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Steiger 535 Delivers Power and Fuel Efficiency

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Garry McMaster from Griffith NSW, discovered that size and power don’t have to come at the cost of increased fuel consumptionGriffith farmer Garry McMaster has always wanted the biggest Case IH tractor he could get and now that he has a Steiger 535, he’s discovered that size and power don’t have to come at the cost of increased fuel consumption.

Garry runs an 8,000-hectare operation across three properties at Hillston, 100 km west of Griffith in New South Wales with his wife, Christine. He was the first farmer in NSW to buy a 535, which he purchased through Case IH dealer Hartwigs at Griffith. He chose the 535, which arrived in March this year, because it would pull his 17m international air seeder and 2230 cultivator bar with ease, but he soon learned that it also offered great fuel efficiency.

“I always said that I wanted to get the biggest Case IH tractor ever made and the 535 has proven itself in terms of value for money, cost and efficiency,” Garry said.

“We traded in a 9380 Steiger for the 535. You’d imagine that the 9380 would use less fuel, given that it’s only 400 Hp compared to the 535 Hp engine of the new Steiger. But we’re using 300 litres less fuel a day because the 535 doesn’t have to work at capacity to pull the bar. It’s only working at about 75 per cent capacity due to its powerful engine and given the high cost of fuel, the savings are significant.”

This season, Garry has sown 3,292 hectares of wheat and 308 hectares of barley using his Steiger 535. He also runs 120 head of beef cattle and his fleet also includes a Magnum 7230 and a MXM 190.

Garry said the speed of his seeding operation has also increased since he bought the new Steiger. “The 535 can comfortably sow at an average speed of 11.5km per hour, regardless of changing ground conditions. At this speed, we were sowing just over 20 hectares an hour, compared to 12 hectares an hour using our older tractor. The end result was we were able to get our crops sown in just one week, compared to the two weeks it took us using the older model.” 

The 535’s ability to get power to the ground is thanks to its Tri-Point oscillation system, which uses a linkage system to transfer draft loads created by the implement to force the front wheels to the ground and gain more traction. 

“Given that it’s so hard to find staff these days, being able to get the job done myself in a shorter window and with less fuel, is quite a benefit for our farming operation,” Garry said.

The 535 is also comfortable to operate thanks to its factory installed AccuGuide autoguidance system. “Even my Dad, Ken, who’s 82, found it easy to operate,” Garry said. “Considering Dad started out farming with a horse and cart, he was pretty impressed to step into the 535 and put it to work so easily.”

“Because the cab is so comfortable and quiet, I don’t feel as fatigued at the end of the day. We also chose a few optional extras including the heated seat and the electric mirrors. It gets pretty cold out here so anything to make our job a bit more comfortable is a benefit.”

The 535 is also approved for biofuel blends of up to 20 per cent.

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