New all-rounder offers an attractive package Valtra’s N-series tractors have many loyal users, particularly livestock and smaller arable farms. The latest N4 models, announced late last year, are in full production and already proving popular with UK farms. David Williams spent a day trying them out.
In late 2014, Valtra launched updated T4-series tractors, with features making them almost unrecognisable against the T3 series they replaced. The N3-series didn’t feel as outdated but, when its replacement was shown at the end of 2015 with updates from its new bigger brother, it was obvious current N-series users wouldn’t need to look far for their next tractor. Valtra’s N-series is compact and very manoeuvrable, essential characteristics for yard and fieldwork. The line-up includes a wide range of specifications. Four versions cater for all user types with technology and performance capability to suit. Compact 4-cylinder engines are fitted, but the Finns have always been keen to include plenty of power and the new N4 offers up to 185hp with boost.
Models and specification Six models range from 105–165hp (rated) with two engine sizes; 4.4-litre for 104, 114 and 124hp models
and 4.9 litres for 134, 154 and 174hp machines. The four specification levels are HiTech - (the base version); Active and Versu, all with 5-speed powershift transmissions including four standard and two creep ranges; and Direct - with Valtra’s own 4-range CVT. Standard travel speed is 40kph but there is a 50kph option, including air braking. Brakes are uprated over the N3 version, five disc plates replacing four previously and increasing brake efficiency by 20 per cent. The range includes two models designed for added economy. N114 and N154 Eco Power versions have engines that operate at just 1,100rpm for most field tasks, down from 1,450 rpm on other models. Valtra UK sales support manager for UK and Ireland Alan Sanderson explained benefits include reduced fuel consumption, engine wear and less noise as well as higher torque at very low revs allowing starts at reduced engine speed. Fuel
N4 range Model availability Hp (rated)
Hydraulic supply Wheelbase
(75 or 90 litres/min Open centre) 2,665mm
Lift capacity (rear)
Lift capacity (front)
Usable Hydraulic oil
(115/160/200 litres/min Closed centre)
235 litres (std) 315 litres (option)
Many N-series tractors will be fitted with loaders. The demonstration day was an opportunity to try out all specifications including the base model N104 HiTech with a Valtra 49 2.5t loader.
The latest Valtra N-series tractors have a superb cab and features borrowed from the recently updated T4 range.
savings up to 15 per cent are claimed. HiTech is available for all model sizes while Active, Versu and Direct are options on 134hp models up. Apart from the Direct with its CVT unit, the difference between the other versions is control specification, cab comfort and hydraulic performance. The HiTech has a single oil reservoir shared by transmission and hydraulics. Separate oil supplies, preventing possible crosscontamination, are standard on others. HiTech and Active models have open-centre systems with 75 or 90-litre/min flow rates, controlled through mechanical valves but the Versu and Direct have closed-centre, load-sensing hydraulics offering 115, 160 or 200 litres/min flow rates, with full electronic control. All variants can have up to 8 SCVs. Rear linkage capacity is 8.1t, and access to all SCVs is now from one side, where before they were separate. On the new models, oil supply pipework is within the castings, reducing the rear transmission housing temperature. In the cab, the HiTech has simple lever controls for the hydraulics on a control panel to the right of the operator, but Active introduces mechanical controls on the armrest while Versu brings in the electronic switching for improved control and a small display screen to adjust settings. However, Valtra has always believed its tractors should be available to suit the buyers’ preferences and the HiTech can have the Active’s armrest controls which also include thumbstick gear changing as an upgrade, while the Active can be equipped with the HiTech’s more basic controls. Three-speed PTO is standard on all models, including 540, 540 Eco and 1,000 or 1,000 Eco, with ground speed drive an option.
All new design Major changes between the N3 and the new model include a new chassis, with the cooling pack directly above the front axle allowing the wheels to turn to full lock around it, and permitting generous front suspension travel. The turning radius is just 4.5m. Front linkage is an option and, previously bought in, it is now manufactured by Valtra and fully integrated, allowing oil supply pipes to be routed through the chassis for added protection. Lift capacity is up to 4.8t. The front axle is uprated with a positive dog-clutch-type differential lock, and there is also a heavier duty version available. Emissions control uses SCR (Adblue), with no diesel particulate filter, saving space and reducing maintenance. Under the bonnet, everything is tightly packed in, but access for routine checks is good. The engine hood tapers down to the front for a good operator view. Alan said avoiding EGR within the emissions
The latest N-series cab, from the T4 series, is superb, offering plenty of space, great visibility and well laid out controls.
October 2016 www.farmersguide.co.uk 45
32-49 ROP Oct.indd 45
Farmers Guide Magazine October 2016 Issue