Outwardly, the only clue to the new continuously variable transmission fitted in a new range of mid-size McCormick X6 tractors is the ‘VT Drive’ decals on the doors. But within the transmission housing is a mix of components that provides a driver with a choice of operating modes.

The CVT in the new three-model range of X6 VT-Drive tractors – X6.420 (111/121hp), X6.430 (121/133hp) and X6.440 (130/140hp), has ‘road’ and ‘field’ settings to optimise performance using a combination of hydrostatic and hydro-mechanical drives. The ‘road’ setting comes with a top speed of either 40km/hr or 50km/hr, while the ‘field’ setting, which engages a reduction gear, has a maximum speed of around 30km/hr. In both cases, drive is purely hydrostatic at first before clutch packs seamlessly engage to introduce a proportion of mechanical drive that increases as the tractor goes faster. A ‘hill hold’ feature prevents the tractor moving on a slope with the engine idling.

“This is a significant development for being the first stepless transmission developed in-house by Argo Tractors, and for the way it works,” says general manager and sales director Ray Spinks at McCormick distributor AgriArgo UK. “We’re confident it will make an excellent loader tractor with seamless shuttling and easy speed control, as well as a first-rate field tractor, especially for jobs and applications that benefit from the fine speed control of a CVT.”

As part of an advanced specification, the three new tractors have a choice of mechanical or electronic spool valves – or a combination of the two – along with front axle and cab suspension, load-sensing hydraulics and a seat-mounted control console with Data Screen Manager colour touch display (from the X7 Series). The new tractor will be on display at a number of county shows this summer. Orders are being taken and production is due to start shortly.