Test Drives

NEW HOLLAND C227 Compact Track Loader

New Holland Construction is a global manufacturer of construction machinery. The company’s leadership in the skid steer loader category began in 1972 with the introduction of the L35 – the industry’s first vertical lift skid steer loader equipped with the patented Super Boom® lift linkage.

New Holland is a company with a history firmly in the agricultural world and for a long time its machines have been the preferred choice of farmers around Australia. Powerful performance, comfort and reliability are part of the New Holland DNA and their CTLs are no different.

Therefore, it was only a matter of time until those specific qualities and capabilities saw New Holland Construction Equipment achieve the same success and reputation in other markets around Australia, which also place the same demanding expectations on machinery.

If you are an operator looking to dig or push material around, you will struggle to find a better machine suited to these tasks than the New Holland C227. The radial-lift boom geometry is ideal for digging and pushing. Whether you need to excavate a dam or a residential/commercial site its excellent breakout force will have your productivity at an all-time high. The geometry of the arm ties it directly into the chassis ensuring more pushing power. Another great feature of the radial lift model is the added maximum height advantage of the design, for example at 720mm height the reach is 1110mm.

When it was time to put the New Holland C227 to the test I was very impressed with the smoothness and power of the radial lift. We didn’t have any trucks to load, but I could see the height and reach was better than other machines of the same size that I’ve operated recently.


The site was very sloppy because it had been pouring for the days leading up to the test drive and only let up an hour before we got started. The mud was thick and sticky, but the compact tracked loader didn’t miss a beat. With a dozer-style undercarriage with rigid track frame and fewer moving parts, a more durable and easier to maintain system is achieved.

Another cool feature with the new design is a narrower chassis, which allowed all of the compact track loaders to come in at less than 2m wide. This makes it a lot easier to fit into tighter spaces to load and unload on trailers providing hassle-free transportation. Not to mention being super nimble when working on small worksites.

New technology of the undercarriage includes crawler-style rollers that have been designed to reduce de-tracking when working on inclines. Elevated drive sprockets increase component life by keeping the motor assembly out of the mud and with 1/5th of the number of moving parts there are fewer parts to replace down the track reducing running costs.


The hydraulic capability is well suited to most attachments and the majority of tasks to be undertaken, which makes for a very versatile machine.

The standard flow package is on every machine and is perfect for most common hydraulic attachments. The optional high-flow kit provides up to 55 per cent more oil flow to manage certain types of attachments that require more power to work correctly, including cold planers, rock wheels or small mulchers. The enhanced high-flow option is only available on the L230 and C238 and increases the pressure to 275 bar or 4000psi.


You won’t find a more comfortable cab in this class. New Holland knows how to get this stuff right with a pile of head and leg room – even a 6’5, 105kg+ operator will have more than enough room to enjoy the design and space of this cab – and an extra wide standard cab. The radio comes standard and speaker sounds great along with either a mechanical suspension seat or heated air suspension seat available.

The sealed and pressurised cab is great – nothing gets in or out. Even in the crappiest of days, whether that is soaring heat and dust or pouring rain and mud, the heat and dust will stay out and vice versa. These features make the New Holland cab the most comfortable place to be on site in the extremes of Australia’s conditions.


Precision controls (or lack of) can often be the final piece of the puzzle that makes or breaks the overall experience of a machine.

The electro-hydraulic switchable controls are optional on all models. Operators have excellent customisation features to allow them to dial the machine in to create their perfect feel. The control settings can be modified from the instrument cluster to either speed up or down essential settings like machine speed, boom and bucket speed or simply making the joysticks more or less reactive. Even the driving pattern can be switched from ISO to H pattern by clicking one button, adapting to the operator’s style of driving.

Safety is always high on the agenda for New Holland and the new extra-wide cab has doubled the visibility around the worksite. The threshold has also been lowered to provide excellent visibility on the cutting edge of the bucket. In fact, all of the glass panels around the cab are noticeably larger. Instrument displays are placed perfectly at eye level so you can quickly check displays without having to look away from the bucket or attachment.

Other great features are ground level maintenance and service points and with the removal of just two bolts, the cab tilting system will tilt the new flip top cab forward to provide complete component access. On Superboom models the operator can lock the raised boom safely in place from inside the cab, which is a great feature that removes the risk of carrying out work on these machines – a New Holland feature that is a massive leap forward in skid steer safety.

As an operator I enjoyed spending time in the New Holland C227 Compact Track Loader. There wasn’t any one particular standout feature or technology that makes this machine. Instead, it felt more like a good machine that has just been refined and improved upon over the years and has arrived at a time and place now in 2018 where it is just a pleasure to operate. It’s a combination of precision controls (and the ability to customise the operating experience to suit your exact personal preference), the powerful and smooth performance and a cabin that I can’t fault. This is a top-shelf machine across several unique levels.

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