11 January 2002

TJ pushes Case and NH closer

By Mike Williams

NEW Hollands high horsepower TJ pivot steer tractors, introduced recently to the North American market, bear a striking resemblance to the Case Steiger STX models.

Apart from use of blue paint and a badge on the radiator grille, they are almost identical.

Both are built on the same production line, use the same platforms fitted with CDC and Cummins engines, transmission and styling. It is further evidence that Case and New Holland branded products continue to converge, despite the determined efforts of both camps to maintain brand individuality.

The TJ pivot steer models, which replace New Hollands 84 series tractors in the high hp sector, cover the 275hp to 450hp range. Compared with the Case Steiger line-up, New Hollands TJ range benefits from a 425hp version that bridges the gap between the 375hp and 450hp models.

Differences between the TJ and STX specifications for the North American market include a less expensively equipped standard cab for the TJ tractors. Case Steiger customers can pay a premium for an optional deluxe cab with more generous equipment levels not offered on New Holland versions.

New Hollands TJ options list includes Megaflow, an add-on unit to boost the hydraulic flow rate, a feature not yet available in the STX range.

Another difference, which will be important if TJ tractors are sold in the UK, is the absence – so far – of rubber-tracked versions to compete against the Case Steiger Quadtrac models. The Quadtrac is the top selling version of the STX models on British farms, and there would appear to be no obvious technical reason why the TJ should not be offered in a Quadtrac version.

Production of the TJ has started for the North American market, but at this stage no information is available concerning the possibility of a UK launch.

The 84 series high horsepower pivot steer tractors previously sold under the New Holland name and colours are still being built in Canada as the Buhler Versatile range.

John Buhler bought the factory in Winnipeg after New Holland agreed to sell the plant as part of a deal to gain government approval for the merger with Case IH to form CNH Global. During the first year of the new ownership Buhler continued to build blue painted tractors for New Holland to sell.

When this agreement expired last year it freed the new owners to continue building the same tractors under the Buhler name and a new bright red paint finish. The Buhler range includes 360hp and 425hp versions of the former 84 series plus the former New Holland rigid frame models known as the Series 70 in Europe and the Genesis tractors in North America. Buhler tractors are not currently available in the UK. &#42