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Increased productivity promised by latest transmission

The world’s most powerful wheeled tractor with continuously variable transmission (CVT) was demonstrated to dealers and press at a high horsepower tractor event in Oxfordshire. David Williams was there. Farmers Guide was invited to attend New Holland’s ‘High Horsepower’ tractor event on a large Oxfordshire estate to try out models from the Basildon-built T7 to the articulated T9, including the T7-HD and the T8 SmartTrax with half-track drive arrangement. T7 updates were announced but star of the show was the T9 AutoCommand, which had just arrived in the UK and one of only two so far in Europe.

New options for T9 The T9 series includes 2 chassis widths and 7 models from 435–692 max hp. Manufactured in the USA these have attracted a loyal UK following, appealing for their ability to put power to the ground and ease of transport. The 4 narrow-frame models are just 2.55m wide on 710-series tyres and even with the most popular 900-series tyres fitted, they remain under 3.00m. Previously only powershift was available but now infinitely variable transmission is an option for all four narrow-frame versions as well as the base 613hp (max) T9.600 wide-frame model. Developed by CNH with ZF, the Eccom 6.0 gearbox provides stepless speed control from 0–43kph. Large tractors like the T9 are capable of consuming large amounts of fuel to achieve high work rates, so efficient transfer of engine power to the wheels is essential. Although full mechanical powershift incurs less power loss, the state-of-the-art new CVT is very nearly as good with four mechanical ranges ensuring mechanical drive is at least 60 per cent at all times and up to 100 per cent depending on speed, load and engine revs. However, productivity benefits over powershift should more than compensate for any reduced

efficiency as headland turns are completed faster, the engine is always at optimum speed for the task and fuel consumption is minimised, plus long working days are less tiring for the user. Maximum 43kph road speed is achieved at just 1,650rpm and acceleration is faster than for the powershift, under load in the field and on the road with manual gear changes saved. Peak power is available at any travel speed allowing work rates on slopes to be maintained and the operator is free to concentrate on the task in hand, rather than changing gears. Creep speeds down to 500m/hr are within the standard speed range, removing the need for a separate creeper gearbox.

Star of the show was the T9 AutoCommand bringing advantages of CVT transmission to the flagship articulated tractors.

There are three stages; Transport, Field and Rapid load variation. Droop control can be set using the hand throttle lever and adjusted for maximum fuel economy by allowing the engine revs to drop as load increases, or maximum productivity where the engine attempts to maintain the pre-set speed.

Active StopStart is new on the AutoCommand T9 and means the machine remains stationary on a slope until the foot pedal or joystick is operated, without using the brakes. The parking brake engages automatically as soon as the engine is switched off for added safety, and continued over...

Ease of control Control is through the New Holland SideWinder 2 armrest with an IntelliView 4 screen. Up to three target speeds can be set and stored for immediate recall at the touch of a button and there are four operating modes; Auto, Cruise control, PTO and Manual. Speed adjustment is through the multi-function joystick which allows progressive speed rate changes while the stick is pushed fully forward or back and speed ‘nudges’ by pushing or pulling and releasing the lever. Powershift models use the foot pedal as a standard accelerator, controlling just the engine speed, but the AutoCommand version uses it as a travel speed control while engine speed and transmission ratio adjust automatically. Control can be switched between the pedal and lever at any time just by operating whichever is preferred. Transmission reaction can be adjusted; similar to drive take-up on a tractor equipped with power shuttle.

The cab is spacious, bright, quiet and comfortable.

Control is through the CommandGrip multi-function joystick; part of the SideWinder 2 armrest. The latest IntelliView 4 display is used for guidance and complex function set-up.

T9 Spec Model T9.435 T9.480 T9.530 T9.565 T9.600 T9.645 T9.700

Hp rated/max UltraCommand (Powershift) AutoCommand (CVT) 413 435 y y 466 469 y y 517 525 y y 548 557 y y 598 613 y y 629 647 y No 669 692 y No

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