Another step on road to change for New Holland
An update for Series 40 tractors and a change of decal. Peter Hill reports on the latest developments from New Holland
"NEW HOLLAND" is to appear on the flanks of blue farm tractors for the first time as the Fiat-owned New Holland group takes the next step in its progressive switch away from the Ford name.
The agreement under which Fiat bought the Ford Motor Companys agricultural business included a right to the Ford name for a limited period. The familiar oval badge was replaced by New Hollands blue leaf corporate logo in May this year and now the Ford name becomes a minor decal on the firms Series 40 tractors.
In time that will go, too, and all tractors will be branded either New Holland or Fiatagri.
The latest move in the identity switch-over coincides with a package of improvements for the six-model 75hp to 125hp Series 40 range, which started working on UK farms three years ago. The biggest change is a hefty increase in lift capacity for the 110hp and 125hp models, with beefier linkage components to go with it.
And dynamic ride control is added to all models with electronically-controlled hydraulics, to dampen the effect of heavy implements being carried on the linkage. The bigger, externally-mounted lift rams being fitted to the six-cylinder engined 110hp 8240 and 125hp 8340 raise rated lift capacity by more than 700kg to 6664kg. The aim is to meet demand for using wider and heavier mounted ploughs and cultivators.
Lift rods, lower linkage arms and top link are more substantial to cope with the bigger loads. A new top link design with quick-attach claw on the implement end has also been adopted for all other models in the range.
A contribution towards lower running costs comes from extending service intervals on all hydraulic systems and components (other than the Dual Power pressure filter) from 300 hours to 600 hours, while a new solenoid check-valve option will be welcomed by users of implements such as the MF30 drill, which relies on no-leak hydraulic pressure to keep the coulters in work. A redesigned wiring loom with improved seals and armouring is being fitted.
Drivers of the latest-specification Series 40 tractors will appreciate the better seats, telescopic wing mirrors and more FM-friendly radios, as well as a handier rear window grab handle.
Knock-resistant plastic mudguards replace the steel ones fitted at present and because they come with standard rubber extensions windows should remain cleaner for longer. The repositioned back window wiper should also help visibility to the rear.
There are no transmission changes in the improvements package. The Basildon plant has been building Dual Power equipped tractors from some months with a revised hydraulic clutch pack control system to overcome the poor control some drivers experienced with early models. New Holland has also completed a recall programme to modify these tractors.
So, the current offerings of 12 x 12 synchromesh, 24 x 24 synchromesh plus push-button Dual Power, and the semi-powershift 16 x 16 speed ElectroShift systems, continue unchanged. *