Today’s guest blogger is Mitch Kaiser, the Marketing Manager for Steiger® tractors. He’s been with the company for 37 years, with a third of these in Product Development, so he knows a thing or two about cab evolution. You can see Mitch in this short video of a Steiger Cab walkaround, shot during the 2011 Farm Progress show. Take a look at how we’re maximizing creature comforts in the Steiger cab, and let us know what you think. What’s the best cab design innovation so far? What technology have you adopted that you can’t live without? What do you think will be the next big thing?
Cab design, like farming, has come a long way in a short time. The first cabs were basic structures engineered to keep farmers safe (think ROPS). Operator comfort meant “protected from the elements” and not much else.
As farms got bigger and work days got longer, producers’ expectations changed. And cab comfort quickly evolved from “keep me warm and dry” to “keep me moving, productive and comfortable during a 20-hour day – for up to three months straight, in varying climate conditions when necessary.”
Case IH is constantly gathering customer input from the guys who actually work those 20-hour days, to help us develop, improve and innovate red equipment. Our customers told us they wanted:
- Bigger cabs
- Roomier cabs
- Improved visibility
- Quieter cabs
So we made the Steiger cab the industry’s largest, with more glass area and more interior cab space than any other 4WD tractor. It’s large enough that a 6-foot, 5-inch operator can stretch out without touching the glass. We also had one focus group with several motorcycle riders who said, “Why not add footrest pegs?” Done.
Cruise and Temperature Controls
To improve comfort and save fuel, we developed the Diesel Saver™ Automatic Productivity System. It’s basically cruise control, so you can forget about shifting, and it improves fuel efficiency by up to 24 percent. The Steiger cab also includes automatic temperature controls, four-position, heated leather seats and ergonomically-designed controls that were literally molded by farmers.
MultiControl Armrest and Swivel Seats
Were you one of the farmers who helped us design the MultiControl Armrest?
We brought farmers in, put them in a tractor cab prototype, then gave them each a piece of clay and asked them to fashion an ideal handle – one they could use all day without feeling fatigued. They came up with the MultiControl Handle, which places 85- to 90-percent of tractor functions at your fingertips. Case IH customers also had a hand in designing the 40-degree swivel seat in the Steiger cab, which lets you keep an eye on the implement behind you without straining your neck or back.
Our customers also told us, “Thanks to autoguidance, we don’t have to look forward to steer anymore. We can spend more time monitoring.” With the AFS Pro 700 display, (the largest touchscreen available) you can monitor key tractor functions, your autoguidance, your planting and seeding system – as well as up to three cameras. Now, autoguidance now comes factory-installed.
Four-Post Cab Suspension
The latest customer-driven innovation on the Steiger cab is our exclusive four-post post cab suspension. The springs, shocks, stabilizers and torsion bars on the suspension provide such a smooth ride that it’s like driving your pickup on the interstate and is virtually maintenance-free. In fact, the four-post suspension keeps the cab so level that it also improves reception on the AFS AccuGuide AutoGuidance receiver – to the tune of 30 percent.