REVIEW: New Holland’s SmartTrax T8-435 has a winning configuration

By: Tom Dickson, Photography by: Andrew Britten, Video by: Andrew Britten

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Tracked at the rear only, New Holland’s latest SmartTrax T8-435 tractor is an extension of its Genesis Series. Tom Dickson predicts we’ll see more of this type of configuration

About 15 high horsepower tractors and airseeders from all the major manufacturers recently converged on Inverleigh, just outside Geelong, for the Southern Farming Systems (SFS), on farm seeder demonstration day.

The gathering of tractors included tracked machines, articulated and rigid tractors on both single and dual wheels and the New Holland Genesis T8.435 I am here to review is the guest of honour.

My hunch is we are going to see a lot more of this configuration moving into the future.

It has the value of better traction and less compaction and reduced burming than its fully tracked counterparts and the benefit of superior manoeuvrability.

At the end of the cultivation and sowing period it is capable of linkage work like fertiliser spreading and spraying.


Maintenance Carrying Out All The Other Daily Maintenance Can Be Done From The Ground.

In a tractor of this size all that really matters is horsepower and getting that horsepower to the ground.

The T8.435 has a six cylinder Tier 4B Cursor 9 power plant from renowned engine manufacturer Fiat Power Train which also produces engines for the transport, bus and heavy machinery industry.

Maximum boosted horsepower is 435 horsepower.

To comply with emission standards the T8 range use SCR technology running AdBlue. The positive side to SCR is that it is a totally post combustion treatment.

The engine is always sucking clean air and so engine power is not compromised at all.



Reliability And Serviceability Are A Key To The T8 Genesis Range

Service intervals are 600 hours for major works and I am really impressed with the simplicity of the daily requirements.

After refuelling, the engine oil can be checked on the other side without having to lift the bonnet.

Stepping in between the front wheel and the cabin allows the removal of a large magnetic cover to reveal the engine air filters for easy cleaning.

Lifting the bonnet is really only required to periodically blow out the radiators. And by the way it does require the use of a silly little tool to trigger the bonnet latch.

Both the 675 litre diesel tank and 99 litre AdBlue reservoir are located on the entry door side which just so happens to be the only door.

The other side is a single panel glass window to maximise vision out that side.



Tracks A Larger Diameter Drive Wheel Has Increased The Surface Area

The addition of tracks is the key to the Smarttrax out-performing its similar horsepower competition and I can tell you it loses nothing in manoeuvrability compared to its wheeled counterparts.

Tracks come in four widths of 16, 18, 24, and 30 inches and the width between track centres are available in seven options between 76 inches and 152 inches.

After completing a full lock turn of approximately ten metres and there is hardly leaves a mark on the ground.

Other track machines rely on reducing power to the inside track to complete the turn but the T8 maintains full power throughout the turn.

Constant hydraulic pressure pushing the bottom idler wheels apart keeps extreme tension on the belt.

The top drive wheel has increased in size to provide a larger contact point between the belt and drive wheel for a more reliable friction drive.

Under extreme load slots in the drive wheel engage with lugs on the belts initiating positive drive.

The whole track assembly can rock about ten degrees forward and backwards so it follows the contours in the ground. Combined with cabin and seat suspension it’s a really comfy ride.

The handling and ride of the T8 Smarttrax is amazing and it performs equally as well as any wheel version and better than an articulated.



Terraglide Front Axle

The auto Command CVT transmission offers the maximum in driving efficiency and economy up to a maximum road speed of 40km/h.

Designed and built by New Holland, over 10000 of these multi award-winning Auto Command™ continuously variable transmissions (CVT) have been built so I would assume any glitches have been ironed out by now.

It benefits from four direct drive points with 100 per cent mechanical efficiency, which have been precision engineered to ensure they perfectly match the most frequently used speeds during heavy draft work, secondary cultivation activities, high speed in-field work, such as baling or mowing and high speed transport activities.

Advanced double clutch control further enhances efficiency. Quite simply, it is the smoothest and most productive CVT around. 

The transition from zero to forty kilometres an hour is smooth and can be done using the handgrip on the armrest or by foot.

Shuttling between forward and reverse has two modes of operation by two electronic buttons on the handgrip or the lever on the steering column.

The speed of modulation and rate of acceleration is easily adjusted to suit your personal preference.



The Side Winder Armrest

Hydraulic remote valves, three point linkage and PTO functions are all electronically controlled and operated through New Holland’s Sidewinder armrest.

New Holland has run its sidewinder console for about for about five years on all its tractors from 100 horsepower to the highest horsepower models.

Without any instruction I can perform all the speed and directional changes, lift and lower the linkage arms, operate the hydraulics and PTO all from the sidewinder armrest.

Continuity from one model to the next is really important for familiarity but I haven’t had much to do with New Holland tractors so obviously it’s easy to master even with limited experience.

The armrest has an electronic mechanism that moves it forwards and backwards so you can position it perfectly to maximise your comfort.

Two sets of remotes, the linkage, speed and direction of travel along with up to three pre-set working speeds are accessed from the operational handgrip on the armrest.

The third and fourth remotes, single speed 1000rpm PTO and linkage and hydraulic flow adjusters are on the seat integrated armrest as well.

The front right cab pillar has a screen to show you your three pre-set operating speeds.

Two buttons on the handgrip allow you to scroll between them and a rotating dial beside the buttons adjusts the speed of the one that is currently activated.

Initiating full power gives the cruise speed for each mode.

The tractor can be slowed down by easing back on the handgrip but can’t go any faster than the maximum pre-set speed.



Cabin Operator Comfort Has Never Been Better

The time I spend alone in the cabin at the end of the day exploring and experimenting with the touch screen monitor is time really well spent.

I play with the hydraulic timers and even set up a basic headland management program.

I adjust the electronic mirrors and admire the outside view through the huge panoramic windows from the warmth of the cabin.

In keeping with New Holland’s commitment to operator comfort the vents don’t actually point straight at me but are positioned to heat or cool the cabin not individual body parts.

I even get the Delphi surround sound, blue tooth stereo working.

Sitting there feeling pretty happy with myself I realise I can’t see the air cleaner intake or exhaust.

From the outside they look huge but excellent positioning behind the front cabin pillars take them out of the equation.



The T8.435 Looks Right At Home Harnessed

As people move away from the traditional four wheel drive articulated tractors in the higher horsepower level, I think we are probably going to see a lot more of this type of tractor configuration.

It opens up the ability to go out to three metre centres and efficiently put that power on the ground using a footprint in line with the controlled traffic model.

The ability to put a big high capacity spreader on it extends its use to the spreader market.

With wheels on the front and the track on the back you’ll get far less burning on the corners and less tearing up of your crops when you’re performing post emergent spreading, which wouldn’t have been possible with a completely wheeled tractor.

It also gives the Smarttrax the extra versatility to mount a large volume linkage boom spray on the rear and spray tank on the front as well to transform the T8 into a self-propelled boom spray.

The extra floatation of the tracks would see it operational in crops earlier when it’s still a little too moist underfoot for traditional wheeled sprayers.

I am one hundred percent happy to recommend the Genisus T8.435 to anyone after a tractor in this horsepower bracket.

My gut feeling is saying it’s very good.











MAKE: New Holland

MODEL: Autocommand



FLOW (L/MIN): 161

TYPE: Electro hydraulic



REAR LIFT (KG): 10,200

FRONT LIFT (KG): 6,810

PTO: Auto soft start


DIESEL (L): 673


LENGTH: 6,606MM    

WIDTH: 2,351MM Min/4,281MM Max                      


WEIGHT: 16,500KG


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Cabin Operator comfort has never been better Operator comfort has never been better Cabin Operator comfort has never been better
Maintenance carrying out all the other daily maintenance can be done from the ground Accessing the air filters and carrying out all the other daily maintenance can be done from the ground Maintenance carrying out all the other daily maintenance can be done from the ground
New Holland Genesis SmartTrax T8 435 Tracked at the rear only, New Holland’s new SmartTrax tractor is an extension of its T8 Genesis Series New Holland Genesis SmartTrax T8 435
Reliability and serviceability are a key to the T8 Genesis range Reliability and serviceability are a key to the T8 Genesis range Reliability and serviceability are a key to the T8 Genesis range
Terraglide front axle Terraglide front axle suspension have been tuned specifically for the T8 SmartTrax Terraglide front axle
The SideWinder armrest The SideWinder armrest enables ergonomic operation as all key controls fall perfectly to hand The SideWinder armrest
The T8 range has excellent access into the cabin The T8 range has excellent access into the cabin The T8 range has excellent access into the cabin
The T8 435 looks right at home harnessed The T8.435 looks right at home harnessed up to some big equipment at the Southern Farming System’s research site The T8 435 looks right at home harnessed
Though NFM's Tom Dickson is dwarfed by the massive exhaust system Though New Farm Machinery’s Tom Dickson is dwarfed by the massive exhaust system it is hardly visible from inside the cabin Though NFM's Tom Dickson is dwarfed by the massive exhaust system
Tracks A larger diameter drive wheel has increased the surface area A larger diameter drive wheel has increased the surface area on the track providing improved friction drive Tracks A larger diameter drive wheel has increased the surface area

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