Claas tests smart combine belt

Last week, Continental revealed it was developing new smart drive belts that will increase the operational reliability of agricultural machines. We have received another press release outlining joint work with Claas to test the new belts on a combine.

The variable-speed belt features an integrated sensor. This transmits condition-related data to a receiver installed on the combine. The data is sent to the Continental cloud and interpreted by an algorithm. It is then possible to see whether a belt is overloaded and machine settings have to be adjusted – in real time.

The early signs appear promising and the belt has already withstood some 22 million flexing cycles during harvesting tests in data gathered from 4,200ha. The electronics in the belt withstood over 140 million flexing cycles during this time.

Currently, it is only possible to check a belt after specified periods or in the event of a problem, but not while in operation. “The new smart variable-speed belt will make this possible in the future,” said Maik Zeuner, who is in charge of drive development at Claas. It will also be able to make predictions about maintenance and on the right time to change a belt.

We are not sure how much Claas will disclose at Agritechnica, but Continental is keen to discuss future potential applications for the technology.

News

by Steven Vale

30 August 2019

Kuhn bale wrapping workshops

Kuhn Farm Machinery is holding a series of bale wrapping workshops, demonstrations and best practice clinics to help farmers improve the quality of, and get the most from, their baled forage.Co-hosted by Kuhn main dealers and film manufacturing partner BPI Agriculture, the events are being held at six venues across the UK in May and June.

The workshops will outline the latest film wrapping products and bale wrapping techniques, provide some key tips and outline some of the pitfalls. The demonstration events will give attendees the opportunity to learn more about two of the company’s baler wrapper combination machines - the twin satellite FBP 3135 BalePack and the i-BIO+. There will also be information about the importance of making sure crops are cut at the correct growth stage, assessing dry matter prior to baling, handling and storing film rolls correctly to avoid damage, machinery maintenance and correct calibration of the wrapper.

The six venues are: M-Trac Cymru, Gaerwen Auction Centre, Anglesey on May 1 (promotional event), Brodyr Evans Bros., Cefnmadws, Llanrhystud, Ceredigion on May 3 (Film binding & FBP demonstration), Grassland UK, The Showground, Shepton Mallett, Somerset on May 10 (best practice clinic), Royal Welsh Grassland Event, Four Crosses, Powys on May 16 (best practice clinic), Ravenhill, Scotland (venue TBC) from June 5-6 (open evening June 5 and working demonstration June 6), ending with an open evening at Bryson Tractors, Caldwellside, Lanarkshire on June 7.

News

by Steven Vale

11 April 2018

JCB ends production of Fastrac 3000 Series

Production of JCB’s Fastrac 3000 Series has ended after 20 years. Launched in 1998 to replace the 100 Series (135, 155 and 185), the spec of the first 3000 Series models, the 150hp 3155 and 170hp 3185, included a 65km/hr Autoshift 54x18 transmission (three-speed powershift and automatic shifting modes) and triple link front suspension.

The Smoothshift transmission and electronic anti-lock braking system (ABS) came in 2001. The rounded engine hood and roof panel styling marked the 2002 launch of the 193hp 3190 and 220hp 3220, and in 2003, the 173hp 3170 acquired the same styling and specification.

The 2006 introduction of common rail fuel injection engines brought more torque at lower revs plus a further power increase to the now two-model range comprising the 198hp 3200 and 230hp 3230. Major powertrain changes came with the 2011 launch of the 3000 Xtra tractors, which introduced JCB’s P-Tronic 24x9 semi-powershift transmission (six powershift steps) and the Xtra-Drive feature that operators could use to bring the tractor to a halt and move off again using only the brake pedal.

The inclusion of AGCO Power 7.4-litre Stage IIIB engines gave the Fastrac 3200 Xtra driver a choice of 190hp or 220hp outputs, while the 3230 Xtra provided 230hp or 260hp. Final significant upgrades came with Stage IV engines, control refinements for the P-Tronic transmission, and yellow wheel rims for the first time.

The final 3230 Xtra off the assembly line is destined for a customer in Australia, and as the 3000 Series bows out the focus at the Cheadle factory in Staffordshire is now on the 4000 (175-235hp/top speed 60km/hr) and 8000 (306-348hp/capable of 70km/hr) Series.

News

by Steven Vale

12 April 2018

Quieter and faster Lely Astronaut milk robot

Lely has remained faithful to proven automatic milking techniques developed over the past 25 years, but says it has redesigned every part of the new Astronaut A5 milk robot. The most noticeable change is the hybrid arm, which is claimed to be not only quieter and faster than the arm on the existing A4, but also more accurate, uses less detergent and water, requires 20% less energy and reduces maintenance costs.

Designed to increase cow comfort, during milking the arm remains close to the udder and quickly corrects itself during any unexpected cow movement. Lely says this ensures a fast and thorough milking process, even with heifers. The new teat detection system ensures faster teat cup attachment and pre-scanning the udder improves post-milking teat spraying. The A5 also features a redesigned user interface with all relevant information displayed on a single page.

Compatible with the A4, the Astronaut A5 is the result of an extensive worldwide test program with over 30 customers and more than 2 million milkings.

News

by Steven Vale

13 April 2018

McCormick starts 6000km south African adventure

A team of drivers from Italy’s Carabinieri national security force and four McCormick tractors (two 206/225hp X7.690 P6-Drive models and a pair of 286hp X8.670 VT-Drive tractors) have begun the 2018 Xtractor Around the World challenge and a 6000km adventure across southern Africa.

From the starting point in Cape Town in south-west South Africa, the tractors and support crew visit the Cape of Good Hope before making their way through the vineyards of the Western Cape, along the famous Garden Route to Port Elizabeth in the south-east before turning inland to push deep into the semi-desert interior of the Great Karoo.

After negotiating the Kalahari desert the team will turn eastwards, aiming for the summits of the small mountain kingdom of Lesotho before a steep descent down the slopes of the eastern Drakensberg mountains to the Indian Ocean. The finishing stretch will take the four tractors to Johannesburg and Pretoria and the team expect to complete the journey in 55 days.

Closer to home, the AgriArgo order book is open and dealer demonstrations are underway for the X8 VT-Drive tractor in the UK. Available with three engine power outputs of 264hp, 286hp and 310hp, key features include a CVT, 12.0t rear lift capacity, and the possibility to fit 900/60 R42 boots on the rear axle.

A 264hp X8.660 VT-Drive finished in metallic red is doing the rounds of McCormick dealers to give farmers and contractors a closer look at the new tractor. Locations and dates are detailed on the McCormick Agri UK Facebook page.

News

by Steven Vale

13 April 2018

TechAgro 2018: Farmet Fantom Pro

The Czech cultivator manufacturers were out in force at last week’s TechAgro farm machinery show. The semi-mounted Fantom Pro, a highlight on Farmet’s stand, combines a hydraulically-operated front levelling board with four rows of tines.

At the rear, a quick-change system allows each of the rear roller sections (four configurations available) to be swapped in around 10 minutes. After loosening two bolts at each side, the roller section can be removed using a tractor loader or telehandler.

The 6.5m Fantom Pro 650 is the smallest of a range of models, which includes 8.0m, 8.50m, 10.50m and 12.50m versions. The flagship model needs a 550hp tractor to pull it, and the company says the five rear roller sections can be swapped in under an hour. Prices start from around €51,000 for the Fantom Pro 650, and all five models can be used without the rear rollers.

News

by Steven Vale

16 April 2018

Classic Fords expected to fetch over £500,000

One of the UK’s most important collections of classic Ford and Fordson tractors is expected to generate in excess of £500,000 when it goes under the hammer on Saturday May 12. Owned by well-known enthusiast Paul Cable, the collection comprises of 38 restored classic tractors (mainly dating back to the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s), implements and spares amassed over 14 years.

One of the star attractions will be the County 1474 Longnose which has a pre-sale estimate in the region of £60,000 to £70,000, and Mr Cable’s Doe Triple-D is expected to command a similar price. Uncommon Fordson County derivatives such as the Super-4, Super-6 and a 1957 Four Drive will also go under the hammer. His Ford FW60 is expected to make between £20,000 - £25,000, whilst a low-houred 1979 County 1174 which operated at Stansted Airport has an estimate of £20,000 - £25,000. A restored 1956 Land Rover Series 1 will also be auctioned.

East Anglian-based auctioneer Cheffins, which is selling the tractors on behalf of Mr Cable, reckons it is one of the finest collections of Ford and Fordson variants in the UK and the most significant on-site sales for machinery of this type to have hit the market for many years. “The level of interest we have had for this sale has been exceptional and we are expecting it to be incredibly busy on the day,” comments Cheffins director Oliver Godfrey.

Paul Cable was at one time one of the largest agricultural contractors in Hertfordshire, and after retiring in 2003 he continued to farm 150 acres but devoted much of his time to his passion for collecting classic tractors. There will be a viewing opportunity on Friday May 11 at Colesdale Farm near Potters Bar in Hertfordshire.

News

by Steven Vale

16 April 2018

TechAgro 2018: Gigant chaser bin

Czech trailer maker ZDT showed its first chaser bin at the same Czech show two years ago. This year it was back at the Brno showground with the second-generation version of the Gigant NP30 single-axle 30m³ capacity machine. Main features include a bolted design with no welds, an on-board weighing system, LED lights, camera for the hopper and conveyor and a 500mm diameter auger, which takes under three minutes to unload.

The Gigant stands on 900/70 R32 tyres, but can also be booted with wider 1250/50 R32 rubber. Best pulled behind a 200-250hp tractor, the maximum recommended field speed when full is 10km/hr and when empty the 7.0t Gigant, which has a GVW of 30.0t, can travel at speeds of up to 40km/hr.

Price of the machine at the Czech show is around €70,000. It is possible to swap the wheels for rubber tracks and the company can also supply a hydraulic axle that pushes each wheel out by 25cm for increased in-field stability.

News

by Steven Vale

17 April 2018

TechAgro 2018: Bednar TerraStrip

The TerraStrip chisel plough was one of several novelties on Bednar’s TechAgro stand. Designed for strip tilling ahead of crops such as maize and sugar beet, the three models span working widths from 3.60m to 6.0m. All are fitted with eight legs, which use what can best be described as eight plough shares to cultivate soil in strips. Row spacing can be altered from 45-50cm (sugar beet) to 70-75cm (maize).

Shown coupled behind the firm’s 3,500-litre capacity Ferti-Cart, which is designed to apply fertilisers, the TerraStrip operates at depths from 20-55cm with power requirements from 300-400hp. That the implement is primarily aimed at east European farms is evident by the transport widths. Only the 6.0m model folds hydraulically to 3.0m for transport, the other two rigid models are 4.15m wide on the road.

Other news on Bednar’s stand included the Omega 8 seed drill, which is fitted with the 8000L (4,000-litre) tank and is available in working widths of 3.0, 4.0, 6.0, 8.0 and 9.0m. Designed to work in trashy conditions, the most popular model in the Czech Republic is expected to be the 8.0m version on display at the Brno Exhibition Centre, which needs matching to a 300-400hp tractor (330-450hp for the 9.0m model).

News

by Steven Vale

18 April 2018