The ride dynamic characteristics of a novel torsio-elastic suspension for off-road vehicle applications are investigated through field measurements and simulations. A prototype suspension was realised and integrated within the rear axle of a forestry skidder for field evaluations. Field measurements were performed on forestry terrains at a constant forward speed of 5 km/h under the loaded and unloaded conditions, and the ride responses were acquired in terms of accelerations along the vertical, lateral, roll, longitudinal and pitch axes. The measurements were also performed on a conventional skidder to investigate the relative ride performance potentials of the proposed suspension. The results revealed that the proposed suspension could yield significant reductions in magnitudes of transmitted vibration to the operator seat. Compared with the unsuspended vehicle, the prototype suspended vehicle resulted in nearly 35%, 43% and 57% reductions in the frequency-weighted rms accelerations along the x-, y- and z-axis, respectively. A 13-degree-of-freedom ride dynamic model of the vehicle with rear-axle torsio-elastic suspension was subsequently derived and validated in order to study the sensitivity of the ride responses to suspension parameters. Optimal suspension parameters were identified using the Pareto technique based on the genetic algorithm to obtain minimal un-weighted and frequency-weighted rms acceleration responses. The optimal solutions resulted in further reduction in the pitch acceleration in the order of 20%, while the reductions in roll and vertical accelerations ranged from 3.5 to 6%.