THE New Holland TS range proved highly popular, providing a powerful yet nimble platform, ideally suited to yard work and medium weight duties.
Almost 20 years ago, in 2002, the TS tractors were replaced by an entirely new tractor, the TSA.
With its stylish cutting-edge design, the TSA range comprised four models, with the TS135A at the fore. Easily recognised by its large single door cab and curvy bonnet, the exterior and interior styling of the TSA was far more adventurous than its larger TM stablemates, as well as having greater levels of sophistication. In fact, much of its good looks found fashion with the T6 and T7 tractors which arrived in 2008.
The Basildon-built TS135A is powered by a turbocharged and intercooled 6cyl 6.7l power plant which produces 136hp as standard.
However, New Holland’s electronic power management boosts this output to a considerable 162hp for road transport and power-hungry PTO implements.
This sizable power, combined with a lift capacity of 7.8t and closed centre hydraulics capable of 113l/min, make for a very overachieving package – at a little over five tonnes.
Gearbox options varied, but the ElectroCommand is the most popular of these models, providing eight powershift gears in two ranges, totalling 16 in both forward and reverse.
Tractors fitted with a 50kph road speed had an ‘overdrive’ gear providing a 17th gear, as well as cab suspension as standard.
Drivers of an ElectoCommand TSA soon got accustomed to the high pitched hum of the gearbox due to its straight cut gears, similar to the SLE gearbox of previous Fords/New Hollands.
New Holland’s four-pillar ‘horizon’ cab is built for visibility, with large single pane doors.
The absence of side windows on these tractors was an initial talking point. However, all TSA models are fitted with a clear sunroof for both visibility and fresh air ventilation.
The sweeping side console houses colour-coded and stubby spool valves, as well as three speed PTO controls.
A long line of rocker switches sits below a well-placed grab handle, while the lift and draft controls are integrated conveniently into the front of the armrest.
A newly-designed dash reverted back to analogue dials, with a button cluster mounted above.
The TSA tractors were marketed at farmers and were built loader-ready.
The options list was extensive, including front axle suspension, SuperSteer, electric spools, as well as headland management, leading to many employed on heavier contract work.
A further upgrade came in 2005 with the tractors rebadged as the TSA Plus tractors.
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