The symbiotic relationship between New Holland and the Eden Project goes from strength to strength
Anyone visiting the world famous Eden Project and its highly distinctive biomes nestled in a Cornish crater cannot fail to notice the equally distinctive blue and yellow tractors working their way around the site, helping to maintain the project and transport many of the millions of visitors around the huge complex.
New Holland was chosen after a long consultation process, two and a half years ago by the Eden Project as a ‘preferred equipment supplier’ because of its reputation as a pioneer of 100% bio-diesel fuelled machines and excellent dealer support from supplying dealer Truro Tractors. The relationship that was forged in October 2006 has reinforced New Holland’s reputation as a ‘clean energy leader.’
It was in January 2007 that the first New Holland tractors arrived at the site near St Austell to start work pulling the Land Train tractors which transport visitors from the entrance to the biomes and back. And these machines came with full green credentials themselves: All of them are from New Holland’s stable of 100% bio-diesel powered machines.
Whilst the tractors were working, Transport Manager at the Eden Project John Ryan would regularly send information back to New Holland about how much bio-diesel they were using and other operating data. He says that this consistent feed of information allowed New Holland to measure the litres per hour of fuel consumption as well as being able to closely monitor the whole vehicle performance in a controlled environment
“As well as the fuel data, we’d send parts back too: When the vehicles were serviced at the local dealership, Truro Tractors, certain parts were sent off to be examined: The oil filter, fuel filter and other key parts were all wrapped up and sent to the tractor plant at Basildon for analysis to see if fuel particles were clogging up any part of the system. And every 100 hours we’d take samples of the engine oil to be sent off for similar analysis.”
This constant supply of vital information still continues, providing New Holland with a strong data base on how their 100% bio-diesel powered tractor engines are operating. This, coupled with regular visits from resident New Holland design and quality engineers based at Basildon, gave the manufacturer a huge database of real time information.
Today the Eden Project runs four 100% bio-diesel New Holland tractors. This spring, New Holland delivered two T6030s, a T5040 and a TC35 replacing the old fleet which had worked without fault, tirelessly pulling the land trains up and down the steep testing route and operating around the impressive site.
Every day the two T6030s are linked up to carriages specially built to carry passengers around the Project site. Each of these tractor-powered land trains can carry up to 80 passengers at a time and it is estimated that around three quarters of the Eden Project visitors use the land trains while they are on site. And considering that, each year, 1.2 million people visit the project; the tractors are kept extremely busy: Around 3 million people have been transported without a drop of fossil fuel used.
Meanwhile in the background, the bio-diesel fuelled T5040 and TC35 are used for a variety of tasks around the Eden Project: Pulling trailers; cutting grass, loading and unloading materials using buckets and forks.
New Holland’s Area Sales Manager Mark Farrell says that the relationship that has developed between New Holland and the Eden project it is well-matched and highlights the distinct environmental advantages of New Holland tractors:
“Our tractors were chosen over the competition, because of our environmentally friendly brand image and our unique commitment to running a joint test programme with 100% bio-diesel - with full involvement of our engineering department at Basildon. Also very important to the Eden Project were their strict demands requiring low levels of noise, emissions, fuel consumption and servicing costs. When comparisons were made and measured, these standard characteristics helped our tractors to come out on top in every area, with incredibly low noise levels, low particulate emissions and extremely good fuel consumption results, coupled with 600 hour servicing intervals. All factors which were measured and compared against the other competitors’ units.”
The Eden Project’s mission is to “promote the understanding and responsible management of the vital relationship between plants, people and resources, leading towards a sustainable future for all.” Within that remit, the project has pledged to invest in clean energy. Transport manager John Ryan says that in pursuing this mission, the relationship with New Holland has gone from strength to strength:
“To start with we had various tractors on site from different companies, but over the years New Holland has been the only company to stick with us as we moved away from our old red diesel machines. Today the New Holland 100% bio-diesel tractors have become a key feature of the Eden Project experience. In fact, last year we painted all nine of our passenger carriages in the distinctive New Holland blue to match the tractors.”
Every year the postcard of the land train pulled by the New Holland tractors is a best seller in the Eden Project gift shops. Thousands of them are sold. Now that the carriages have been painted to match the tractors, a new picture of the land trains has been taken for the latest edition of this best selling postcard.
John says the New Holland/Eden Project alliance is a strong one and one that he is very much hoping will go on for years to come:
“It’s fantastic that New Holland has stayed with us. It is based on good team work and a desire to invest in clean energy and this is what has made the alliance such a success: We’re really looking forward to a long relationship with them.”