New Holland’s methane-powered tractor concept wins design award
New Holland’s methane-powered concept tractor has been announced as the winner of a prestigious design award.

An international jury panel comprised of design professionals, journalists and critics, awarded the Good Design Award to the agricultural vehicle on behalf of the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies, following submissions from manufacturers from over 47 countries.

The concept tractor features a powertrain relying on efficient combustion technology specifically developed for agriculture applications by FPT Industrial, a brand of CNH Industrial that has pioneered natural gas traction for more than 20 years.

The six-cylinder NEF methane engine delivers the same power and torque as its standard diesel equivalent, together with up to 30% running-cost savings and around 50% reduction in drive-by noise.

The six-cylinder NEF methane engine delivers the same power and torque as its standard diesel equivalent.

In real field conditions, the vehicle produces at least 10% lower CO2 emissions and reduces overall emissions by 80% compared with diesel counterparts.

Its environmental performance further improves when fueled by biomethane produced from crop residues and waste from farm-grown energy crops, which results in virtually zero CO2 emissions.

New Holland brand president Carlo Lambro said: “The methane-powered concept tractor pushes the boundaries of alternative fuel and agriculture technologies to deliver a cutting-edge solution for sustainable and efficient farming.”

The tractor will now appear in the Good Design Yearbook for 2018/19.

Northern Ireland tractor market growth in 2018
Sales of new tractors in Northern Ireland increased by 7.4% in 2018.

UK registrations of new tractors (over 50hp) in January 2019 recorded a 10% drop compared with the same month in 2018, according to the latest figures from UK-based Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA).

The total number of new tractors registered in the UK in 2018 reached 12,102.

This was just under 1% higher than the total for 2017 and the largest annual figure in four years.

The biggest power segment in the UK market is now the 161 to 200hp category tractor, accounting for 20% of all new tractors sold there.

The market for bigger 241hp+ tractors showed the largest growth of almost 23%.

Northern Ireland

The AEA also reported that 491 new tractors were registered in Northern Ireland in 2018, up by 7.4% from 457 the previous year.

AGCO innovations win seven 2019 US engineering awards
AGCO Corporation have just scooped more ASABE awards than any other manufacturer.

AGCO Corporation, the owner of Massey Ferguson, Fendt and Valtra, has received seven AE50 Awards from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) in 2019, more than any other manufacturer.

Approximately 50 products, representing the best innovations in engineering and technology for agricultural, food and biological systems, are chosen for recognition each year by a panel.

This year’s winning products from AGCO include the Hesston by Massey Ferguson, WR9900 Series Windrower OptiRide Cab Suspension, Fendt IDEAL Combine, TerraGator C-Series High-Flotation Applicator, Amity Precision Shank Drill, GSI Z-Series Bins and Flexwave Technology, GSI Dry/Cool Portable Quiet Dryer and GSI Quiet TopDry and Recon SpreadSense.

The Massey Ferguson WR9900 Series Windrower OptiAir Cab Suspension incorporates a four-post air suspension system for ultimate ride, 40% less vibration and greater noise suppression.

The Fendt IDEAL Combine is the first “clean-sheet” design of an axial combine in 30 years.

In Fendt tradition, it is loaded with innovations that provide in-field efficiency, unfailing uptime, simple operation and excellent grain quality.

The awards will be presented in February during ASABE’s annual Agricultural Equipment Technology Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

RNLI acquires specialist tractor builder
The RNLI recently acquired the articulated Talus MB-4H produced by Clayton Engineering Ltd, with whom it has had a very close working relationship for forty years. Bruce Lett reports

Visitors to last year’s National Ploughing Championships may have noticed a very different crawler-type tractor on WR Shaw’s stand.

The crawler in question is owned by the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) and based at Clogherhead lifeboat station, Co Louth.

It is one of approximately 30 crawler tractors built by Clayton Engineering Ltd in Wales for the RNLI.

The Talus MB-H crawler seen at The Ploughing was specifically designed for the RNLI to launch and recover lifeboats from beaches.

Weighing in at 19t and powered by a 210hp V8 Caterpillar engine, Clayton Engineering’s Talus MB-H crawler seen at The Ploughing was specifically designed for the RNLI to launch and recover lifeboats from beaches.

The firm has built a number of specialist tractors for the RNLI, including the County-based MB-764 and the RNLI/Clayton-designed Talus MB-4H.

The latter is articulated, which has earned it the nickname “The Bendy”.

In January this year, the RNLI acquired Clayton Engineering Ltd, with whom it has had a very close working relationship for 40 years. This followed the retirement of the current owners and managing director. The firm manufactures and supplies almost half of the RNLI’s lifeboat launch and recovery systems used throughout Ireland and the UK.