New Holland has introduced a new ground speed management system on its high-horsepower T8000 range of tractors.

Instead of selecting a conventional auto field or auto road mode (where gear shifts are based on engine speed), the operator engages the ground speed management control.

The engine hand throttle function then changes to a speed lever and the foot throttle becomes a drive pedal. So the driver simply engages forward and then pushes the speed lever forward until he is at the desired speed.

T8000 Speed Lever

The tractor will automatically analyse the engine load and determine at what engine speed and in which gear to operate to maintain the set speed.

The main benefit for the operator, says the company, is that the tractor will always try to achieve the set forward speed at the lowest engine throttle setting and the highest gear possible, thus reducing fuel consumption.

As load increases, the tractor will throttle up while the transmission shifts down. As load reduces, the engine will throttle back and the transmission will shift up. To make life easier, a forward speed can be dialled into the tractor’s A pillar display. This makes it easier to return to a set speed after making a headland turn, for example. If the PTO is in operation the engine speed will not be allowed to fall below 1600 rpm, maintaining the PTO shaft speed to the implement.

In the road mode the speed variation changes from 1kph up to 50kph with the foot throttle acting as a very simple drive pedal the further down it’s pressed the more the gearbox up-shifts until 50kph is reached.