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Straddle Tractor Concept Can Change Row Spacing
New Holland recently unveiled a concept tractor for specialty crops thatís designed to adapt to various row spacing. Itís built low for vineyard work so the height is under 5 ft.
ďA prototype has not been produced, but the design will be used to inspire a future production straddle tractor,Ē says Thierry Le Briquer, grape, olive, and coffee global product and platform manager, New Holland. ďThe concept was developed to be versatile and manage several implements at the same time. For this, we developed a specific intelligent hydraulic system that can adapt flow and pressure, depending on the need of the attached implements. This solution could also be applied to other tractors.Ē
Thierry compares the tractor design to a Swiss knife that can be equipped with all the implements currently dedicated to viticulture. At the same time, the company is working with partners to develop implements exclusively designed to make use of the tractorís unique features.
The conceptís key feature is the ability of the axles to expand their width at the push of a button. New Holland currently offers the TD Straddle Tractor with the ability to expand from about 4 1/2 to 6 ft. in a standard row-crop style. However, all it shares with the new design is the name.
The experimental design envisions a center pod for the cab, engine, and drive systems with side pods for wheel units. The pods are connected only by axles positioned above standard grapevine row (and support post) height.
As the axles extend, the side pods move away from the center pod with each pod riding between rows. This would allow the tractor to straddle one or several rows of grapevines with row spacings as small as 5 ft.
Some features are like the tractor, only in the concept phase. They include a hybrid electrical transmission and hybrid engine with electric motors. This could possibly include the 6 cyl., 145-hp. rated/175-hp. Boosted Natural Gas engine. It powers the T6 Methane Power tractor introduced in 2021.
Another feature planned for the new design is autonomous functioning. Such features already exist on current New Holland brand equipment.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup (www. agriculture.newholland.com/eu/en-uk/about-us/whats-on/news-events/2022/new-holland-straddle-tractor-concept-wins-german-design-awards-2023).

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2023 - Volume #47, Issue #2