Results tagged “combines” from Scotts EQuip
If last weeks topic—Gleaner's new transverse rotaries, in case you didn't read it—wasn't enough to satisfy your desire to see new combines. Here are some more for you to look at it. Claas has just unveiled its new, 700 Series Lexions.
Claas has five models available for 2011 in its new 700 Series Lexion combine line up.
Along with the introduction of these new machines, Claas is also working to make its name more familiar to U.S. and Canadian farmers. The partnership it had with Caterpillar that launched the Lexion line on this continent has officially been dissolved, and Claas has assumed sole responsibility for servicing the North American market.
But Caterpillar dealers will still be the primary retailers of these combines. And Caterpillar, itself, will continue to maintain a working relationship with Claas; it will still supply some of the parts that get bolted onto every Lexion chassis in the Omaha , Nebraska, assembly plant. That includes the Accert C9 and C13 Accert engines.
Farm journalists were given a preview of the new machines at a ceremony at the Lewis and Clark Landing on the banks of the Missouri River in Omaha a few weeks ago. That choice of locations was symbolic. Just like those two infamous explorers who opened up the American midwest, Claas has been gradually opening up a new market for its equipment on this continent.
And the new 700 Series machines seem to represent, in part, another step in that exploration and development. Gone are the large Cat decals that once dominated the side panels of these machines, replaced by the Claas name. The Lexions will, however, continue to wear Caterpillar yellow paint, rather than Claas' standard green and white. One step at a time, it seems.
Aside from the Lexions, the company only offers North American farmers a limited line of forage equipment and its specialty Xerion tractors. Will we soon see the company's full line of equipment available here? “It would be nice to offer our dealers a full line of equipment,” commented one marketing rep when asked. But no one from the company was willing to speculate on if or when that will happen. Getting a support network in place for such a move would be a very large undertaking.
For now, at least, the company is busy proving itself to farmers with that selected offering of machines, including the Lexions. Becoming a household name takes time.
But the real story here is the combines, themselves. They represent a significant redesign over the previous 500 Series. The 700s use a hybrid design: a conventional threshing cylinder matched with dual rotors. Another model, the 670, is available with straw walkers instead of rotors for those who want to leave straw in good condition for baling.
The five machines that make up the 700 Series line range from the 730, a class 6, to a giant Class 10, 770 model. But, strictly speaking, class 10 doesn't exist yet. The current rating system only goes to class 9. However when class 10 is added, that is where the 770 will fit in.
The new combines have an updated cab, which offers more room. Enough, in fact, for a full-sized buddy seat, not the child-sized versions most passengers had to squeeze into before. Also inside them is a new version of Claas' CEBIS electronic system. And the 700s use a pre-separation cylinder that threshes about 30 percent of the grain before it even enters the main cylinder.
If you'd rather run on tracks than tires, the new TERRA TRAC system is capable of a record-breaking 40 k.p.h. transport speed. And they offer an adjustable suspension system.
The brand new TERRA TRAC system offers adjustable suspension.
The 700s can be matched with new header options; and at the rear, the PRO CHOP spreader can distribute straw and chaff across a full 40-foot cut.
For more on the new Lexions, keep an eye out for a full report in an upcoming issue of Grainews.
Earlier this year, Grainews was the first western Canadian farm publication to break the news AGCO intended to release updated versions of its transverse rotary Gleaner combines. A few weeks ago, on this blog, I promised you a look at it. Now that the media blackout is over, here it is.
Kevin Bein, product marketing manager, gave journalists a guided tour around the new S77 Tritura at a media event in St. Paul, Minnesota, back in July.
AGCO has been updating its transverse rotary Gleaners steadily over the last three years, but the new S77 and S67 Tritura models take all those updates and “supersize” them, according to Kevin Bein,the product marketing manager for Gleaner combines.
“During the past three years we've built upon this solid fondation, joining engineering smarts with field smarts to super size the harvest capacity, capability and efficiency of our R6 Series machines to deliver all the performance without all the physical size, weight and complexity,” he adds. The result is the combines' capacity grows; but at only 31,000 pounds, their total weight does not grow in proportion to it.
Power comes from an AGCO SISU POWER 8.4 litre engine using selective catalytic reduction technology to meet interim Tier 4 emissions standards. The S77 is rated at 370 horsepower. The smaller S67 model will have a 314 horsepower version of the same engine.
The S77 has a standard 330-bushel hopper, expandable to 390. It can unload at 4 bushels per second using a two-auger design. A 12-inch cross auger feeds a 14-inch unloading section.
Introduced in 1979, the first transverse rotary Gleaner combine was designated the N7. In 1986, it was rebadged as the R7. Photo: Grainews archive.
But what makes these combines unique is the transverse, 30-inch diameter rotor that threshes around its full 360 degrees of rotation, unlike the common axially-mounted rotors that typically work through only 180 degrees of rotation. The rotor is positioned well back on the chassis and is fed by two feeder chains, which maintain the width of the windrow mat all the way to it. AGCO calls this “Natural Flow Feeding”. Some other designs squeeze crop material in some places as it flows through the machine. Those pinch points can really eat horsepower.
The second feeder chain turns faster than the first, which accelerates the material flow through the combine. According to AGCO's press release, “The Natural Flow system pulls rather than pushes material and also eliminates the twisting and turning of the crop to constantly feed the threshing rotor, increasing performance and productivity.”
After it is separated, grain is forced down to the grain pain by accelerator rollers; they force it downward four times faster than free fall. This allows the Gleaner to operate without excessive losses on side slopes of up to 23 degrees. A new larger cleaning fan blows 34 per cent more air volume through the kernels before they reach the cleaning shoe, which helps provide a cleaner sample.
At the rear, an optional hydraulic chaff spreader makes it possible to distribute material across the full width of a 40-foot header.
Gleaner offers a standard two-year “Header To Spreader” warranty, with an option to add up to two years of extended protection.
The S77 is a class 7 machine, the most popular combine size in North America. But many broad-acre farmers on the prairie may need a little coaxing to consider one this size. Class 8 and larger have been their machines of choice. But there may be good reason for them to look at the S77. At the St. Paul event, one of the product specialists showing off the S77 made this comment: “It's about more than horsepower.”
What he meant was combine class designation is currently determined solely by horsepower. But the approach with the Trituras was to make better use of an engine by breaking away from the horsepower-is-everything approach and make the threshing mechanism more efficient. That, in turn, lowers overall horsepower requirements. As a result, say product specialists, the S77 was able to keep up to larger class 8 models of other brands when working side-by-side in field trials.
When speaking informally with a marketing rep from another manufacturer several months ago, he mentioned a survey of engine control modules on several of their machines working on the Canadian prairie showed none had ever reached peak horsepower in the field, despite harvesting at least one full season on a customer's farm.
That brings up this question: has the horsepower-dependant combine class rating system become more of a marketing tool than a useful measurement of a machine's ability to do the job? Maybe it really is about more than just horsepower.
Oh, and what does Tritura stand for? “It's Latin for threshing,” says Bein.