Challenger celebrates the 20,000th Challenger track tractor rolling off the line at AGCO's Jackson, Minn., production facility. Representatives from D'Arrigo Bros. of Salinas, Calif., who purchased the tractor from Challenger dealer Quinn Equipment Inc., Salinas, Calif., received the keys to the tractor from members of the Challenger production team.

AGCO Corporation, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, has announced that the 20,000th Challenger track tractor, model MT835B, has rolled off the line. The tractor was built at the AGCO manufacturing facility in Jackson, Minn., and also marks a milestone for Challenger track tractors since being introduced in 1987. AGCO acquired the Challenger line from Caterpillar in 2002.

"The innovative Challenger Series track tractors were the first of their kind. Since the first track tractor rolled off the assembly line, Challenger has continued to push the envelope of innovation," says Jason Hoult, Challenger product marketing manager for track and articulated tractors.

Designed to improve performance by gaining a larger footprint of traction, Caterpillar introduced the Mobil-trac system into agriculture. Mobil-trac helps to lower ground pressure and increase mobility. Tough rubber tracks and an innovative suspension system give Challenger tractors the traction of steel tracks combined with the ride and speed of tires. Using the unique track technology, Challenger track tractors help widen production windows for today's producers by increasing the ability to get in and out of wet, muddy areas; reducing soil compaction by staying on top of the surface instead of digging into the soil to gain traction; and helping with flotation in wet or sandy soils.

"The Challenger Series was designed for producers that want to increase the efficiency of their cropping or tillage work while reducing compaction," Hoult adds. "Having a larger footprint in turn leads to less slip and gives you more power to the ground.

"The third generation of track tractors, Challenger MT800B Series, are even bigger, stronger, faster and smarter than ever before. New engines and a broad range of models have raised the bar on productivity and performance. And, as we enter into a new era we are continuing to be the leader in taking track tractors to the next level," he adds.

The milestone was marked by a presentation of the 20,000th track tractor to the buyer, D'Arrigo Bros., long-time Challenger customers from Salinas, Calif. D'Arrigo Bros. were pioneers of bringing broccoli to the United States in 1934, and they continue to be industry leaders, farming more than 30,000 acres. D'Arrigos Bros. purchased the tractor from Quinn Co., based in Fresno, Calif., the 2006 CAT dealer of the year.

"Our operation needs reliable tractors that can run round the clock. Challenger provides that quality product," says John D'Arrigo, president of D'Arrigo Bros. Co. of California, of his fleet of 17 track tractors. "We put an average of 3,000-3,500 hours on each machine each year.

"We've bought and used 60 Challenger track tractors since the rubber tracks were introduced in 1987. We like using the track tractors because they cover more ground than conventional tractors," D'Arrigo adds.