Test Drives

New Holland C227 Compact Track Loader

New Holland Construction takes great pride in an entrepreneurial and innovative spirit that’s been with the manufacturer since its beginnings as a one-man repair shop in the US state of Pennsylvania in 1895.

Over the years it has carved out a strong niche in the global construction industry, and taps into its rich legacy in producing machines tailored to meet customer requirements.

Typify its approach, New Holland’s 200 Series compact track loaders are built to get the job done in demanding conditions, sporting a range of features focused on delivering operator comfort and improving productivity, with New Holland promoting the line as allowing operators “to move bigger loads and work with a higher level of confidence, comfort and speed”.

At first blush New Holland’s C227 loader is a solid, little unit (it’s the smallest loader in the C200 line, tipping the scales at an operating weight of 3.72 tonne), and gives the air of a handy workhorse to have at the ready when the going gets tough. It’s all sharp, carefully put together angles, and everything about it – from the wide cab to the rigid undercarriage – beams bullheaded practicality.

Of course, while first impressions count, they need to be backed up – and, getting behind the controls to put New Holland’s willing workhorse through its paces, I wasn’t disappointed, with the C227 delivering the goods across a number of key areas.

Comfort Is Key

Comfort is a key feature when it comes to operating the C227, and I found that New Holland’s clear focus on building a machine tailored to meet operator requirements pays off in spades. New Holland states its 200 Series loaders have been designed from the ground up and built around the operator – and this attention to detail shows, with all of the cab’s interior elements working together in concert, making operation an enjoyable experience.

The controls are standard and similar to many other machines, however the configuration of the controls in combination with the seat belt (no seat bar) and arm rest delivers a high level of comfort (standing in contrast to many other machines I’ve been driving), and operators set in for the long haul will, no doubt, appreciate these touches.

This emphasis on comfort and convenience carries over to the layout of the cab, which New Holland promotes as “one of the widest, most comfortable” in industry, and which certainly doesn’t cut any corners when it comes to head and foot room. Again operators, especially the bigger bodied, will appreciate these touches.

Added to this, a fully sealed and pressurised enclosed cab minimises dust and exhaust infiltration, with a heater/defroster kit and optional air conditioning delivering climate control options that can be put to use in varying weather conditions. Meanwhile, entry and exit is assisted by a low threshold and conveniently placed grab handles.

When it came to visibility, I found that a quick little look over either the right or left shoulder served me well, with no issues whatsoever. New Holland states that based on testing its 200 Series offers more than twice the visibility of previous models in the critical zones, with the series designed to provide a clear view to the cutting edge and bucket at full height, with rear visibility aided by a large rear window, low engine hood and no rear frame towers.

A Versatile Workhorse

The C227 well and truly occupies the workhorse category, and is fairly champing at the bit to be unleashed across a range of conditions. I found being able to set the power both on the throttle control and the foot handy when ploughing into harder sections, with it simply needed to give the C227 a few more revs – and during my test spin, getting stuck into a mound of bitumen profile presented no problems at all.

The C227’s vertical lift Super Boom design is decked out to deliver best-in-class forward dump height and reach, providing loading flexibility, while its bucket breakout force and dump angle help operators plough on through in tough conditions. The C227’s pins connecting the bucket are set noticeably low, nearly on the ground – whereas a lot of older machines see the pins, bucket and pivot point up around your knees – and this positioning stops the flex and wear, making it stronger.

The undercarriage sports a low-profile design, with steel-embedded tracks rolling on rubber instead of steel, and New Holland states its 200 Series loaders hold fast to steep slopes, with low ground pressure allowing the loaders “to float over terrain in any weather condition”, with the line well suited for landscaping applications. Meanwhile, in-line hydraulic pumps are designed to produce less noise, promote smooth operation and deliver fast cycle times – and over 55 attachments are available for the 200 Series loaders, adding to the line’s versatility.

Easy Maintenance

As New Holland notes, “maintenance is more likely to be done when it is easy to get done” – and, when it comes to servicing, the C227 is designed to provide convenient access, with its ground-level service checkpoints grouped together, while all major service points can be reached by flipping the cab forward. Operators and mechanics will no doubt appreciate the layout. The rear door and hood are designed to provide easy service access for periodic maintenance and daily checkpoints, with New Holland stating that engine oil, fuel fill, hydraulic oil, coolant and radiator points can be accessed without tools, with it possible to clean the radiator from either side.

A Multifunctional Machine

Of the three 200 Series compact track loaders available in the local market (the C227, C232 and C238 models), the C227 is New Holland’s major seller, and the manufacturer has a firm eye on branching out into new territory.

Matt Meddows, CNH Industrial Australia Product Manager CE (New Holland is part of the CNH stable of brands), says New Holland’s customer profile has diversified over the years, growing from its traditional rural base, with dealers catering to more urban areas and in turn seeing the market open up for a range of customers, from plumbers through to landscapers and the demolition industry.

Of course, in targeting a wider demographic, machines need to be good to go across a range of applications, and the C227 certainly ticks a lot of boxes in the versatility stakes.

[colored_box color=”yellow”]For more information visit http://www.newholland-construction.com.au[/colored_box]

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