At a recent Media Day at New Holland headquarters in New Holland, Pa., journalists had the chance to get a closer look at the company’s new track option on its T9 series high-horsepower tractors. First launched at farm shows last fall, the new SmartTrax track option consists of four belted rubber tracks designed to reduce soil compaction and slippage created by these 600-plus-hp tractors. They also can provide for a smoother ride over bumps compared to wheels, the company says.

Sean Dorosz, New Holland high horsepower tractor marketing manager, says SmartTrax is a premium-priced offering but has a lot of features that balance out that cost. One of those is its single-wheel design, which allows you to bolt the tracks onto the same axle as the tires. This design allows you to switch out wheels for tracks, depending on field conditions.

“So, if there are certain times of year where you don’t need tracks due to dryer field conditions or when traction isn’t as much of a concern, you can install wheels,” Dorosz adds. “You also can unbolt the tracks and install them on combine if you have wet harvesting conditions, which we ran into a little bit last year.”

Installation is as easy as changing tires, Dorosz says. The tracks bolt to the hubs without adapters, allowing conversion from wheels to tracks.

Another unique feature of the SmartTrax track system is that it is available in both standard and high-idler configurations. Dorosz says the high-idler configuration has a sled-shaped leading edge that drags crop residue and topsoil under the tracks for better traction and flotation. It makes it easier to drive in and out of ditches and climb over rough terrain and obstacles without undue stress on the operator or the machine, Dorosz says.

The new SmartTrax track options are available for New Holland’s wide frame T9.615 and T9.670 tractor models. Pricing information is pending. For more information, see your local New Holland dealer or visit www.newholland.com/na.