QUEENSLAND manufacturer MidWest Fabrication, Dalby, will unveil a new 18.2 metre (60ft) draper platform designed for big capacity combine harvesters.
Midwest director and design engineer Craig Schutt said farmers were seeking large Class Nine harvesters to lift efficiency and productivity.
They also wanted to leverage the technology and production gains that Controlled Traffic Farming (CTF) systems offered.
“To get maximum combine harvester potential productivity and lowest cost per hectare, size really does matter,” Mr Schutt said.
“A recent trend in harvester capacity is demonstrating that owners and operators are wanting more hectares an hour and tonnes an hour of grain harvested, while keeping harvest costs under control.”
Over the next few months, a limited number of the new 18.2m draper platforms will roll off the production line at the Dalby manufacturing facility.
It has been the culmination of a number of years of development and the experience of 12 years designing and manufacturing draper platforms suited to the demands of Australian harvesting conditions.
This extra wide platform is now a part of the new DURUS platform range from Midwest Fabrication.
“In designing the new DURUS range, we wanted to be able to build in strength and capacity for extra wide, plus cater for farmers wanting more harvest area an hour, higher cutting speeds and minimal maintenance for the big harvesters,” Mr Schutt said.
“To get maximum combine harvester productivity and lowest cost a hectare, size really does matter and it makes for a big difference.”
Many growers already have adopted MidWest’s 12.2m (40ft) CTF system front and in Western Australia demand over the last five years has been for the company’s 15.2m (50ft) model.
Midwest’s latest platform is expected to be displayed at this year’s Dowerin GWN machinery field days in August.
“Five years ago we brought to the market the first production-made 15.2m platform that could give up to 11 percent more productivity over our then widest 13.6m (45ft) model,” Mr Schuitt said.
“The new platform will give a massive 20pc more productivity than our 15.2m model. That’s a huge lift in harvester performance.
“Part of the innovative design for this wide width is using high strength steels to keep the platform weight down without comprising the platform strength and stresses on the harvester’s feederhouse, and simplifying drives and reducing components without compromising in-crop performance and reliability.
“It is definitely the new future of grain harvesting in Australia and you will see why extra wide draper width size really does matters with today’s new high-capacity combine harvesters.” www.midwest.net.au