn-Trac

The manufacturer claims that the vehicle is a world’s first, in terms of overall versatility. But is it practical?

Key numbers

Empty, the machine tips the scales at 10.3t.

It’s powered by a 420hp, 9.3L CAT C9.3B six-cylinder engine. It meets EU Stage IV emissions regulations, thanks to DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter), DOC (Diesel Oxidation Catalyst) and SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) technology.

Syn-Trac

The engine is mated to a continuously variable transmission – a hydro-mechanical, power-splitting unit. The so-called ‘slow’ driving range is from zero to 60kph; the ‘fast’ mode runs up to 80kph. In either guise, the machine reaches its top whack at a fuel-sipping 1,500rpm.

Syn-Trac

The axles are from Tatra; they incorporate independent suspension – an active, hydro-pneumatic system. Maximum axle loading – for each of the two axles – is a hefty 10t.

Syn-Trac

The Syn-Trac runs in permanent 4WD. The standard vehicle is a 4X4 machine; it can be configured as a 6X6 driveline (when an additional axle is ‘docked’).

Syn-Trac

In 4X4 guise, there are multiple steering modes, including: front-wheels only; four-wheel steering; and crab steering.

The braking system is from Wabco; it’s an air-based approach, incorporating ABS.

Syn-Trac

The hydraulic system is fed by a load-sensing, axial-piston pump; maximum output is 180L/min (at 210 bar). The vehicle is home to six double-acting valves; the hydraulic tank can hold 120L.

Syn-Trac

1,000rpm PTOs are standard. There’s also a 24V/125A electrical (output) connector. The machine is 2.55m wide; it stands 3.4m high. Depending on tyres, it spans 4.7m in length.

This video (below) shows a real-life version in action.

Syn-Trac is based in Austria. It attended the recent Agritechnica exhibition in Germany, where it unleashed a display unit to, mostly, unsuspecting show-goers.

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