New Holland's T5 Auto Command tractor range has won ‘Machine of the Year 2019’ in the medium tractor category at the recent SIMA 2019 show.
Telehandler's versatility ensures their market in New Zealand continues to grow as people discover the performance they offer over and above a humble tractor loader.
The new LM series from New Holland builds on experience gained from previous handler ranges, but has been redesigned from the ground up to offer more power and lift capacity, comfort and improved visibility.
The five model offering for NZ has three standard models -- 6.32, 7.35 and 9.35 -- and two Elite versions -- 6.35 and 7.42; these designations indicate firstly maximum lift height in metres, then lift capacity in tonnes.
The range is powered by New Holland's own NEF engine to Tier 4a emission standard with EcoBlue SCR for good performance and economy; they deliver 121hp in standard guise and 142hp in the Elite format.
Engines deliver power to a torque converter transmission with 40km/h capability; these have 4 forward and 3 reverse speeds in the Standard model, and a 6 forward, 3 reverse set-up in the Elite spec. The latter series also has auto-shifting in speeds 5 and 6, which should prove useful, and save fuel in haulage situations. Transmission output is delivered to front and rear axles which deliver full-time 4WD, and the choice of two, four or crab-steering modes.
The 'H-shaped' ladder chassis is stiffer than in previous models to resist flexing, which should result in more precise placement.
Relocation of the hydraulic reservoirs within the frame achieves better balance and a 40:60 weight distribution which negates the need for a rear counterweight.
A new heavy-duty boom construction uses larger diameter pivot pins and larger wear pads for durability and a longer service life.
Lift capacities are 3.2 to 4.2 tonnes, the latter rating being driven by arable customers wanting to use the largest buckets to shift grain into and out of stores quickly.
Standard models are fitted with a fixed displacement gear pump of 120L/min output. The premium Elite models have variable displacement pumps to 140L/min and an increase in lift capacity of 300kg over their standard cousin.
Both ranges offer end-of-stroke damping on hydraulic rams, and the option of specifying boom suspension; both features reduce stresses on machine and operator.
In the cab, visibility and general ergonomics are improved, and all principal controls are operated via an electronic joystick including gear shift and neutral selection. Elite versions benefit from the joystick being mounted in the armrest, including forward and reverse functions. Operator noise levels are kept under control with an overall rating of 75dBa, no doubt helped by the quieter Tier 4 engines.
Other features: cooling fans that automatically reverse every six minutes then run for 15 seconds to clear debris from engine and separate electric fans for the air-conditioning and transmission units.