Maxi-Trak towing system
The Maxi-Trak Quatro towing system won the Agricultural invention of the year at the 2010 National Fieldays. This world-first system increases your tractor’s traction applying weight to all four wheels…
Want to get through your tractor groundwork quicker and save fuel, while possibly using a smaller tractor? The Maxi-Trak Quatro towing system, designed by Waikato inventor Kalvin Singh, lets you do just that.
The towing system is designed to increase a tractor’s traction level by pulling down on the tyres. Under load, when your tractor begins to loose traction, the bolt-on Maxi-Trak Quatro provides additional down-force and traction.
Singh has been honing his design over the past 10 years. When I visited I got to see the prototype version of the Maxi-Trak Quatro, which at the time was just called the Maxi-Trak.
How it works
Kalvin explains that the Maxi-Trak connects to the drawbar, the top of the three-point linkage, and the front of the tractor via a heavy chain. When the tractor’s wheels come under increased load the Maxi-Trak drawbar unit slides rearward a little on its rollers, which tensions a leaf spring arrangement connected to the top hitch point, thus converting horizontal pulling pressure into vertical down-force – to increase traction.
But it’s not just at the back. As the drawbar is pulled rearward the rear-to-front connecting chain also pulls the front down at the same time. This removes the need for front weights and the annual cost of hauling one or two tonnes of extra weight around per year, although in each instance you may want to experiment how much to remove.
"In the last 12 months we’ve gone to what we call the active drawbar, which is transferring weight ahead of the front axle," Singh explains. "It’s attached to the top link, so as the drawbar pulls out it pulls a spring attached to the top link. So we are pulling weight onto the top link through the spring, and through to the front at the same time.
"Previously we’ve transferred weight just from the arms, which was giving us weight transfer onto the back wheels but taking a little off the front wheels. So with the active drawbar set-up we’ve transferred weight to the front."
Singh claims an approximate 20 percent traction increase through the weight transfer.
"It makes about the same difference as a four wheel drive makes – a lot!" he says. "You can remove the water in your wheels, and have no front weights."
Front end loader operators who also perform their own groundwork, however, may retain the water, or use rear wheel weights to maintain stability when using the front end loader.
The Maxi-Trak Quatro that was launched at the National Fieldays varies from the one I tested earlier, as it carries a built-in shock absorber which is spring loaded. The Quatro doubles as a pick-up hitch draw bar allowing operators to pick up an implement from the drivers seat.
Performance and handling
I jumped into the Kalvin Singh Contractors supplied Case IH CVX 175 fitted with a big 6m Kuhn Discover disc harrow. A couple of 10kmh runs was all I needed to convince me that Singh’s design really does work. At times a bit faster, too, where I could feel when the rear wheels were about to slip the tractor seemed to bite in and impressively drive through it.
"Generally it’s a contractor’s tool, or a large-scale farmer where the tractor is set up for the purpose like discing, towing loader wagons or heavy tip trailers, big balers. Anything that is pulled off the drawbar benefits from the Maxi-Trak. The harder you pull, the more weight gets put back onto the tractor," Singh says.
With 65mm of linear travel, the Maxi-Trak also doubles as a shock absorber for a smoother ride.
If your tractor’s wheels are slipping less then you should get through the job faster and with greater fuel economy. Plus, with Singh’s bolt-on Maxi-Trak, you should be able to do groundwork jobs with a smaller, lower horsepower tractor.
Kalvin says they are still in pre-production, but hoping to have these stocked with dealers mid 2011.
For more information contact Kalvin Singh, ph 027 472 2995.