Keep a check on seed

18 June 1999

Colour not only difference after Case/NH merger

With the New Holland/Case

merger due to be finalised in

only a matter of months,

Andy Collings spoke to

company boss, Jean-Pierre

Rosso, at Racine, Wisconsin

CASE and New Holland tractors will not just differ in their paint, insists Jean-Pierre Rosso, chairman and chief executive designate of the new company.

Even so, Mr Rosso concedes that when the merger is completed (within six months subject to regulatory approval) there will be a degree of parts commonality. But just where the line is drawn to ensure that rewards from economy of scale is achieved – yet brand differentiation is retained – is unsure.

Mr Rosso does not dismiss the concept that future Case and New Holland tractors will be fitted with identical engine blocks and similar, if not identical, transmissions having perhaps different control systems.

Should this be so, brand identification would clearly be in cab design and different control technologies.

If the 1991 Fiat-Ford merger is to be used as an example of what eventually happens when two organisations pool resources, commonality of parts does eventually result in some identical tractors branded only by their livery.

Mr Rosso is adamant that this will not be the situation with Case and New Holland. "When Case took over International Harvester the idea was to form a single entity with combined resources under a single banner. We discovered that one plus one does not necessarily make two."

Savings of up to $500m per year is the aim in the next few years. This, says Mr Rosso, will in the main come from reductions in manufacturing facilities, staff reductions where roles are duplicated and improved purchasing powers.

Steyrs future also looks to be assured and will continue as a separate brand. Steyrs St Valentin base in Austria has produced some valuable developments including front suspension and continuously variable transmissions (CVT).

The merger results in a company having 25% market share in Europe and 40% in North America of the tractor market. &#42

JD upgrades loaders

LOFTIER lift heights, greater loads and longer reach are among the upgrades on four new John Deere loaders.

The 551, 631, 651 and 731 models fit John Deere 3010, 5000 and 6010 series tractors from 55hp up to the 125hp 6810. For the larger 135hp 6910 and 7010 series tractors up to 175hp, the 740A remains compatible.

Three levelling options are available. Non-self levelling (NSL) is designed for good visibility with attachments levelled by the operator. For automatic levelling (HSL) there is the hydraulic version, while the mechanical system (MSL) is said to give higher lift capacity with faster cycle times.

As to control, a floor-mounted single lever situated between the seat and the right hand console can operate up to five hydraulic loader functions. For more convenient operation on the seat armrest, an electro-hydraulic joystick control can be specified as an optional extra.

For John Deere tractors without triple link suspension (TLS), an optional shock dampening system can be specified to provide extra float and reduce stress on the tractor and loader. &#42

Keep a check on seed

RUNNING out of seed when drilling can lead to some embarrassing gaps appearing in the field.

Kuhn believes it has reduced this likelihood by equipping the latest versions of its Venta Ti and Al pneumatic drills with minimum seed level sensors.

Working in conjunction with an upgraded FS3 electronic control box, new 02 series models also now have metering unit and fan speed warning devices. Other mechanical modifications include a hydraulically driven fan, improved tramline control mechanism, with a single actuator replacing a twin solenoid system to allow asymmetrical operation.

Venta drills are available in 3m and 4m working widths, with the Ti302 starting at £10,450 and AL302 at £11,310. &#42

New Holland and Case:Market share by product type (%)

Europe North America

New New

Holland* Case Combined Holland Case Combined

Agricultural Tractors 17 8 25 22 18 40

Backhoe Loaders 6 15 21 14 31 45

Crawler Dozers – – – – 8 8

Crawler Excavators 2 5 7 – 12 12

Graders 36 – 36 – – –

Mini Excavators – 4 4 – – –

RTLTs 1 – 1 – 6 6

Skid-Steer Loaders 4 9 13 16 17 33

Wheeled Excavators 6 9 15 – – –

Wheeled Loaders 4 3 7 – 8 8

* Includes O&K sales in 1998, but not Fiat-Hitachi.

John Deere loader specs

Model 551 631 651 731

Tractor hp 55-90 55-105 65-115 75-125

Lift capacity at centre of pallet (t) 1.76 1.92 1.81 1.98

Maximum clearance under level bucket (m) 3.44 3.66 3.91 4.12

Price (£) 4,100 4,600 5,190 5,830

Model 551 631 651 731

Tractor hp 55-90 55-105 65-115 75-125

Lift capacity at centre of pallet (t) 1.76 1.92 1.81 1.98

Maximum clearance under level bucket (m) 3.44 3.66 3.91 4.12

Price (£) 4,100 4,600 5,190 5,830

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