Observations on NH TC 26 DA

   #1  

MiserableOldFart

Gold Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2006
Messages
438
Location
Delaware County Catskills NY
Tractor
NH Workmaster 40, Kubota GR2120
I thought I'd drop a note here about my experience with my TC 26 after three and a half years of ownership. I haven't put anywhere near the number of hours on the machine I expected to, though I am using it more now. I'm a bit embarrassed to say it's only got 170 hours on it after all this time. A lot of that low usage was caused by this past summer, and the fact that it rained so much I only got to cut the grass on rare occasions.

At any rate, the TC 26 was, at the time I bought it, the most powerful of the smallest size of CUTs that NH offered. I use it to cut approximately five acres of grass (more field than lawn) of mixed terrain. I have a Bush Hog 60 RDTH 3 pt finishing mower, a loader and a Woods 60 inch rear blade for winter snows. The loader is used for all kinds of things - tractor dealers are right when they recommend that you automatically get the loader.

Overall, I am very pleased with this tractor so far. It has a lot of power, plenty for its size. Though it's a light tractor it does leave some pretty serious ruts in soft grass with the R4's, though I doubt that turfs would be much better. The steering radius is quite tight, though its best to resist using the tightest turns on turf because it can leave some marks unless you go extremely slow. Our terrain is strictly 4 wheel drive, the tractor is never out of four wheel. I have never had occasion to attempt to use the brakes for steering, though I am told that a lot of people do. Some say that the fact that the brake is on the same side of the tractor as the HST treadle can be a problem, though you could use the cruise control and thus be able to use your right foot for the right or left brake.

The 26 lacks some amenities that the larger framed CUTs have like cup holders and pivoting seat. Super steer was not an option on this sized tractor. None of those things had any effect on my purchase.

The tractor is a bit sensitive to gelling of the fuel. I think the fact that the fuel filter and its bowl are so small has an effect on that. I have made sure to add anti-gel and a small amount of kerosene to the fuel to prevent that for the rest of the winter, I hope.

For me, this tractor was the right size. To those who are considering a tractor of this size, I would point out that the one feature of the next size that I really wish I had is the three gear ranges. I don't think, however, that it would be enough of an incentive to get me to buy a bigger tractor. The TC26 can cut grass in high range on level ground or any downhill, but must be used in low range even on a slight incline with my 60 inch finishing mower. It isn't a problem here, because the terrain is so rough, but if you have a large, very smooth lawn, it might make sense to get a few extra horsepower for a little more speed on smooth areas and the extra gear range.

The tractor has great power, but its light weight naturally limits its traction in mud and snow. For me, the lighter weight was important because of the grass cutting and the greater capacity for ruts from a heavier machine. Still, the little tractor can push a lot of snow, and I doubt many people will feel the need for more power unless they have huge jobs on their hands.

About the only complaint I have is that the seatbelt appears to be an automotive type design and I keep the tractor outside where it gets snowed on. I keep it cleaned off, but the seatbelt doesn't seem to work properly when it gets a little icy.. that can happen even if the machine is garaged and then used in the weather. NH should improve the design of their belts.

The tractor is good on fuel, handles very well and does everything I've asked it to do. I would definitely make the purchase again. I did have a problem in the first few weeks I had the tractor when one of the rear tires just let go and lost all its air and Rim Guard. The dealer came and got the tire, took it back to the shop, reseated the tire and replaced the Rim Guard without charge.

It's a good machine and one of my prized possessions, and a lot safer toy than the motorcycle I might have bought otherwise.
 
   #2  

Solo

Platinum Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2001
Messages
707
Location
Fairmont,WV
Tractor
New Holland Boomer2030
Very nice review. I've had my NH TC18 for almost nine years and only have 410 hrs. on it.

Looks like today I'll get to put some hrs. on it clearing snow.

Solo
 
   #3  

arnoldziffel

Gold Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2008
Messages
366
Tractor
Branson 4225h, Mahindra 2516, several Toro Wheel Horse 522xi machines.
To MOF:

Now, almost 5 years after your "Observation" review of the TC26da, do you have any additional impressions to share?

I'm particularly interested in your now well seasoned experience with only 2 gear ranges instead of 3. Have you really been able to mow in high range consistently or should a prospective owner of a TC 26da be prepared for a lot of mowing in Low Range?

Thanks.
 
 
Top