Taking its 50 Series foragers to the next level of power, John Deere has unveiled its new top-of-the-range self-propelled forage harvester (SPFH), the 812hp 7950i, which replaces the 7850 model.
This high-capacity machine for contractors is capable of harvesting up to 300 tonnes of maize per hour, filling a 40 cubic metre trailer in less than two and a half minutes. Up to 26 such trailer loads of silage can therefore be delivered to the clamp for compaction within just one hour.
A number of design changes have been made compared to existing SPFH models below 700hp. To accommodate these changes and the new cutterhead options, the 7950i features a longer chassis and a stronger ProDrive four-wheel drive rear axle. Changes also include newly designed heavy-duty final drives and a 23 per cent higher header lift capacity. In addition, components of the power transmission to the cutterhead have been redesigned to match the increase in power.
Further design changes include a stronger infinitely variable length of cut (IVLOC) transmission, which now operates with a 45cc (previously 37cc) hydrostatic motor and a hydraulic accumulator for smooth reverse shifting. In order to process the increased amount of harvested material more reliably, the kernel processor has been equipped with a four-rib drive belt.
Because of the amount of material which passes through the machine under full load, John Deere now offers additional bundles of long life, highly wear resistant crop channel components and a longer spout extension. These bundles have been designed to significantly increase the lifetime of these components compared to standard machine parts.
The mechanical driveline efficiency of the new 7950i forage harvester has resulted in fuel consumption as low as 0.5 litres per tonne of maize harvested. The combination of the established DuraDrum cutterhead and IVLOC also delivers excellent silage quality and provides this new forage harvester with industry leading cut quality.
As an exclusive feature, three ‘intelligent’ modes on the new John Deere 7950i forager help operators to maximise their performance on the road and in the field.
- The new ‘Road Mode’, which is active between 1250 and 2100rpm, provides additional torque when needed during transport, and when it isn’t, reduces engine speed down to its minimum level to maintain the desired forward speed. This system helps to reduce fuel usage by up to 10 per cent, providing up to 27 per cent more torque to climb even the steepest hills, and reducing transport time.
- ‘Field Mode 1’ saves fuel on headlands. On stopping or during headland turns, this system automatically reduces engine speed once clear of the crop and then increases it once the headland turn is made and you enter a new swath or row. This results in an additional fuel saving of up to five per cent.
- ‘Field Mode 2’. During harvest this mode adjusts forward speed to maintain a constant load at the engine’s most fuel efficient point. This gives the customer the lowest possible cost per hectare, leading to a further five per cent fuel saving.
Another exclusive feature, John Deere’s AutoLOC provides maximum silage quality and consistency by combining John Deere’s automatic length of cut transmission (IVLOC) and HarvestLab dry matter sensing. HarvestLab measures crop moisture with a near-infrared sensor and helps to optimise the length of cut depending on dry matter content.
In combination with this system, the exclusive HarvestDoc documentation software allows complete traceability of the grass or maize harvest. Whatever crop the contractor is working in, this software keeps track of all yield and dry matter content data at all times until the harvested material or feed is used.
From 2010, full service back-up for all forager models will be available from John Deere dealers seven days a week during the season. In addition, during the first year of operation John Deere customers will benefit from a customer care process which combines the know-how of the manufacturing facility, the John Deere service specialist and the dedicated dealer staff, from signing the contract to end of season storage of the machine.
New headers for year-round operation
To maximise the return on their investment throughout the year, John Deere forage harvester customers in the UK and Ireland will have a choice of three different headers to increase the versatility of their operations.
The newly designed heavy-duty 600C pick-ups for grass harvesting are easy to set up and use. Featuring a compression rake, these headers provide more productivity in the field. The lateral tilt function on the 3m 630C helps to keep the field cleaner and reduces mechanical stress on the crop feeder. The optional mechanically folding gauge wheels are equipped with 10-step adjustment and automatically lock in the transport position. To adapt the 600C pick-ups for higher horsepower machines, a stronger twin-chain drive and a new auger safety clutch have been added to ensure efficient operation even under tough harvesting conditions.
To fully utilise the forager’s enormous power, John Deere now offers the new Kemper Champion 390 Plus header for the 7750 and 7950 forage harvesters. This is a 12-row unit with a working width of 9m, which can harvest both maize and wholecrop. This header features excellent manoeuvrability in smaller fields, and reduces soil compaction through the need for fewer passes. Better crop flow under difficult conditions is achieved through active feeding inside the crop channel, special adaptation to wide crop flow channels and more space for heavy crops. For improved handling of laid crops, the outer dividers have also been redesigned. Folding to a maximum road width of 3.3m, the Kemper Champion 390 header is equipped with a support wheel to reduce rear ballast requirements, and has been homologated to allow transport speeds of up to 40kph.
Extending the forager’s use into the winter season, John Deere SPFHs can now be equipped with a new CRL Coppice Header for harvesting short-rotation coppice for biofuels. This header is delivered with its own drive system, comprising an extra oil pump, cooler and oil tank, as well as a set of protective armour plating, and it is fully adapted to fit the John Deere header interface. A large front-end deflector ensures that the cab remains fully protected at all times when harvesting willow or other small trees with a stem diameter of up to 10cm (4in). The fast rotation cutting unit features a quick and free flow of material to the feeder rolls and the cutterhead of the forager.
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