New Holland’s T6 Methane Power Tractor lands sustainability award at EIMA

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New Holland Agriculture world-first first T6 Methane Power Tractor has been crowned Sustainable Tractor of the Year 2022, the award decided by the Tractor of the Year jury, at the EIMA exhibition.

The jury panel of leading farm equipment journalists from across Europe singled out the T6 Methane Powered production tractor from shortlisted tractors in three main categories. The T6 Methane Powered Concept won in2019 at Agritechnica the same title and at that stage was a  concept at testing phase.

“We are very proud of receiving the this title Sustainable Tractor of the Year Award  again but for our production tractor,” says 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.”

The T6 Methane Power is on display in an area of the stand dedicated to New Holland’s Energy Independent FarmSM solutions to highlight the many advantages of the tractor and how it can benefit a farmer’s operation and profitability.

New  Holland is producing the full series production at the brand’s Basildon tractor plant for Europe, with units 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-fuelled  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 features a re-engineered six-cylinder FPT Industrial NEF engine producing 175hp like its diesel-fuelled equivalent. Gas injectors and spark plugs replace the diesel injector, with the gas injected into each cylinder for constant, clean, maximised combustion.

Compared to the limits allowed under EU Stage V emissions rules, carbon monoxide emissions from the methane-powered T6.180 are 80% lower, while the level of non-methane hydrocarbons is reduced by 90%. Particulate matter is down by 98%, nitrous oxide by 62%, and CO2 by 11%. However, the T6.180 Methane Power has the same 175hp maximum power output with boost as its conventional cousin and produces maximum torque of 740Nm. Running costs are up to 30%lower, while less vibration.

In other areas, the tractor resembles its diesel-powered equivalent, but the key change is the replacement of the fuel tanks with a combination of ten tanks arranged around the centre 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 litres of gas capacity, equating to 79kgs, 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.

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Saul Wordsworth is deputy editor of the iVT brand - which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine and Off-Highway Annual, as well as ivtinternational.com. He is a keen cyclist and lives in north London.

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