FARM EQUIPMENT REVIEW: February 2006
By Top Crop Manager
By Top Crop Manager
Over the last year, dozens of new models and designs of farm machinery have
been introduced by manufacturers. Many of you will have seen these introductions
at farm shows and in various industry announcements – but, can you remember
the details? This feature provides a reference for you.
While Top Crop Manager editors make every effort to be objective
when reporting on new products, they cannot be held responsible for claims made
by companies. Readers are encouraged to contact the companies for more details.
Producers looking to harvest bigger windrows with faster ground speeds can now
consider the new 615P belt pick-up platform from John Deere. This new header
is specifically designed to optimize productivity of STS combines.
A new 15 foot platform design includes a 26 inch diameter auger with aggressive
five inch deep flighting for high performance in windrows. Four 44.5 inch spliced
belts are driven by dual hydraulic motors and a heavy rubber coated traction
roll to ensure plenty of capacity.
A simple, exclusive air bag suspension system uses gas shock dampening to keep
the platform stable and close to the ground. This will reduce crop loss in front
of the header and ensure that the crop is cleanly lifted and smoothly fed into
the combine feeder house.
The new platforms are more durable and are designed with high strength steel
in the auger centre section and platform floor. The exclusive suspension system
protects the header from damage at higher ground speeds. Adding to the durability
of the new head is a heavier auger drive chain, heavy-duty auger slip clutch
and stronger fixed gauge wheels.
Premium residue management
Small grain producers who want a premium straw management system when harvesting
wheat, canola and other small grains in a combine that has great capacity and
productivity in the field can now consider John Deere's new 9660 WTS small grain
combine. These machines, with John Deere designed cylinder/concave threshing
and straw walker separation, ensure gentle handling of the crop to deliver high
The 9660 WTS small grain combine features a 660 millimetre high inertia cylinder
to provide a high level of initial separation. Six, 11 step straw walkers provide
further separation without sacrificing grain or straw quality. The unique John
Deere 'power separator' combs the crop mat as it is pulled over the walkers,
allowing trapped grain to fall through the cleaning shoe. The end result is
an excellent grain sample in the tank and quality straw in the field, says Deere.
The 9660 WTS small grain combine is powered by an 8.1 litre, 305 horsepower
John Deere PowerTech engine with a seven percent 'power bulge'. More power also
kicks in with 'power boost' when unloading on-the-go. At the rear of the combine,
a 3500rpm chopper, with 108 rotating blades and 68 stationary blades, allows
for very small residue sizing while a spreader deflector provides a uniform
layer of chaff. Change-over from chopping to dropping straw is fast and easy.
An operator can also drop straw while spreading chaff for long, clean straw
These new machines feature TouchSet automatic combine adjust as standard equipment.
This gives the operator in-cab one button control over cylinder and fan speed,
concave clearance and pre-cleaner, chaffer and sieve openings. AutoTrac assisted
steering is also available for these GreenStar ready machines. This satellite
guidance system allows for hands-free steering and brings even greater productivity
to the field, says the company.
HarvestSmart auto feed rate control is also an option for these machines. This
feature allows the combine to speed up or slow down according to the volume
of crop to maximize harvesting capacity of the separator.
Better clean up capacity
The Grain VAC 2500 now has added standard features: tachometer and hour meter,
which are helpful to see how fast your tractor is running and the time the machine
has been used; an improved baffled exhaust which results in quieter operation;
maximum capacity up to 6000 bushels per hour on full bin load-out with eight
inch hose; an increase of capacity up to 20 percent better clean up capacity.
REM Enterprises' Grain VAC 2500 has a low power requirement which runs with
70 horsepower on a 1000rpm PTO. When loading lighter material such as sunflower
or oats, a lower PTO speed can be set and the pressure relief opened to let
in more air into the machine, therefore improving the movement of material through
the vacuum. There is also an acrylic viewing portal on the inspection door to
allow the user to see the activity inside the machine.
The Grain VAC 2500 is sold with a hydraulic assisted auger lift or a manual
spring assisted auger lift. The machines also can be purchased as a standard
unit or a heavy-duty model which includes a drum brush kit and hard surface
Stylish cab and comfort
Five Case IH WDX '2' series windrower models, ranging from 98 to an industry-leading
225 horsepower, and two cab styles, offer a choice for every type of operation.
The windrower pioneers the first spring-mounted cab suspension system, as well
as an independent rear axle suspension system to improve ride and reduce operator
fatigue at faster cutting speeds.
The new Case IH deluxe cab models feature an updated look with curved, tinted
glass panels for unobstructed visibility, especially on sunny days. Operators
will also enjoy a deluxe air suspension seat with a special ride dampening feature;
a floating, right hand control console that moves with the seat; a tilt and
telescoping steering wheel; and a standard instructor seat.
The deluxe cab models use a dual speed hydrostatic transmission. A Case IH
six cylinder, air-to-air intercooled, wastegate turbocharged engine with electronic
fuel injection for improved engine efficiency and fuel economy powers the WDX1902
and WDX2302, rated at 186 and 225 horsepower, respectively. The engines offer
the power needed to handle heavy loads, wet conditions and hillsides without
The two standard cab models, the WDX1002S and WDX1202S, offer a traditional,
iso-mounted cab with tinted glass panels; a standard, adjustable air suspension
seat; tilt steering and optional instructor seat. The standard cab models use
a single speed hydrostatic transmission and a new Case IH four cylinder, wastegate
turbocharged engine with mechanical fuel injection. The engine is rated at 98
horsepower for the WDX1002S and 120 horsepower for the WDX1202S. The WDX1202
with deluxe cab shares the same engine as the WDX1202S.
Improved control that comes with standard hydraulic header flotation, includes
the ability to adjust the header from the seat of the tractor cab. In addition,
hydraulic header tilt is optional on WDX1002S and WDX1202S and standard on the
WDX1202, WDX1902 and WDX2302.
To complement the new windrower offering, Case IH has also launched a new disc
header model and a whole new line of draper heads. All Case IH headers feature
a roll pressure system that uses a torsion bar to apply consistent force to
the upper conditioning roll arms, regardless of crop thickness for uniform conditioning.
It also allows the machine to easily clear slugs. In addition, the floor of
all headers has been redesigned to deliver consistent crop feed and flow to
Five new DHX '2' series draper header models, with cutting widths from 18 to
36 feet, are available for cereal grains and specialty crops. A choice of two
cutterbar systems allows for improved productivity in green crop and grain applications.
Updates enhance 60 series
John Deere has made updates to the 60 series STS combines, including a new 'bullet'
rotor for increased threshing performance, a new design for improved engine
airflow, a higher torque feederhouse drive for improved feeding and other enhancements.
The new bullet rotor technology allows for easier crop flow through the threshing
system, reducing rotor power requirements and allowing for faster field speeds.
The rotor is designed with a stream lined 'bullet' nose profile, which provides
more space to allow high volumes of crop material to smoothly enter and to be
distributed evenly. Rotor power requirements are reduced and material handling
is improved by as much as 20 percent in tough, small grain conditions. The smoother
crop feeding will also reduce rotor 'growling' at high feed rates and allows
longer harvesting hours in the field, even in damp conditions.
A new high torque, variable speed feederhouse drive enables the 60 series combines
to handle large cornheads in higher yielding crops. Bigger cams with a more
aggressive ram angle and a hefty coil spring allow for optimal high torque sensing
and deliver 50 percent more clamping load to the drive belt. Oil capacity in
the gearbox has increased 25 percent and grease capacity by over 300 percent.
These changes will dramatically reduce belt slippage, gearbox over-heating and
belt breakage. The new design improves overall feederhouse performance to ensure
excellent feeding into the threshing system.
With the introduction of larger header equipment and larger separators, growers
are concerned about evenly spreading the straw residue for no-till and reduced
tillage operations. A new optional PowerCast straw chopper tailboard is available
for STS combines to effectively spread material up to 50 feet. Hydraulic motors
power two, large variable speed impellers, which engage the residue coming out
of the straw chopper and provide a power spreading boost to the discharged residue.
Spread width is easily controlled by the operator on-the-go from the cab.
A new, optional folding unloading auger will be available on the larger STS
combines. The operator simply touches a button on the armrest control to fold
and unfold the auger. The length of the combine is reduced nearly eight feet
in the folded condition making transport manoeuverability and storage much easier.
Other changes include increased grain tank capacity on the 9560 STS combine
to 250 bushels, an additional 30 bushels over the standard grain tank size.
Also, the fuel tank on the 9860 STS combine has been increased by 220 litres,
a total fuel capacity of 1220 litres. New cab lights improve harvesting visibility
at night and batteries have been relocated at ground level for easy accessibility
and serviceability. -30-
Rotor boosts productivity
The Controlled Dynamic Flow (CDF) rotor from Gleaner is designed to improve
crop flow, reduce cob breakage in corn and enhance harvest of green-stem soybeans.
Gleaner's 'natural flow processing system' moves the crop ribbon-like through
the threshing system without dramatic changes in direction for higher quality
grain in the bin. The enclosed CDF rotor maintains crop flow and can reduce
power required in some field conditions. The new rotor is available as a factory
installed option on new R65 and R75 combines. It also can be field installed
on R75, R65, R55 and older combines, including the R42, R52, R62 and R72. The
enclosed rotor design enhances crop flow in corn, reducing material other than
grain from reaching the grain shoe, improving cleaning capacity and reducing
non-grain levels in the grain tank.
The CDF rotor, with six rows of bars instead of the standard eight rows, helps
combine operators meet the challenge of modern soybean varieties, which increasingly
produce mature dry pods while plant stems remain green. While the six bars are
sufficient to release beans from their pods, they produce less pressure on the
green stem plant material moving between them and the cage. This reduced pressure
means less friction and less power is needed to maintain crop flow while more
power is available to maintain optimum ground speed.
Field installing the CDF rotor allows Gleaner owners to adapt the new technology
to existing combines. Packages are available with and without bars. -30-