FARM EQUIPMENT REVIEW: February 2005 W
Harvest and grain handling
November 15, 2007 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. -30-
Peter Darbishire, Editor
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.
The first Class 9
Claas Omaha introduced the Lexion 500 series combines in August, which includes
the world's largest combine. With this addition, the Lexion line of combines
now includes seven different models ranging in size from Class 6 to Class 9.
Available in rotary or straw walker configurations, as well as tracked or wheeled
models, the Lexion 500 series delivers a wide range of engineering enhancements
The accelerated pre-separation (APS) system delivers crop to the main threshing
cycle at a constant speed, angle, width and thickness so that the main threshing
cylinder can operate at maximum efficiency. Up to 30 percent of grain separation
occurs before it reaches the threshing area. All models have a wire concave
with touch-of-the-button, on-the-fly concave control and a new, more rapid and
reliable overload protection system.
The RotoPlus rotary separation system consists of a multi-crop paddle rotor
with unique rippled grates that can handle all types of field conditions. An
optional variable speed rotor drive is available for superior separation and
optimized grain quality.
The 5-Straw Walker separation system on the Lexion 560 model provides a new
standard multi-finger separation system (MSS) to better support straw walker
A new Jet Stream cleaning system, available on the Lexion 580R, 585R and 590R
models, features higher wind pressures and more precise distribution. Increased
pre-cleaning cascade action relieves the cleaning shoe load before foreign material
hits the sieves. Electric sieve adjustments are now standard on all models and
three-dimensional slope compensation is optional. MAV chopper technology spreads
chopped residue up to 40 foot widths.
Power is delivered by Caterpillar diesels with up to 462hp. Model 3126B, C-9,
C-12 and C-13 engines are available and transferred to a new suspended Mobil-Trac
or wheeled axles, including an optional, increased capacity, two-speed powered
Mudhog rear axle. Electro-hydraulic shifting is done by the press of a button.
An increased fuel tank capacity of 210 gallons meets the need for greater in-the-field
A larger cab includes a variety of operational improvements, such as wider
operator and trainer seats, icebox, climatic air conditioning, new multi-function
lever and improved ergonomics in the console layout. All machine settings are
adjustable from the cab and are set through its standard electronic board information
The attachments, now available directly from the factory, feature the F540
with new MaxFlex cutting system on a 40 foot flex head and a 16-row corn head
for 30 inch row spacing. Options include 25 and 30 foot flex head models and
six, eight and 12-row corn head models are also available. The multi-link coupling
system uses a single unit to make head to combine connections simple, fast,
self-sealing and contamination free. The combine features a variable speed feeder
house with an improved heavy-duty reverser.
A grain tank capacity of up to 360 bushels leads to fewer unload stops. On
Jet Stream cleaning system models, the tank features hydraulically foldable
grain tank extensions that keep rain out of empty grain tanks. The clean grain
elevator, with improved wear characteristics, is enlarged and an increased capacity
unloading rate system of up to 3.3 bushels per second is available. The 26 foot
unloading auger provides great reach. -30-
Kinze Harvest Commander grain auger wagon unloads in just over two minutes.
The new 'smaller' 650 edition is fast and also features low profile design.
The wagon holds up to 700 bushels (level full, not heaped) and unloads in approximately
2-1/4 minutes (300 bushels per minute). The 650 uses no chains or sprockets
and requires little daily maintenance. The dual auger unloading system features
on-demand positive drive, using a four band multi-strand 'V' belt, to ensure
natural unrestricted grain flow, greater efficiency and better horsepower utilization.
The 16 inch full-pitch vertical augers feature industrial full tilt flighting
and are easy to remove for inspection or replacement. A carrier bearing is mounted
within an eight inch diameter centre tube to reduce grain restriction and wear.
A spring-loaded upper bearing allows top and bottom sections to easily self-align
when going from fold to unload position. An over-centre mechanism locks the
auger in the unloading position. Unloading height is 12 feet six inches, auger
reach up to four feet 11 inches, depends on tire selection and width setting
of the adjustable axle.
The vertical auger is direct-driven through a cast iron 90 degree gearbox with
precision cut gears to create a 2:1 drive reduction ratio. The input shaft of
the gearbox also powers a full length 14 inch diameter horizontal floor auger,
which can be easily removed for service through a plate-covered opening at the
rear of the wagon. An over-running clutch allows the auger system to free wheel,
protecting the tractor and wagon against possible shock damage. -30-
System controls combine feed ratio
Experienced combine operators know the importance of keeping a consistent crop
load in the machine to maximize harvesting efficiency and grain quality. In
order to improve overall combine performance, John Deere has introduced the
HarvestSmart feed rate control system for 60 series STS combines to automatically
vary ground speed during harvest and improve harvesting efficiency without the
operator manually speeding up or slowing down the machine.
The system calculates which speed is optimal for the given condition and adjusts
ground speed automatically, on-the-go, to maintain a consistent crop load in
the combine. This allows the combine to maintain a more consistent loss level
for overall reduced losses in the field.
Three main inputs are used to adjust the ground speed of the combine. These
are the crop load in the separator, grain loss from the VisionTrak loss monitor
and engine load. As the combine harvests through the field and conditions change,
the system monitors these three inputs and determines what ground speed is necessary
to maintain optimal settings.
The combine operator can over-ride the system any time by simply moving the
hydrostatic control lever rearward to slow or stop the combine. If the machine's
capacity is limited by other factors such as side-hill losses or header/platform
feeding, the system cannot compensate for these limitations. It is important
for operators to understand current harvesting limitations when considering
the value HarvestSmart can add to the combine's productivity. -30-
Hutchinson has introduced its squeeze belt conveyor. The squeeze belt technology
maintains grain quality and conveys more volume up steeper inclines by gently
squeezing the volume of product between two moving belts. The capacities range
from 4000 to 9000 bushels per hour, depending on the drive selection and desired
belt speed. Additional key features include: models available in 35, 45, 60,
70, 80 and 90 foot lengths; prevents product roll-back of grain; long-term energy
savings attained by the limited amount of horsepower required to move large
amounts of grain; low maintenance/long wear, engineered for long lasting performance
with heavy-duty two ply 15 inch Crescent Top PVC belting with nylon slider back,
belt life rated at 3000 hours; select from a choice of PTO or electric drive
options; all units feature a durable powder coat finish, the main housing is
a rugged 10 inch galvanized tube; a large intake transfer hopper with independent
adjustable side panels, easily folds back over the main drive assembly for transport.
For a long hard life
When it is time to swath, it is no time to slow down, much less break down.
That is why the all new Massey Ferguson 9000 series self-propelled swathers
were designed from the ground up to keep working day and night, year after year,
says the company. From their durable steel frames and reliable Cummins engines
to their hydrostatic transmission, the MF 9220 and 9420 swathers are built to
handle tough field conditions and heavy crops.
Increased durability starts with the welded all-steel frame. It is reinforced
to handle a long life of high stress, high speed swathing over rough field surfaces.
The waste gate turbocharged B3.3T Cummins delivers 85hp to the MF 9220. The
MF 9420 is powered by a waste gate turbocharged 4.50 SBTII delivering 110hp.
A powerful hydraulics system plays a big role in the new swather from hydraulically
driven headers to the swather drive wheels. A new hydraulic header flotation
system provides better flotation, eliminates flotation springs and simplifies
linkage. Potential maintenance needs are reduced, hand header hook up is made
easier. Flotation pressure can be adjusted on-the-go to compensate for rougher
A new variable speed hydrostatic drive system delivers power and torque to
the new generation planetary final drives. The servo assisted hydro control
handle raises and lowers header and reel height, controls direction and ground
speed, as well as reel speed and header tilt (header tilt control optional on
9220). In addition to the hydro control handle, the operator control panel houses
draper speed and shift controls, optional reel fore and aft control switches
and header engagement toggle switch. Engine gauges, warning lights and header
flotation switch and pressure gauge are also located on the operator console.
The MF 9000 series swathers are fully equipped for night work with a comprehensive
battery of lights. Five halogen lights illuminate the full width of the header
and the field ahead. Rear work lights and left and right extremity lights provide
clear views to the sides and rear. Road transport safety is enhanced with cab
roof mounted flasher lights.
The MF 9000 may be fitted with a MF 5200 draper head or MF 9020 auger head.
Four centre-delivery heads range from 18 to 30 feet wide. Three triple delivery
heads, 22, 25 and 30 foot widths, give the option of building double swaths
or centre delivering. The windrow opening can be adjusted from 54 to 70 inches
to accommodate a variety of grain and oilseed crops. -30-
Conveyor has larger capacity
The recently introduced 2095 GrainBelt harvest conveyor and 2021 GrainBelt transfer
conveyor double the capacity of Brandt's 15 series GrainBelt, but feature the
same gentle crop handling. The new 20 series can handle substantially more bushels
per hour than a 13 inch auger, the company says.
Rated at 12,000 to 15,000 bushels per hour capacity, at a 25 degree angle,
the new 95 foot long 2095 GrainBelt harvest conveyor and 21 foot long 2021 GrainBelt
transfer conveyor are designed to maximize efficiency at harvest, maintain crop
quality with gentle GrainBelt handling and provide easy, absolute clean out.
The intake and 20 inch belt enable users to flood-feed the conveyor for maximum
filling of the 14 inch tube on both the 2095 harvest conveyor and 2021 transfer
conveyor. Both also have standard, full length, fully enclosed wind guards to
improve operator safety and extend belt life.
The 2095 conveyor comes standard with two, nine inch drive rollers, a spring-loaded
belt tensioning system, a collapsible intake and scissorlift design with two
hydraulic rams. The versatile 2021 transfer conveyor is easy to transport. It
can unload belly dump trailers and can operate independently or as a swing in
combination with the Brandt line of 20 series harvest conveyors. The transfer
is operated with electric or hydraulic drive and has an extra-large collapsible
low profile hopper, with tow-behind design and high speed axle. The optional
transfer conveyor lift winch makes moving from bin to bin an easy one-person
Brandt Agriculture Products
Now fits more headers
Crary has improved its Air Reel so it now has compatibility with the John Deere
600 series header, while fitting most brands of combine headers from widths
of 15 to 30 feet. The Air Reel provides a constant stream of high velocity air
that gently feeds crop back to the auger which eliminates 'dribble loss' when
crops fall off the front of the header after being cut by the sickle; reduces
'combine loss' caused by inefficient combining, typically created by irregular
feeding or bunching of the crop as it feeds in; and reduces 'shatter loss' caused
by a conventional reel striking the crop and shatter caused by crop bouncing
around on the cutterbar. -30-