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Challenger features Woodsboro farmers in commercial
by Tim Delaney
Nov 27, 2013 | 380 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tim Delaney photo
Walt Franke, left, and son Alfred, stand by one of their CASE tractors on Monday, Nov. 18. The Woodsboro father and son team participated in the Challenger Face-Off, in which several color-coded tractor brands were pitted against each other. Also, they were featured on the commercial airing on TV for the competition.
Tim Delaney photo Walt Franke, left, and son Alfred, stand by one of their CASE tractors on Monday, Nov. 18. The Woodsboro father and son team participated in the Challenger Face-Off, in which several color-coded tractor brands were pitted against each other. Also, they were featured on the commercial airing on TV for the competition.
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WOODSBORO – You’ve seen it on TV or heard about it. The slogan goes “It’s not about horsepower; it’s about torque.”

In the commercial, four major brands of farm tractors are pitted against one another to see which one surfaces as the top machine.

Included in this challenge are CASE, John Deere, Holland and the challenge maker: Challenger.

Easy to spot, those tractors are red, green, blue and yellow, respectively.

“They asked producers who sat on their own equipment,” said Walt Franke, who farms out of Woodsboro and Bonnie View, primarily.

In the TV commercial, anybody who knows Walt can recognize him behind the wheel of a tractor during the challenge.

Walt said eight farmers agreed to participate after being asked if they would like to participate in the challenge.

“Most of the farmers were from the Hondo area,” said Alfred Franke, Walt’s son, who also was filmed and participated.

Only Walt and Alfred were from the Refugio County area – Woodsboro.

Walt said he deals with the tractor dealerships a lot for his tractor needs, so he was well known in those circles.

“Their objective was to see which tractor performs the best,” Walt said.

Now, after the TV commercials, the two farmers have become celebrities of a sort.

The tractor trials seemed to focus on torque and horsepower, but Walt said many of the bands have different packages under the hood.

Walt said the best way to describe torque and horsepower is to visualize a “long-legged horse and a short-legged horse.”

If a tractor is sitting on the field, it would have to be running wide open to have the lugging power needed to get a start.

“They asked us to rate performance,” Walt added.

“Which one is comfortable in the seat, and which one is smoother?” Alfred said.

Walt said Holt has made a big push to get into the farm agriculture equipment business.

“They’ve always been in heavy equipment, and now they’ve made a commitment. They’re building new facilities from the Rio Grande Valley all the way to Missouri,” he said.

The official company behind the brand challenger is Agco Co. And Caterpillar is affiliated.

Walt, who is 55 years old, said he’s been farming for 35 years. His son Alfred is 21.

The tractor trials were something new for the two farmers.

“I did have fun,” Alfred said.

“I got to meet a lot of people,” Walt said. He added that he’d never seen a film crew in action.

“The film crew set it all up. There were all kinds of stuff,” he said.

Walt said the filming was done back in June. And the day he and his son were the focus of one of those films, the temperature was 105 degrees.

“They (Challenger) have a really good product. But like everything else, it’s expensive,” Walt said.

“It’s high tech. The complete system is a lot more complicated,” Alfred said.

“The green and red ones are a lot more user friendly,” Alfred said. “Other than that, it’s like anything else.”

Would Walt consider purchasing a Challenger?

“I’m thinking about it,” he said.
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