Over the past decades, using heavy farm tractors in the earthmoving business has become commonplace. They can perfectly tow heavy loads, the off-road capabilities are excellent and with a legal speed limit of 40 km/h (25 mph), these big-4WD-machines can also cover short distances on public roads just fine. No worries about good comfort and ergonomics either.
This New Holland’s job is towing a BECO dump trailer, both on- and off-road. It’s powered by a 6.7 liter FPT Industrial-NEF engine, as in Fiat Powertrain Technologies-New Engine Family. A turbocharged and intercooled inline-six diesel with an SCR aftertreatment system (DEF required). Its maximum power output is 180 DIN-hp, 199 DIN-hp when the boost kicks in at a speed of 15 km/h.
The tractor is equipped with the AutoCommand transmission, which is a CVT with a dual clutch. On the tractor’s left side you can see the tank unit for the diesel fuel (black cap) and the DEF (blue cap).
The on-road top speed in this segment of farm tractors is around 50 to 60 km/h, but as mentioned above, the legal limit is 40 km/h. The New Holland’s lowest speed? 200 meter (219 yards) per hour!
The interior of a T7.230 AutoCommand. And a hi-tech command post it is.
As heavy-duty as a heavy-duty hitch can get. Everything locked and secured.
Now to the trailer, BECO is a Dutch manufacturer of agricultural and earthmoving equipment. The dump bed capacity of their Maxxim 260 model is 17.2 m³ (607 ft³). Worth mentioning is that the trailer’s chassis features fully closed structures.
BECO guarantees a payload capacity of 26,000 kg (57,320 lbs), hence the number 260 in the model designation.
The company’s biggest and heaviest dump trailer is the tridem axle Maxxim 360, as seen in action here, also being towed by a New Holland T7.
The tandem with independently rotating walking beams.
The owner ordered the optional steering rear axle.
Another example of an eartmover, I caught this combination at an exhibition, two years ago; a tridem axle Joskin trailer, towed by a John Deere 7230R. Both the trailer’s first and third axle are steering axles.
Displayed at the same show, a Claas Arion 550 tractor with a Veenhuis tandem trailer.
Earthmoving companies have to move more than just earth. This older New Holland model, a T7030, tows a type of trailer that is usually coupled to a powerful dump truck, mostly with four axles (8×4, 8×6 or 8×8).
Now I wonder when the first “high-speed” farm tractors appear on our freeways…
Interesting…have not seen these employed in the US but Europe is often ahead, concept-wise. 23 tons is about what a Super 16 will hold over here, depending on tare.
Trailer has air brakes, does tractor also?
Yes, air brakes on the tractor too.
At my last job we had a John Deere set up for similar work but using a ringfeeder trailer towing attachment and a PTO drive compressor, it towed regular 6 & 8 wheel truck trailers, there is an outfit locally that uses tractors and similar trailers to the post, I must take more notice next time I see them out and about, class 5 licence required for on road travel here in such a rig. Harvesting sweet corn and peas round here trailers called Gondalas are towed by large usually John Deere tractors around the paddocks beside the harveters the then tip into tipper truck and trailers for transport to the factory trying to stay with a harvester in a truck is sometimes difficult if wet patches of ground are encountered.
Not that long ago, tractors ran on the cheaper (less tax) “red diesel”. Furthermore, no road tax, no safety inspections. And last but not least, young guys (say in the age of 16 to 20) -mostly with a farm background- drove these mastodons through traffic without having a driving license of any kind.
Not any more. Diesel fuel is priced the same for anything with wheels and you need a T-driving license (T for tractor) since 2015. As a matter of fact, the Claas + Veenhuis in the article is owned by a driving school.
Something had to be done, farm tractors had simply become too powerful, fast, big and heavy. Not to mention the unfair competition aspect (earthmoving companies with on-/off-road dump trucks).
Towed scrapers are a fairly common attachment seen behind larger ag tractors, at least here in the Midwest.
What is that apparatus on the front of the NH? I initially thought that it had a mechanical function but studying the photos further it appears that it might be an auxiliary bumper system to comply with impact regulations.
It’s a combination of a front end weight and a bumper/underride protection, attached to the tractor’s front linkage.
Farm tractors drive on public roads very frequently, regardless agriculture or earthmoving, mingling with all other road users (pedestrians and cyclists included).
That’d be the first thing an operator here would remove because they’d think it looked “dorky”, never mind the actual useful counterweight function. And nobody would care besides the poor fool who somehow accidentally got in its way.
Impressive machinery and it seems very well suited to the job. For shortish distances and frequent need/use this seems like a good adaptation.
And here is it’s grand-daddy. A 1958-1960 John Deere Model 830I Diesel, with about 70 drawbar horsepower, weighing about four tons. Just the thing for pulling a big rolling sheepsfoot in the summertime. Not so good for moving down the road, as the six-speed transmission would take you from about two mph to twelve. Deere made 127 of these between 1958 and 1960. Either electrical or four-cylinder pony starter motor. A beast.
Factory hot rod tractor!
Google Australian Chamberlain tractors, absolute weapons grade on road tractors Perkins six cylinder engines pull anything of their era.
They built at least one that could do a continuous 55mph, it did recovery on the Redex Round Australia Trials, 9,000 miles on a trip.
There were also Upton tractors built in Corowa NSW that were capable of up to 70mph. A customer from Queensland drove one of the early (1950s) models 600+ miles home, and the Holden car he drove down in could not keep up with the tractor!
CC Effect! I just watched this video of John Deere’s 1959 Industrial Equipment:
Fun video. It appears to cut short before they get to the Model 840I, which was designed to be integral with the scraper. These were quite popular as a contractor sized earthmover. I can remember the clack-clack-clack sound of the blades of those scrapers as they carefully elevated and laid down earth at just the right depth.
When I spent summers on the Mennonite farm in the early 60s, it was common for them and other folks who didn’t have grain trucks to haul grain or such to the nearest town in a wagon hitched to one of the tractors. I drove one like that more than once. It was nice to be able to open it up in top gear, even if that wasn’t even quite 20mph. It felt faster than that, and it was good to get some wind in the face.
An emergercy stop could have been interesting Paul.
Right, it’s quite common that a farmer buys a well-used (or just old) tipper trailer to transport grain, formerly owned by a hauling company or feed mill.
Prior to the farm tractor, such a trailer was towed by a 4×2 or 6×2 tipper truck.