27 March 1998

Clean-burn performers worthy successor to 40

New Hollands three-model

TS range replaced two

ageing 40-series tractors

last back-end. With

production now on-stream

at Basildon, Geoff Ashcroft

took to the wheel of the

range-topping TS110

NEW Holland has expanded its choice of tractor in the all-important 80-100hp bracket – the result of customer demand, says the company.

In comes the three-model TS range (80hp TS90, 90hp TS100 and 100hp TS110), and out goes two 40-series tractors.

"We have to be flexible in what we produce to provide customers with ample tractor choice to suit the type of task they want to do," says Neil Payne, New Hollands tractor product specialist.

"It means the TS range has a slight horsepower overlap with the smaller Series 35s and six-cylinder Series 40s – although every model is different – so there should be something for everyone," he adds.

Add to this 11 different "builds" of TS tractor (two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive, Dual Command and Electroshift specifications) in terracotta or blue liveries, and the big picture starts to unfold.

But there is something largely familiar about the TS range. The models use the 40 series transmissions, cab structure and rear-end, though tougher 8340 model rear linkage and lift capacity is used. Even the engine block, pistons and cylinder head are taken from the outgoing 7740 model.

"TS has many revisions and updates compared with the 40-series to make the tractor easier to use and maintain. But the key is in the fuel system," says Mr Payne.

"The injection system has been changed considerably to meet ever tougher emissions legislation and the air intake draws air from the cleanest area of the tractor – the roof. Engine characteristics now differ, with the result that performance and driveability are improved."

So is the TS range a worthy successor to the 40-series it replaces? farmers weekly went to Easton Lodge to try out the range-topping TS110 Electroshift.

As most changes have occurred in the cab, this is where we will start.

An air seat with more generous cushions should find favour with most liberally endowed operators. Seating position is relatively high and, combined with a sloping bonnet, offers a panoramic view almost all the way around the tractor.

But where some operators could come unstuck is in getting the seating position right so pedals are comfortably reached without the steering column clashing with kneecaps.

The right-hand gear console has been lowered to counter this effect, so only the left knee-cap should fall foul of this obstruction.

Moving round the controls, a joystick on two spool valves makes simultaneous operation easy and pto start/stop is now fitted into the cabs B-post for improved safety.

At the rear of the right-hand console, New Holland has added extra electrical sockets plus live power terminals, which allows cables to be stripped bare and fastened using knurled nuts.

Specification of our test model extended to switchable diff-lock and improved four-wheel drive management. Diff-locking has off/auto/on functions and in "auto" the lock switches in and out with raising/lowering the rear linkage, while selecting "on" means engagement is held until the brakes are touched. It is also worth noting that the TS has a fully lockable front diff, not a limited slip version.

Four-wheel drive, when switched off still operates automatically when the brakes are applied, but only when forward speed is above 6kph.

"What many operators wont notice is the use of a sealed, fully-installed wiring loom throughout the tractor to improve the reliability of electronic components," says Mr Payne. "Older models required extra wiring to be added with various options, and this could lead to faults where connections took place."

Turning the ignition key brings the TS110s 4-cyl turbocharged motor instantly to life. And with gear selection made, progress is easy and willing from the revised engine.

All responds well when making powershift changes and the combination of short wheelbase and 55í turning angle give excellent manoeuvrability.

On the downside, in-cab noise seems harsh and there is still much that can be done to lift the somewhat spartan appearance of the cabs interior.

Outside, small alterations have made big improvements for routine maintenance access. The bonnet, now hinged close to the windscreen, opens in two stages, with the second stage requiring the exhaust stack to be lifted off.

With the bonnet fully raised, there is easy access to the air filter element and additionally, all cooling items (air-con rad, transmission cooler and main engine radiator) can be cleaned with ease.

Other changes include relocation of the fuel tank to below the near-side steps, while the battery is under the off-side steps. The big change here is that remote positive and negative jump-start points are included, which means the battery is now an enclosed installation. &#42

TS110 is one of three models brought in to replace the 6640 and 7740 tractors.

TS range has improved cab layout – gear shift console has been lowered and a flat work surface by the side window enables notes, for example sprayer records, to be written.