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Versatility key to loader choice

With a wide range of duties from clamp work to loading lime, New Holland’s latest W170C wheeled loader is the machine of choice for one Cork contracting outfit. Jane Carley reports.


As well as being kept busy by their own beef and dairy herds, contractors Andrew O’Riordan and Sons of Co Cork, Ireland, also carry out a mixture of silage work in the summer and digger and dumper services throughout the year.


To take on the mixed loading duties, a New Holland W170C wheeled loader was purchased in 2015, principally for the forage workload which amounts to 700ha (1,730 acres) per year. It also does duty loading lime, topsoil and other building materials, and even wood waste, and has clocked up 100 hours in its first year.


The C Series wheeled loader has been specified in Long Reach configuration which offers a 0.4m increase in hinge pin height at maximum reach, ideal for loading trucks and high sided trailers. These latest models are also up to 400kg heavier, so are well suited to clamp work, says the contracting firm.

Andrew (left) and Anthony O'Riordan offer a full forage harvesting service.

Son of Andrew O’Riordan, Anthony explains: “We run a John Deere 7550 forager, Claas rake and four tractors and trailers, offering a complete foraging service. The W170 replaced a W130 to give more torque for pit loading, working with a large buckrake.”


The W170C features a 6.7-litre, FPT engine and a five speed powershift gearbox with an ‘Ecoshift’ function, which automatically locks the torque converter at speeds above 8kph.


Anthony comments that he finds the torque lock-up especially effective when working on heavy silage loads. “It performs really well on the pit and climbs with no problem. It also feels very stable and safe.”


The low engine mounting, behind the rear axle, is designed to improve balance without the need for additional weight, says the manufacturer. In addition, heavy duty rear axles, and rear axle oscillation of 24 degrees allows the loader to cope with undulating terrain such as silage clamps while maintaining traction and stability.

Good all-round visibility is helped by the use of a reversing camera, says Anthony O'Riordan.

Working on a busy pit or around a construction site, Anthony points to the good visibility from the cab as especially beneficial, and makes use of the reversing camera from which the image comes up on a monitor whenever reverse is selected. The LCD display on the dash, which shows gear selection and direction of travel as well as machine settings, is also praised.


“It’s a nice cab to work in, very comfortable and spacious,” he says.


Moving between farms or construction jobs means plenty of time on the road, and Anthony has been pleased with transport performance, with the powershift transmission having a top road speed of 40kph.


“The boom suspension works well and it’s a comfortable ride. I find that the W170C also goes well up hills and keeps up with the tractors when travelling from one farm to another.”


He comments that the hydraulics offer plenty of power when loading bulky materials, and that the operator can easily ‘flick’ the fork or bucket to get stickier loads off.

A hydraulically-driven fan draws air into a boxed-shaped cooling package located behind the cab.

Clamp loading is a notoriously hot and dusty environment, and New Holland has paid attention to cooling on its ag-spec machines, says Anthony. Air is drawn into the radiators from the sides and the top, with a hydraulically driven fan with manual or auto reversing.

“The fan comes in when it is needed, but we have always found the cooling on New Holland loaders to be very good anyway,” Anthony comments.


Having packed in a few hours in its first year, the W170 looks to have proved more than up to the job – a niggle with a hose which blew off was quickly attended to by dealer John McCarthy.


Anthony O’ Reardon’s father Andrew has been in the contracting business for 50 years and has plenty of experience with New Holland machines – an L series loader with 20,000 hours on the clock is still used for feeding the cattle at home, while most of the tractors are also from the Basildon-based manufacturer.


“They are good machines, but you need to ensure that you have sufficient capacity for your workload,” comments Andrew, “We get on well with our John Deere forage harvester but would love to get the latest New Holland forager side by side with it in the field, then we could have everything one colour.”

W170C specifications

  • Engine: FPT six-cylinder 6.7-litre, 197hp
  • Hydraulics: Tandem variable displacement pump 206 litres/min
  • Transmission: five-speed powershift with 40kph top speed
  • Tipping load: 10,129kg
  • Lift capacity from the ground: 11,072kg
  • Breakout force: 12,040kg
  • Operating weight: 15,063kg
  • Bucket capacity: 2.4cu.m
  • List price: £170,620
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