New Holland’s methane tractor wins in Italy
By Chad Elmore19 October 2021
Production T6 Methane Power tractor was awarded during EIMA exhibition.
New Holland Agriculture said its production T6 Methane Power Tractor was crowned Sustainable Tractor of the Year 2022 during the EIMA agricultural equipment trade show that is happening this week (Oct. 19-23) in Bologna, Italy.
The award is decided by the Tractor of the Year jury, comprised of farm equipment journalists from across Europe. In 2019, the tractor won the same title at Agritechnica while still in the test phase.
“We are very proud of receiving the this title Sustainable Tractor of the Year Award again but for our production tractor,” said Carlo Lambro, New Holland Brand president. “This is the culmination of New Holland’s pioneering work on the use of alternative fuels through our Clean Energy Leader strategy, and it is a significant step forward on the path to decarbonizing agriculture. This award is a well-deserved recognition of the hard work and dedication of all those involved in the development of the T6.180 Methane Power tractor series, from our engineering teams to the whole Basildon plant team.”
During EIMA, the T6 Methane Power was on display in an area of the stand dedicated to New Holland’s Energy Independent Farm solutions to highlight the many advantages of the tractor and how it can benefit a farmer’s operation and profitability.
“The T6 Methane Power tractor we presenting here at EIMA is our production unit, and this technology is available to our customers now,” said Oscar Baroncelli, head of Tractor Product Management. “With the economic and practical advantages, it brings, further enhanced when using biomethane, we expect a lot of interest from biogas plant operators and suppliers, and also farmers with access to the gas network. Municipalities are also showing a lot of interest in adding this tractor to their fleets of Compressed Natural Gas vehicles to further reduce their emissions footprint.”
The tractor is in production at the brand’s Basildon tractor plant and units are currently undergoing practical testing by farmers across European markets.
Since 2006, when New Holland launched its Clean Energy Leader strategy, followed by the unveiling in 2013 of the brand’s first methane-fueled T6 series-based tractor prototype, the business has repeatedly underlined its commitment to following through its environmental promises and contributing to CO2 reduction.
First shown in 2017 and launched officially two years later, the T6.180 Methane Power uses a re-engineered six-cylinder FPT Industrial NEF engine rated 175 hp like its diesel-fueled equivalent. Gas injectors and spark plugs replace the diesel injector, with the gas injected into each cylinder for constant, clean, maximized combustion, according to New Holland.
The T6.180 Methane Power has the same 175 hp maximum power output with boost as its conventional cousin and produces maximum torque of 740 Nm. Running costs are up to 30% lower, while less vibration. The tractor resembles its diesel-powered equivalent, but the key change is the replacement of the fuel tanks with a combination of 10 tanks arranged around the center of the chassis. The front-mounted range extender unit can be replaced with a front linkage and PTO if required or removed for loader work. With 453 L of gas capacity, equating to 79 kg, the company said the tractor holds sufficient fuel for around eight hours of road haulage or PTO work, rising to 14 hours for operating something like a cattle feeder.
“What surprises customers is the power and the torque that is the same as the diesel. Refuelling is simple, and very similar to the process of filling an CNG-powered car or truck,” said Global Product Manager Alternative Fuel Mark Howell, New Holland. “It takes no longer than refuelling a conventional tractor’s diesel tank, and is a cleaner process with no chance of spillages.
“The benefit of methane as a fuel is that it can create a circular energy system. When burned in controlled circumstances in an engine like that in the T6.180 Methane Power, the by-products are carbon dioxide and water. When you consider the CO2 released in creating the fuel, not only do our customer benefit from the 11% CO2 saving for the exhaust pipe but they can also benefit from the source of the fuel.”