AFTER more than two decades plying its trade in Australian paddocks, a very special Case IH Steiger Quadtrac has returned to where it all began, a classic example of a tractor model that has stood the test of time.
The Quadtrac 9370 has gone on display at the iconic Case IH factory at Fargo, North Dakota, in the United States, after a marathon ocean journey from Australia earlier this year, returning to the place it was manufactured back in 1996.
It now holds pride of place as the final exhibit on the tour for visitors to the facility.
It's thought to be one of the first Quadtracs to roll off the Fargo line, before being shipped to Australia and sold to a farmer in Victoria.
For the next 20 years it had just two owners, clocking up a total of 17,000 hours in the field.
During its working life, the 269 kilowatt (360 horsepower) tractor performed a variety of tasks, including planting operations that involved pulling an 18.3 metre Flexi-Coil ST 820 direct drill and a 9000-litre air cart.
Over the two decades it earned a reputation for power and reliability, still the hallmarks of the Steiger Quadtracs sold today.
"This tractor is a perfect illustration of why this model is still so popular after more than 20 years,'' said general manager for Case IH Australia/New Zealand (ANZ) Pete McCann.
"The Steiger Quadtrac changed the face of Australian farming and greatly influenced the tractor ranges of nearly every other ag machinery manufacturer.
"The last owner of the 9370 described it as a reliable workhorse, with very few issues, that could be used across a variety of tasks with outstanding results.
"They were so satisfied with it, that they replaced it with a Steiger 450 Quadtrac."
The Case IH ANZ team purchased it in 2016 with the aim of restoring it to celebrate the model's 20th anniversary.
It took a total of 135 hours to bring it back to its former glory and the Quadtrac was one of the star attractions at the 2017 AgQuip field days at Gunnedah, New South Wales, where another significant anniversary was marked - the 175th anniversary of Case IH.
It spent many months travelling the Australian field day circuit, but the plan had always been to eventually send it back to where it was manufactured, closing the loop on a special part of the company's long and proud history.
"This project is something everyone within the Case IH ANZ team is very proud of because it's a really meaningful tribute to what's become an iconic piece of machinery,'' Mr McCann said.
"To see it fully restored and on display at the Case IH museum at Fargo for visitors to enjoy, is really gratifying."
The Steiger Quadtrac tractor features four individually-driven, positive-drive oscillating tracks, with an exclusive five-axle design that distributes weight evenly and consistently for increased traction with less compaction.
Each track maintains constant contact with the ground, allowing for a great ride, optimal pressure, superior flotation and better traction.