New Holland T5050
In the blue corner, the T5050 replaces the TL-A 100 and rolls out of the Jesi, Italianfactory in three versions – Eco, Classic and Deluxe.
It is the plushest Deluxe model we are testing here, but despite its hi-spec moniker, the T5050 has an abundance of levers and linkages preferred by technophobes and there is not an electronic function in sight – save for the dash-mounted performance monitor. It even came with mechanical draft control, though an electronic draft control option is available.
It also packs the beefiest hand-throttle ever found on a tractor.
Powered by a CNH 4.5-litre engine that is B100 biodiesel compatible, the T5050 offers 97hp at rated speed, and we found a peak of 88.5hp on the dyno. It needs an oil change only every 600 hours and is easy enough to get at – lifting the bonnet reveals slide-out radiator cores, battery and an air filter box mounted in front. It looks convenient, but pipes need pulling out of the way to allow the element to be removed.
In the transmission department, the T5050 Deluxe gets a 24x24 Dual Command 40kph transmission, defined with four speeds that can be doubled using a two-speed powershift, through each of three ranges. And there is a useful power shuttle reverse, though we found it lacks feel when using the clutch pedal for delicate manoeuvring – when hitching up to implements, for example.
The power clutch on this model also allows you to move through eight speeds without using the clutch pedal – a transmission shift button can be found on the back of the main gear lever.
Electro-hydraulic diff lock and four-wheel drive engagement switches are a joy to use, but the four-wheel drive system on our model made a noticeable whine once engaged.
For loader work, the T5050 came equipped with a 120FL loader – also from Stoll – packing a 2,582kg lift capacity, and equipped with a multi-quick coupler,
hydraulic self-levelling, third service and soft ride, and priced when tested at £4,063. Fitting it requires the tractor to be ‘loader ready’, costing another £2,290, though it does include a diverter valve, taking 20 litres of flow from the steering pump to generate up to 80 litres of flow for the loader.
The low cab roof means loader visibility is poor at height, and the multi-quick coupler bracket is mounted so close to the exhaust the hydraulic pipes foul the exhaust stack – and means it is not too quick to get off, or back on.
We found the loader to be very controllable, though the joystick position – bolted to the right-hand inner wing – is questionable. It is perilously close to the main gear lever and a stretch too, when the seat is pushed back for those with longer legs. Heading for third gear in a hurry often means scraping your fingers and knuckles on the loader control locking pin.
Perhaps more of a bend in the main gear lever, or a new location for the loader control, would be an improvement.
New Holland’s Deluxe cab is roomy, with the handbrake located to the right of the seat, it leaves a clear area on the left. Soft-touch materials contribute to noise reduction. While we found a peak of 81dB(A), the average noise level came in at 76dB(A).
The cab benefits from climate control. You set the temperature on the roof-mounted rotary dials, and it will be maintained, says the company.
Getting the ‘right’ temperature is tricky without any numbers to choose from. It requires constant fiddling with the dials, and if you have not got it set by nightfall, then you have no chance as there is no illumination around the dials.
But there is a useful orange glow cast over the right-hand console at night.
And those who prefer a lofty seating position will instinctively know where those controls are, after a few firm jolts in the seat – like us, you will probably bump your head on the climate control dials in the New Holland’s low roof.
We like the simplicity of the Lift-O-Matic raise and lower control, plus the range of adjustment through the position and draft levers. There is also a mechanical screw adjuster outside too, for setting a maximum lift height.
With one assistor ram, the T5050 mustered 4,450kg of lift capacity at the ball ends – barely enough to handle our Overum plough. Adding an optionalsecond ram does boost lift to 5,060kg.
There is no swing-back hitcheither, but you do get a usefulmirror that lets you play ‘spotthe hook’.