Caterpillar built its model line of track-driven "55" agricultural tractors under the Challenger brand. Farmers employed these tractors to haul equipment, plow fields or till or spread fertilizer via a number of attachments that could run off the 55's power take off (or PTO) gear. The company manufactured this line of tractors from 1996 to 1998. Each tractor originally retailed for $133,000.
Caterpillar installed a six-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine in its model 44 tractors. This engine had a displacement of 442 cubic inches. A 34.4-quart liquid coolant system kept the engine from overheating. This engine produced 168 horsepower at the drawbar and 225 horsepower for the PTO gear, which kicked in at 1,000 rpm.
Each Caterpillar model 55 tractor ran on a pair of tracks and had a crawler chassis. A cab sat in-between the pair of tracks and sat one operator. This model's electrical system ran off a 12 volt battery. The transmission provided 16 forward and nine reverse gears. Each model 55 could haul up to 12,500 pounds worth of equipment, gear or material. These tractors reached a maximum speed of 17.8 mph and had a turning radius of 7.6 feet.
The four-valve closed hydraulic system had a flow of 31 gallons per minute and achieved a maximum pressure of 2,748 psi. A three-point hydraulic hitch in the back of the tractor enabled farmers to attach equipment such as a rotary tiller, which operated off the PTO gear.
Caterpillar equipped each model 55 tractor with a 125-gallon fuel tank. This tractor's front counterweight had a weight of 1,350 pounds, and the tractor had an overall weight of 26,000 pounds. These machines ran on 18-inch-wide tracks that had a track length on the ground of 7.2 feet. The top of the cab stood 10.5 feet above the ground, and the skid plate on the chassis had a ground clearance of 19.6 inches. Each track spanned an overall length of 17.6 feet. The tracks had a wheelbase of 5 feet, which gave the model 55 an overall width of 7.6 feet.
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