New Holland is celebrating the 50th birthday of its first skid steer loader, a machine that has become a valuable tool on many farms.
The birth of the New Holland skid steer took place in hay tools design when an engineer discovered that his mower design could be turned on its side to achieve an upward- and forward-reaching motion.
That became the foundation of what would become New Holland's industry-exclusive Super Boom vertical lift loader design.
In 1971 New Holland built its first production skid steer loader, the L35, which introduced many industry firsts to the market.
Its vertical lift design allowed for greater reach and improved clearance for loading and its longer wheelbase provided a smooth, steady ride for operators.
New Holland also took the leader position in operator safety with the L35, being the first manufacturer to introduce rollover and falling-object protection.
A New Holland spokesman said during the past five decades the company had improved the design and functionality of the original L35, increasing reach and load capacity, reducing cycle times and extending the skid steer line up to include compact track loaders.
He said the latest 300 Series was being offered in nine new models ranging from 60 to 90 gross horsepower (44.7 to 67.1 kilowatts) and rated operating capacity from 815 to 2045kg.
The redesigned 300 Series provided superior visibility, greater height and reach and a simpler operational system for drivers.
New features included maintenance tracking, engine protection and ignition time-out to ensure maximum uptime and productivity, he said.
A 20.32cm (8-inch) LCD multifunction display with backup camera conveniently showed machine performance engine data.
Along with the easy-to-navigate features, the display offered the versatility of electro-hydraulic control settings, allowing the operator to customise and adjust the machine's settings to individual preferences and needs, the spokesman said.
For customers who buy a skid steer during the anniversary celebration, a "50 Years Edition" decal will be added to the rear left-hand side of all skid steers from mid-June.