ZF is the only independent specialist for agricultural machine drivelines offering all technologies from synchromesh to continuously variable in the field of tractor transaxles. With its new modular transaxle kits ZF is supporting vehicle manufacturers in the development of tractors with operating concepts suitable for the market – irrespective of the desired transmission technology.
ZF products for the global market
Globally, the agricultural requirements are very varied and depend on numerous factors such as the politics, economy and technological standard of the country in question. These conditions are reflected in the market for agricultural engineering. A farmer in Brazil faces other challenges from those presented by, for example, the market in Europe. Consequently, there are also differences in the technical features of the vehicles.
In order to satisfy the requirements of farmers and agricultural machine manufacturers to the best extent, as a system supplier ZF provides a drive concept which not only manages without complicated interface adaptations, but also takes into account the local components in engineering, production and servicing. A global footprint with about 230 locations in 40 countries offers expertise and technical innovations at the local level. The continuously growing ZF network is well linked from product development through to technical service.
The basis for the choice of the right installation solution is formed by the "Best Choice" strategy which has been introduced by ZF. The term "Best Choice" covers three technological levels which both reflect customer-specific requirements as well as the various challenges of the international markets.
ZF Best Choice strategy
With the "Best Choice" strategy ZF is working to the objective of always offering suitable driveline technology for the relevant requirement for construction and agricultural machines and for material handling equipment. Put briefly, Best Choice says: As much high tech as necessary, as much economy as possible. Three technology levels – Basic Line, High Line and Premium Line – open up the necessary leeway during the selection of the suitable ZF products for the driveline. Additional flexibility is obtained through the modular construction of the ZF products.
Representative for the products of the Basic Line are aspects such as the local development, production and application, the technical equipment with basic functions, a robust design and reliable quality with engineering which has been well proven on the market.
ZF Basic Line: Synchronous technology
ZF synchromesh transmissions in the T 500 and T600 ranges can be integrated into the most varied vehicle concepts. Continually improved, the T-500 series has gone through a convenient upgrade with the Powershuttle variant. The advantages include low procurement and operating costs and easy maintenance and handling.
On the other hand, transmissions and axles in the Premium Line are high tech products for the international market which are developed centrally and which exhibit the highest performance and efficiency with high tech equipment. They are produced in Germany to the highest quality and process standards.
ZF Premium Line: Continuously variable transaxles TERRAMATIC (TMT)
With ZF TERRAMATIC the next generation of stepless tractor transmissions is starting. In the optimised TERRAMATIC series all the advantages of the present ECCOM and S-Matic transmissions are brought together in a new design. Not only that, the efficiency has been improved and maintenance simplified. The products are characterised by a high power density and the best possible exploitation of the engine power for maximum productivity and minimum consumption.
Products in the High Line technical level offer the customer many options for the technical features. They combine the advantages of the Basic and Premium Lines and therefore can achieve the best ratio of performance and economy for the relevant application.
ZF High Line: Powershift transaxles of the new generation TERRAPOWER (TPT)
The TERRAPOWER range features versatile, adaptable transaxles in the middle and upper performance categories. Through the combination of automatic shifting under full load and the indestructibility of a synchromesh transmission, the powershift transmission is best equipped for all operational situations. Due to the excellent efficiency, the user also benefits from low operating costs.
Modular transaxle kit - component diversity in the tractor
The new module transaxle kit from ZF is based on a uniform system rear axle TRA (TERRAREAR Axle) (s. Fig. 3). In this way all mechanical interfaces, such as for example, the rear cab suspension, the wheel flange of the rear axle, the PTO incl. actuator, the installation spaces for hydraulic valves and tow-bar devices, the linkage points of the three-point suspension and the mechanical interface to the transmission, are implemented identically in the powershift and CVT variants of the transaxle. The new product portfolio of the ZF transaxles from the modular transaxle kit is illustrated in Figs. 1 and 2.
The installation space of the transmissions is largely standardised, which in turn simplifies the design of the same installation parts, such as for example, front-loader mounting, front cabin suspension and tank mounting.
With the ZF powershift transmissions in the new TERRAPOWER generation all existing mechanical interfaces to the cab are optionally substituted by electrical ones. This means that the vehicle manufacturer now has the possibility of implementing the controls for both transmission variants ergonomically in the same way for the market. Consequently, the standardisation between the powershift and continuously variable transmissions from ZF makes a decisive contribution to the reduction of variant costs in the development of new vehicle models.
With regard to the efficiency of the driveline, in particular in transport operation, the increased user and vehicle-manufacturer requirements are taken into account in terms of gear spread, torque transfer and noise generated in both transmission versions, in particular with relation to the forthcoming "Tier 4 Final" emission stage.