'You drive in gears way higher than you expect on slopes you would normally crawl along'
Published 19/07/2011 | 05:00
With some tedding on the menu, it was time to yoke the T6030 Elite up to a Lely Lotus 600 tedder. This is a six-metre machine which is relatively easy to drive but is a pretty decent load to carry and handle.
Missing from this tractor (and those of other manufacturers) is in-cab lift controls in the form of a simple rocker switch, similar to those fitted on the rear mudguards for operating the tractor's three-point linkage.
It's too easy when your head is on crooked to activate the lift and have it shoot to the top and make a mess of hooking up to an implement or trailer.
Adjusting the three-point linkage drop-arms to suit the high position of the tedder was fast and easy with a turnbuckle at each side. Hook ends on the lift arms facilitated fast hook-up, while a flip-up PTO cover provided access to connect up the power drive. Our tractor featured a three-speed PTO drive: 540, 540 economy and 1,000rpm. Three mechanical, double-acting services provided ample options for this tractor, and these were adjustable in every conceivable way.
With the tedder on board, handling it was not an issue. We tried driving the tedder in 540 and 540 economy speeds PTO, leaving it in the economy gear to save on fuel. The seat-mounted lift controls fell to hand nicely and visibility was fantastic.
The steering stops had been adjusted to get the best out of this tractor and the lock was excellent without fouling the bonnet. The front spring-loaded fenders work well to assist the lock and are better than the steered types used earlier by CNH. With a small headland, manoeuvres were done well.
With all the grass turned wet side up, it was time to get some baling done.
New Holland uses German-made Sauermann hitches and while they look a little unusual, they have proven themselves over the years. The only criticism is that the clevis drawbar can only be fitted in the one position. Irish firm Dromone Engineering manufactures a hitch that suits these tractors but it is not available as a factory option.