BY the early 90s, Ford had already reworked the TW series into the 30 series and by then the design was already over 10- years -old – albeit with some advances along the way.
The biggest distinguishing factor between the TW and 30 series was the introduction of the 16-speed Funk designed power shift transmission.
As Ford morphed into New Holland, a new high horsepower tractor was required to take the brand into the millennium. Aside from the aforementioned Funk gearbox, this tractor was to be an all-new, ground- up design – the Genesis 70 series.
Encompassing four models – the 8670, 8770, 8870 and 8970 – the Genesis were released in 1994.
Instantly recognisable by their imposing stature, the 70 series were initially badged as Ford tractors and later as New Holland with high spec models featuring an A after the model number.
These tractors were manufactured at the Versatile plant in Winnipeg, Canada which was purchased by the New Holland Group.
Power comes from the 7.5 litre Genesis engine, producing 240hp on the intercooled 8970.
The Funk power shift transmission offers 16F/9R gears, with gear changing achieved by pushing the stubby gear lever to the left or right, and direction changing by moving the lever forward or backward, with programmable and auto shifting features.
Standard hydraulic oil flow is 117l/mi.
However, a Megaflow option boosts this to a whopping 210l/min. Rear linkage capacity is also highly impressive at 8.8 tonnes.
The six-post cab offers excellent visibility, thanks in part to the introduction of a sloping front bonnet, while the sliding Sidewinder console allows the driver to match the seating and side control console perfectly.
These tractors were highly innovative featuring a Super Steer front axle which allowed for an exceptionally tight turning circle.
This optional extra features a front axle that is perched right out under the nose of the tractor with the front linkage and/or weights swivelling with the axle allowing for a turning angle of 65 degrees and was a popular feature with tillage operators.
Also worthy of mention is the industry’s first pop-up bonnet for easy service access, as well as optional electronic spool valves.
Interestingly, these tractors were also branded in the Fiat terracotta colour scheme as G series, Versatile in North America, and later manufactured under licence by Landini as the Starland range. Ideally suited to heavy draught work or power hungry implements, the 70 series brought high horsepower New Hollands into the 21st century.
Ford New Holland 8970
Years of manufacture