Equipment Roundup

Cummins Faces Largest-Ever Clean Air Act Fine; CNH Brands, CLAAS Win Awards; AGCO Opens New Tech Lab

Dan Miller
By  Dan Miller , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
The Case IH Steiger 715 Quadtrac, with 778 peak horsepower, has garnered a 2024 AE50 award for innovation and engineering. (Photo courtesy of CNH Industrial)

In this Equipment Roundup, DTN/Progressive Farmer looks at Cummins facing the largest-ever Clean Air Act fine, CNH brands Case IH and New Holland and CLAAS winning innovation and engineering awards, and AGCO opening a new tech lab in Arizona.



Engine manufacturer Cummins Inc. has reached an agreement in principle with the United States and State of California to pay a $1.675 billion penalty to settle claims it violated the Clean Air Act by installing emissions defeat devices on hundreds of thousands of engines, according to a news release from the U.S. Justice Department.

The Clean Air Act requires vehicle and engine manufacturers to ensure their products comply with applicable emission limits. Defeat devices are parts or software that bypass, defeat, or render inoperative emissions controls such as emission sensors and onboard computers. The company allegedly installed defeat devices on 630,000 model-year 2013 to 2019 RAM 2500 and 3500 pickup truck engines. The company also allegedly installed undisclosed auxiliary emission control devices on 330,000 model-year 2019 to 2023 RAM 2500 and 3500 pickup truck engines, the Justice Department said in its release.

"Today (Dec. 22, 2023), the Justice Department reached an initial agreement with Cummins Inc. to settle claims that, over the past decade, the company unlawfully altered hundreds of thousands of engines to bypass emissions tests in violation of the Clean Air Act," Attorney General Merrick B. Garland stated in the Justice Department release. "As part of the agreement, the Justice Department will require Cummins to pay $1.675 billion, the largest civil penalty we have ever secured under the Clean Air Act, and the second-largest environmental penalty ever secured."

The types of devices the Justice Department alleges that defeat devices on some Cummins engines have caused them to produce thousands of tons of excess emissions of nitrogen oxides.

The Justice Department is working to incorporate this agreement into a consent decree that will be filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.



CNH Industrial brands Case IH and New Holland have won six 2024 AE50 awards. The awards are given by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) honoring the year's 50 most innovative products and systems engineered for the food and agricultural industries.

Here are the awards given to CNH:

-- Case IH Steiger 715 Quadtrac. It is the brand's largest and most powerful tractor with 778 peak horsepower.

-- Case IH Steiger tractor lineup. For model year, the 2024 lines features tractors in a peak horsepower range of 467 to 699 and simplified exhaust system that improves visibility from the cab. The Steiger 425-, 475- and 525-horsepower models have improved fuel economy and 35% faster engine response due to the addition of a new Electronic Variable Geometry turbocharger.

-- Case IH AFS Furrow Command. Furrow Command's gauge wheel sensors help the operator make informed decisions when setting the drills' downforce by providing real-time feedback in the cab.

-- Case IH Toolbar Lift System (for 2120 Early Riser Rigid Trailing Planter). The lift system simplifies split-row planting and "eye-level" access for maintenance and adjustment.

-- New Holland T6.180 Methane Power tractor is the world's first commercially available methane powered tractor. Designed to minimize emissions, the tractor delivers the same performance as its diesel equivalent with up to 30% lower running costs.

-- New Holland T7 Long Wheelbase with PLM Intelligence. This T7 Long Wheelbase gives operators access to precision tools, remote support and data management capabilities. It also includes the new Electronic Variable Geometry Turbo, which delivers 8% more torque, 11% more power and 18% higher fuel efficiency all at lower engine speeds.



ASABE has awarded CLAAS seven product innovation AE50 Awards.

Here are the awards:

-- XERION 12 series tractor. Introduced in summer 2023, the series features a low engine speed concept with two models producing up to 653 horsepower with maximum torque of up to 2,286 lb.-ft at 1,300 rpm.

-- CEMOS for tractors. CEMOS is a self-learning driver assistance and process optimization system that optimizes both the tractor and its attachments. It helps the operator optimize ballasting, tire pressure and engine-transmission management.

-- TRION 740. CLAAS' latest TRION transfers many of the high-capacity functionalities, efficiencies and performance parameters of the LEXION series to a mid-sized model (class-7) that better fits the performance needs and budget of a more traditional family farm.

-- VARIANT net wrap system. The net wrap system used in VARIANT balers uses rubber rollers under the net film roll to allow for adjustable pre-stretching from the comfort of the cab.

-- VARIANT 500 SMART DENSITY. SMART DENSITY controls the two tensioning arms independently of each other. This means that the VARIANT always has the optimal belt tension in all crop conditions and at all driving speeds.

-- Double roller drive for DISCO 3600 FRC. The double roller drive of the CLAAS DISCO 3600 FRC front mower features scissor gear that runs in an oil bath producing the high crop throughput.

-- DISCO 9700 RC AUTO SWATHER. The DISCO 9700 RC AUTO SWATHER is a triple mower with conditioner and merger belts designed for large forage volumes and heavy crops.



AGCO has opened an acceleration center dedicated to software and electronics development in the areas of autonomy, precision ag, artificial intelligence and digital products.

"The Phoenix metro area and nearby universities with thousands of engineering students create an environment rich with tech talent," said Seth Crawford, senior vice president and general manager, Precision Ag & Digital.

The acceleration center is located at SkySong Innovation Campus, which is an extension of Arizona State University (ASU) since 2003. SkySong supports the launch of startups and inventions in partnership with ASU researchers.

This is AGCO's second acceleration center affiliated with a university. AGCO's acceleration center on the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana campus opened in 2018.

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Dan Miller