WHEN it comes to combine harvesters, you can teach an old dog new tricks.
And that basically is why Pingelly Machinery hold owner schools each year to highlight technology changes in new models and to reiterate service requirements.
With combine harvesters there¹s always something to learn or remember in order
to get the best out of the machine at harvest.
And learning how to tweak a header to achieve better capacity and threshing performance for a better sample is something worth listening to.
Pingelly Machinery dealer principal Kel Lange recently held a header owners day to talk over harvest preparations with his customers and bring them up to date with the latest news on the new John Deere 60 series combine harvesters.
The headers were released in August and a limited number will be demonstrated throughout the WA wheatbelt this harvest.
Included in the models is the first class eight combine harvester made by John Deere, the 9860.
It is expected to be commercially available in Australia for the 2004 harvest, with the possibility of AutoTrac ³hands-free² guidance.
It comes with a 300 bushel grain tank and a 12.5L 280kW (375hp) engine with a ³Power Boost² to 304kW (408hp).
Deere also has designed a new high speed unloading system that can output 3.3 bushels a second, the fastest unloading rate of any combiner harvester on the market.
The new line-up includes STS 9660, 9760 and 9860 models.
All models feature a feederhouse reverser which is electro-hydraulically activated from the armrest console on the driver¹s seat.
Material handling and threshing performance on all STS combines has been enhanced with a new, wider right-hand radius profile on the concave which promotes faster, smoother crop flow with more complete threshing.
The wider concave radius also helps to reduce overall power consumption in high volume, tough material handling crop conditions.
Shoe-cleaning capacity also has been increased in the STS combines with a larger housing and new boot directional vanes to allow for a larger draw of air while providing a more even air flow on the cleaning shoe elements.
The larger fan with redesigned housing allows the operator to use slower fan speeds and deliver higher volumes of evenly distributed air.
The result, says Deere, is better grain cleaning in dry crops or conditions that create high chaff loads.
A new front-fixed chaffer design features a low profile in the front and a raised profile in the rear.
Combined with the new fan, this new chaffer design allows up to triple the velocity of air flowing through the front of the chaffer.
This allows the chaffer to do a more efficient job of stratifying the heavy chaff load and allows cleaner amounts of free grain to be deposited through the fixed louvers.
Due to the increased capacity of the improved cleaning shoe, the volume of tailings return is also reduced (up to 50pc in some conditions) on the STS combines.
The new high capacity unloading system is an optional feature on the STS 9760 and standard on the STS 9860.
It features large diameter grain tank cross-augers (25cm, 10in) and 42.5cm (17in) vertical augers with a wider flighting pitch to move more grain with less contact to steel.
A large 37.5cm (15in) diameter unloading auger with a new end boot design also works to deliver a higher volume stream of grain with better control.
A new ³TouchSet² automatic combine adjustment is standard on the STS models.
All required separator crop settings, including the new remote shoe adjustment, can be adjusted with the touch of a button in the cab.
The ³TouchSet² contains 16 pre-program crop settings that can automatically adjust rotor threshing speed, concave clearance, cleaning fan speed and chaffer and sieve openings.
³TouchSet² hydraulics also are standard on the STS models. This system used an independent control valve to enable the operator to have infinite variable control over the feederhouse and header raise-and-lower rates.
Another feature is a new moisture sensor. Called the Green Star Harvest Monitor, it includes a moisture sensor located at the top of the clean grain elevator in the grain tank.