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Peak into the improvements coming to New Holland's farm tractor line. T4-100F

Tags :  new-holland  | 

Neil from Messick's here to share some cool new tractor stuff with you today. I'm sitting in a New Holland T4 vineyard tractor. While this vineyard machine may not be applicable to many of you, it is one of the first models that we're seeing that has some new features in it that we're going to see across other CNH products here in the future. Today we're going to show you some of the new things that are on this model.
We're going to start here with the things that apply from this machine to potential future CNH tractors that you're going to see. This is a new era of some of the electronics that we're seeing in this machine that aren't ones that we have seen before. Specifically what we're going to see here, and I'm going to show you the most, is the digital display down here that's on the dash. This is showing my operating speed, my ground speed, my PTO, RPMs, my fuel and temps, and depth levels.
Rather than having a complicated gauge cluster with a lot of little indicator lights on it, this is using essentially a seven-inch tablet sitting down here behind the steering wheel. The thing that I've liked about this tablet during the time that I've been driving around here is that they're striking a good balance between using this tablet for informational stuff and not making it a touchscreen.
I get so annoyed by vehicles anymore where in order to get to your basic functions, you have to drill through a screen in order to get to them. Why can't you just give me a physical button for the things that I need? In cases trackers have taken that too far as well, bearing a lot of complicated features deep in menus when you just want to be able to push buttons in order to get to them. This tractor's done a good job of that.
In fact, while as much as I can grab information off of this display, all the driving of this machine, I can actually do without this screen at all. If it was removed from the machine, I could still get in here and go out to work and only be missing a little bit of diagnostic information and stuff that this is able to show me. When it comes to getting into this display, everything is done with this rotary encoder over here on the right-hand side.
When you're resting your arm over here on the rest, it's right here at your fingertips. You could turn this knob or you can click it down, and those two functions are the only thing that you need to understand to navigate through this. We're not diving into complex menus and stuff. A lot of what's in here is mostly related to settings on the tractor, so I can go through and set some basic precision farming stuff like implement widths to be able to cover my acres per hour, to step in and look at a little bit of basic engine diagnostics, to change some of the settings on my machine like time and whether I want miles per hour and kilometers.
I could pull any kind of engine codes. This is one thing that I've appreciated. If you want to know what's happening with this machine, you do not need to take a laptop and hook up to it to see the diagnostic information. Just like we've seen with the skid steers now, if the machine is throwing codes or you need to know what's going on with the machine, interacting with the display here can get you everything that you need. A laptop's not required to get in and do diagnostics on most of this equipment anymore.
Now, beyond the screen, as beautiful and nice and shiny as it is, the mechanics of what's happened here in the machine are really all that much more important. Like I was saying before, you don't need this for your day-to-day regular operation. The thing that I like though is the buttons over here on the right-hand side, New Holland has talked about the command arc, where they're laying buttons out across the right-hand side.
In this machine, they're using a nice compact arrangement in here with nice rubberized push buttons to do things like auto four-wheel drive, auto diff lock, throttle recalls, auto PTO. Those things that you would use regularly and can easily understand are done right here with physical buttons without a whole lot of drilling required to get into menus. While the screen is carrying a lot of our operating information, speed, engine RPMs, ground speed, PTO, it lacks indicator lights.
Those actually exist in a separate display up here in the top corner of the roof of the cab. I like that they buried them up there because it's stuff that 9 out of 10 times doesn't matter. It really cleans up the display down here by not having to show all of those things, but I could see a scenario that you may not notice that it's up there tucked up in the corner of the cab.
The screen here is not the only source of indicators. There are the indicator lights, or sometimes I call them Indian lights, that are up here in the right-hand side of the machine. While we're likely to see these things roll out into other CNH tractors here over time as this new technology gets applied to other machines, there's things that are worth talking about on this tractor. Most of our narrow tractors in this area are sold into orchards, mostly higher horsepower machines and usually pulling air blasts sprayers in order to spray fruit.
That requires a lot of physical tractor because you're running big pumps and everything. We tend to sell pretty high spec units in terms of hydraulics out the back, and this machine has no shortage of options for those, and a lot of more flexible transmissions and a little bit higher horsepower because it's kind of the more demanding end of the applications for these things.
This machine has a four-speed gearbox, or four by four, four ranges of four gears, and then an additional high low up here on the stick. I like those high lows. They're very smooth to shift. You can see right now, I'm stepped down, I'm going 6.9 miles an hour and I want a little bit more speed. Under power, I can just bump that button and jump up to 8.7. Now those numbers are going to vary depending on what gear you're in, but you can see how smooth that shift is, doesn't buck me around at all, and it's 100% under power.
Say you're climbing a hill and you have a heavy sprayer or something behind the tractor, toggling that there isn't going to cause the tractor to lose power and roll backwards on you. You can just pop those buttons up or down. The rest of your shifts here are clutch and shift, and they're fairly easy to make. Transmission's well-synchronized, easy-to-shift gears. The throw here on the lever I do find to be a little long and the position of my arm over here on the sides is a little tight.
Now granted, this is a narrow tractor, so I have no armrests on my seat. This thing right here is here to act as my armrest. While it's soft, I would take something a little bit more cushy. Personally, it's a little hard and I find here that it's not totally comfortable to rest my arm on top of it. It is easy though for my fingertips to get down to the rest of the buttons here.
This lever right here is a little unique. It's not found on a lot of tractors. New Holland, I think calls it Lift-O-Matic, I don't know how long that name's been around, but it must have been a long time. That allows you to set your three-point hitch height, which is back here behind me, and then simply toggle this between forward and back to have your three-point hitch the whole way down or to return to your operating height.
That's typically what you're doing. You're not usually having to go to your three-point and pick a new position every time you're either down in the ground or you're raised up. This makes it very easy to flip between the two. If you did have to make precision adjustments frequently on your three-point hitch, they are back here behind you a little bit. It is normal in a narrow tractor like this to have some compromises like that when it comes to the ergonomics because this is a compact machine. There's not tons of places to have controls placed, in this case, they're all over here on the right.
You cannot get over the absolutely outstanding visibility that's in here. I don't think I've ever been in a cab tractor before where the cab opens up, vertically up. I wouldn't be surprised if this machine is a little taller than what some are because of this, but in tractors, particularly loader tractors where we see windows and stuff put up in the top of the cab to give some of that upward visibility, this machine achieves some of that just by slamming the roof forward. It gives a really nice visibility up and out.
You also can't miss this tractor in how compact its hood is. I actually walked around the outside of the machine trying to find a huge DPF hanging off the side, or where's my DEF tank at over here? A lot of that bulky stuff in the earlier generations of these machines that you always kind of saw bulking up the hood and hanging off the side, they don't exist on this one.
Your sight lines out of this tractor, particularly if you're going to be working in tight areas and stuff, are just fantastic. It feels much smaller than what it is and you could just see out of this thing so, so well. They've really done a great job with that. I'm always really impressed by the time and attention that's taken on specialty tractors. You would think for machines that aren't high volume, that less care would be taken in engineering them. That's not really the case here.
When you look around the back of the tractor, there's a lot of things that are unique back here too, the way that orchards and narrow tractors tend to function. The three-point hitch arms are designed a little bit differently, their attachments back here for the sway arms are not what you find on most other tractors. The hydraulics that are on the back are made for the kinds of machines that are often run on this kind of equipment.
On this one, we've got three outlets, but we're also coming through with things like case drain lines, and that kind of stuff to return off of your hydraulic pumps. There's often electronics, electrics that's used on these implements, and when you look up here, you'll find things like brake connectors and power connectors. If you've got monitors that you're going to put inside the cab, there's special pass-throughs up here that make it easy to be able to run your wires out. Not just taking a regular traditional tractor and trying to squish it down to being a little bit more narrow, care is taken in order to make these right for the applications that they're used in.
The profile and appearance of this tractor I think you can only refer to as unique. I was a little surprised walking past it for the first time, this is obviously a lot different design than what New Holland has used for a long time with these kinds of bug-eye-looking headlights, but that aside, the functionality here this design, I think, is really interesting. When you're using a tractor like this in tight quarters, visibility matters, from the operator to be able to sit in his seat and see down to the corners of the wheels to be able to have a good perspective over what they're doing and this tractor really delivers in that way in spades.
When you look at this, remember this is a 100-horse tractor, so there's DEF tanks, there's diesel particulate filters, there's all that equipment that's required on an emmissionized tractor like this now all buried under this hood, not hanging off the sides of the tractor where you often see it. If I pop the hood open here, it's impressive and maybe a little concerning in that it's really compact, but my goodness, did they shove everything in here?
Artfully so. You look at this, you can't help not be impressed by the engineering and the layout, and how everything went in. I did a little bit of looking around here to check if your common service points, dipsticks, air cleaners, that kind of stuff were easy to get to, they did their best here, but my goodness is all of this engine shoved in under this hood.
One of the things that's a little unique or New Holland's tractors is their implementation of what they call super steer. On a tractor like this when you're going back and forth in tight rows in your vineyard or your orchard and you're making all of your head land turns, the last thing that you want to do is have to take a wide turn out around to get back to come in on your next pass.
On this tractor when you turn your wheels, not only do your front wheels turn, but your front axle will turn as well allowing these tractors to get to some really extreme steering angles which helps to make them abnormally maneuverable. To give you an idea just how tight this is, if I come in here near you with these tires around and see if I can make this turn, just a little bit larger than the width of a parking space here. It gains a lot of efficiency, a lot less time taken cranking the wheel back and forth when your 100 horsepower tractor can make turns that sharp.
Those are some of the details of New Holland's T4-100 vineyard and orchard tractor. Even if you're not in the market for this specific machine, it's cool to be able to see some of the new technologies, the new dash screens and control panels and stuff inside of this tractor that probably give a little bit of a nod to where New Holland is headed in the future. If you're shopping for a piece of equipment, then we can help if you need parts or service for a machine you've already got. Give us a call at Messick's, we are available at 800-222-3373 or online at messicks.com.

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