New Holland has become the latest tractor manufacturer to offer a utility vehicle in its own livery. Built by US-specialist utility vehicle manufacturer, Club Car, the Rustler 120 marks the first rebadged-buggy to gain the blue and yellow colours.
The market for utility vehicles is growing year on year, says Graham Gleed of New Holland. “There are over 2500 diesel machines being sold each year, and this is growing, partly due to people moving away from ATVs and also because of their dual-purpose capabilities.”
Although the Rustler has a fairly tame centrally-mounted 20hp Kubota three-cylinder engine, its lightweight aircraft-grade aluminium chassis means it performs well in the field. Also, like a Kubota, it travels at 0-40kph without a range change, except this is all done via a CVT belt instead of the power-sapping hydrostatic transmission on the Kubota.
The tipping bay can carry 476kg and comes with either geometrically- (over-centre) assisted manual tipping or an electrically powered version controlled via a switch up front. The Rustler can tow a healthy 797kg.
The one-range 40kph gearbox is straightforward to use, with a dash-mounted select lever for forward, neutral and reverse. There are no low and high options and it is fitted with automatic 4WD, as well as auto diff locks.
New Holland Rustler 120
Engine: Three-cylinder, 20hp Kubota diesel
Transmission: 40kph belt-driven CVT
Features: Tipping load bay, auto 4×4, auto diff
Payload/towing capacity: 476kg/797kg
The two-seater machines, which are made in Augusta, Georgia, are available as both road-legal and off-road only machines and customers can choose whether to spec their machines with sprung driver’s seats, a roof or a full cab. The on-road version will be fully kitted out with lights, suspended seats and mirrors as well as options like rear tow hitch and hydraulically powered tipping deck.
Underneath, the CVT belt located to the rear of the machine is fully covered to prevent any slippage when in wet conditions, and extra guards and protection bars are available as well as camouflage finish.
The rack and pinion steering, while not being power assisted, is light to operate and on the front, there is independent double wishbone suspension. At the rear the Rustler adopts a swing arm, coil over shocks setup. Hydraulic disc brakes front and rear and a mechanical, foot-operated park brake complete the running gear.
Options include agricultural-spec tyres and a snorkel for those anticipating paddling around in deep water. There’s a 12V socket for lamping, too.
Although the Rustler lacks storage under the front “bonnet”, there are two compartments in the front and a number of cubby holes for bits and pieces.
Service is remarkeably easy-to-get to. The front panel clips up out of the way for ease of service and access to engine oil and coolant, whereas the air filter is easy accessible under the load bay.
Aimed at both the ag sector and the groundcare market, prices will be announced later this month, while orders can be placed from June. The Rustler 120 will have it’s first outing at Cereals 2010 (9-10 June).
Gear lever a little stiff to get used to