Video: ‘You cannot go back to gears when you’re used to this’

AgriLand paid a visit to Broadleas Farm (near Stamullen, Co. Meath) to see how one of its front-line tractors – a New Holland T7.245 (Auto Command) is faring thus far.

John W Anderson spoke to Andrew Tallon (pictured above), who works for the company; he has notched up 2,000 hours each year (over three seasons) on this 161-reg machine.

‘Main tractor’

He explained: “When I started here [about 10 years ago] my main tractor was a John Deere 6930. We moved from that to a T7.250 Auto Command; then to a T7.250 Power Command – a Titanium one.

Now we’re back to a ‘vario’ again. You cannot go back to gears when you’re used to a ‘vario’ [stepless transmission].

“Here at Broadleas Farm we run eight New Hollands and one Massey Ferguson. I’ve grown up with New Holland all my life; I started off with Fiat; then TMs, etc – and on to T7s. Now we’re on to the latest [ones].

“It’s a T7.245 Blue Power [Auto Command] running a New Holland / Trimble CenterPoint RTX system. The tractor was specced this way, because its main job is drilling and spreading fertiliser.

“The reason for Blue Power [was that] it was nearly the same type of money to get it when you put all of the extras on.” He joked: “It looks a bit better, of course, as well.

“We don’t do contract work, so fields are mapped onto a USB stick. We use the same fields year-on-year. We’ve all the tramlines saved in a certain position, as well as poles, wet spots and so on.

“When you build up your history, you can go into any field, start whenever you want…and you’ve no problems. You know where you’re going to be [at any time] before you start the field. You know where you’re going to finish.”

He explained that Broadleas Farm’s Kverneland/Vicon spreader is operated through the New Holland / Trimble system.

He said that the Lemken one-pass (in the video) is run through it too, saying: “These days, you just literally couldn’t work without GPS. It makes life so much easier.”

‘There’s no reversing’

Asked how GPS is of benefit in the field when drilling, Andrew said: “The reason why I don’t run up and down side-by-side is that it’s quicker to turn on the headland [when working in bouts or sets] – so there’s no reversing; just keep going forward all day long.

“Your footprint’s lighter on the headland too.”

He added: “We service the tractor every 500 hours. Diesel filters [get changed] every 800 to 1,000 hours; oil filters every 500 – religiously. Every man [on this farm] has his own machine; it’s up to him to look after it.

The Auto Command gearbox is great. On the road you have no issues whatsoever; if you come to a crossroads put your foot on the brake; it’ll stop and hold itself there.

“In the field you can get any speed you want; you can go in between any ‘gears’. The ‘vario’ is ideal for the jobs I’m doing.”