New Holland Agriculture has picked-up an award for its methane-powered concept tractor.
A combination of new geometry, low friction hub bearings and a new hydraulic steering unit is said to deliver better feedback and control to the driver, and the self-centring characteristic designed into the axle reduces corrections at high speed, reducing operator fatigue.
In combination, the tractor’s front suspension has updates to improve performance over the wide variety of front axle loads encountered by a tractor.
A new control valve with dual accumulators helps deliver an 11% improvement over the existing design when measuring chassis vibration.
A concept known as ‘skyhook’ momentarily stiffens the suspension to keep the tractor level irrespective of external forces such as implements being raised or lowered, braking or accelerating, or weight transfer on and off the front axle. In practice, the upgraded T7 weighs the rear implement to determine how much stiffening is required to reduce excessive suspension travel at higher speeds.
Meanwhile, an accelerometer in the nose of the tractor monitors chassis movement on uneven surfaces and continually adjusts the suspension damping to improve stability, safety and comfort. Depending on operator preference the suspension can be operated in soft, normal or hard modes.
Also new for 2018, CustomSteer offers variable ratio steering on the T7 range. This allows the driver to vary the number of rotations of the steering wheel needed to turn the axle hubs from lock to lock.
Three selectable settings of 1:1, 2:1 or 3:1 rotations of the steering wheel can be chosen with the IntelliView IV that also offers a different ratio for forward than for reverse. Steering ratios can also be changed automatically within the headland turn program HTS II, e.g. one ratio for working, one for turning at the headland and one for reversing.
In operation, custom ratio is gradually dialled out as speed increases, up to 26km/h, and slowing the tractor causes CustomSteer to re-engage automatically.
T7 LWB has a higher gross vehicle weight (14,000kg) allowing higher payloads for customers.
An updated front instrument cluster, with white backlighting and blue needles refreshes the front console, and the IntelliView IV monitor uses new graphics to illustrate the selectable engine values chosen for the Auto Command transmission’s working limits.
For drivers looking to monitor operations, a camera-ready option allows connection of up to three camera feeds with images displayed on the IntelliView screen.