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Stackyard News Oct 05

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New Holland harvesting customers reap benefits

New Holland Combines

Innovative research and development is married to the latest production techniques at Zedelgem to earn the plant the title of Centre of Excellence for New Holland Harvesting Equipment, the heart of the brand's harvesting operation.

New Holland has always been a market leader in the harvesting sector, its range of tractors, combines, forage harvesters and balers providing customers with the best tools in the business. Zedelgem represents a concentration of expertise. The plant produces rotary and conventional combines, grain headers, big balers and forage harvesters designed always with the needs of the cash crop and contractor customers in mind. The benefits of this approach can be readily seen with the development of driver-aids, such as SmartSteer™, and harvesting enhancements, such as the Varifeed header, where New Holland has directly translated feedback from its harvesting customers into productivity-enhancing features in cut, control and traction.

The new Varifeed Series header features an adjustable cutterbar which can be moved 50cm fore and aft. Controlled from the cab, the cutterbar is positioned close to the feeding auger for short-strawed crops but can be extended forward for long-strawed crops and rapeseed. Overlapping base plates at the bottom of the header means no filler plates are required and adjustment can be made on the move, ensuring an optimum feed is always achieved. The CR and CX combines can be specified with 20, 24 or 30ft versions of the Varifeed Series headers to provide capacity and control in the widest range of crops.

But with greater control comes greater pressure on the operator to monitor and adjust the wide range of parameters to optimise production. To lighten the load the SmartSteer laser guidance system enables New Holland CR and CX models to make course corrections without operator input, freeing the driver to oversee other critical systems.

The SmartSteer system consists of an infra red laser scanner which emits a signal that scans the transition between the cut and the standing crop. The profile of the reflected signal indicates the position of the combine relative to the crop edge, and the on-board computer makes minor adjustments to the steering to ensure the combine's full header width is used.

Fitted on a turntable beneath the cab roof extension, the scanner is operated via the multi-function controller in the cab and can be set to monitor crop to the left or the right of the combine. The system has a number of safety measures including a cut-off should the operator leave his seat for any reason and an immediate override triggered by the movement of the steering wheel.
One farmer who had the opportunity to evaluate this system during the 2004 harvest was John Sawdon from Colchester, England who grows 728ha of continuous milling wheat.

“We have 1800 acres of cereals ready to combine all at the same time," explains John.

"We had the SmartSteer system fitted to our new CX880, which gave us an extra 20-25cm swath width, which over 728ha represents a considerable reduction in harvesting time.”

"Not only did this save time but it also freed the operator to spend more time adjusting the threshing side of the operation in order for us to produce a higher quality product.”

By specifying powered rear axle on CR or CX combines, the enhancements to feeding and steering are matched by improvements in drive and control. The impressive harvesting power of the CR and CX combines can be applied in all conditions, utilising the four-wheel drive system to provide greater traction and enhanced weight distribution.

In very soft ground conditions or on hills and slopes, the four-wheel drive keeps the combine moving. As the machine's weight is distributed over two driving axles, it is possible to further reduce tyres pressures, which will reduce soil compaction while retaining traction. The simplicity of the design ensures that it is robust and reliable, yet does not add significant weight to the machine and requires little or no maintenance.

Powered rear axle comprises two hydrostatically driven axle hubs, which replace the standard free turning hubs. Drive to the front axle is already hydrostatic, so a second hydraulic drive is simple to install. CR and CX combines can easily be fitted with a powered rear axle as an upgrade or from Zedelgem continues to keep New Holland at the forefront of harvesting technology, blending proven technology with modern thinking to benefit cash crop and contracting customers around the world.

link New Holland laser-guided combines cut down harvest time
link New Holland TND-A and TNS-A Utility Tractors; Wider range, more power
New Holland lines up at Saltex 2005

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