YOU'VE got to be a happy man when a machine you buy works really well.
And that's the case for Neridup (Esperance) farmer Colin De Grussa, who last year bought one of the first new Massey Ferguson 9500 Series combine harvesters in WA from local dealers PH Kerr.
The first signs emerged early last harvest when Colin direct-headed all of his hybrid canola crop.
"It was hybrid canola that stayed green and was very chewy," Colin said. "But the header took what we could throw at it.
"It fed well, threshed well and gave a good sample without messing about with the sieves.
"And it was the same in our wheat and barley crops, where we were also able to average between 40 and 50 tonnes an hour in most conditions.
"Once we sorted out the optimum combination of fan speed and fan choke nothing went out the back.
"The other impressive thing was there was no overloading on the sieves and we were taking in canola, barley and wheat with a 30ft (9.1m) flex front between 11 and 12km/h.
"We found very little difference in performance or sample in the heat of the day or during cool nights and we could take as much straw as we wanted so I was a bit surprised by the volume of material we could get through."
According to Colin, the ease of taking in crops and threshing was underscored by lower rotor speeds between 300 and 350rpm - up to a maximum of 450rpm on canola and 800-900rpm on wheat and barley - which returned fuel figures around 60 litres an hour.
"We had plenty of horsepower to handle the crops and even with the big 12,300 litre bin you hardly noticed any drop in speed under heavy load," he said.
"Our chaser bin had no trouble keeping up to the header with unloading only taking around 80 seconds.
"It's a header with a lot of clever things that work really well."
Massey Ferguson says the 9500 Series models are the next generation of axial combines.
The MF9540 and MF9560 offer a new AGCO POWER 9.8 litre, seven cylinder engine - the only combine on the market where the engine is positioned in line with the axial rotor for maximum driveline efficiency.
The MF9540, with 276kW (370hp) at 2100 rpm, delivers a power bulge up to 318kW (426hp) at 1950 rpm while the MF9560, with 343kW (460hp) at 2100 rpm, provides a power bulge at 2000 rpm that climbs to 356kW (477hp) along with an unloading boost up to 375kW (502hp).
Both models also feature a V-Cool system, which positions the engine radiator, hydraulic cooling system and air-to-air intercooler in a V-shaped design below a hydraulically-driven variable-speed fan which operates at the optimum speed according to temperature demand.
According to Massey Ferguson, the design eliminates the need to "stack" cooling elements, thereby creating a more efficient system with less chance of blockage.
The V-Cool system includes a purge cycle that reverses the fan as needed to clear the air intake of chaff and other debris.
This process is controlled by temperature sensors which verify air flow through the cooling system. When airflow decreases despite increased fan rpm, the system will reverse the fan to blow dirt and chaff away, cleaning the intake screen so airflow is not obstructed and the engine maintains optimal temperature.
The V-Cool purge cycle is triggered four different ways - detection of airflow restriction; engine speed below 1800 rpm; manual control and automatic cleaning at 15 minute intervals.
With 260 engine hours totaled during harvest, Colin said he never blew out the radiator and only cleaned the air filter twice.
At the heart of the models is the all-new Trident processor featuring a segmented-rotor design versus a straight-bar design to efficiently yet gently handle heavier, tougher crop material.
To maximise crop flow, the Trident rotor features a multi-zone intake that feeds the rotor evenly and consumes less power.
In addition, the Trident processor has a six-segment concave design with three options for various harvesting conditions.
These interchangeable concaves are designed to be easily removed and replaced by one person allowing quick changes to optimise capacity if necessary.
To meet the increased capacity of the Trident processor, both models boast a newly-designed cleaning system that naturally stratifies crop using three distinct air zones for full-length cleaning without the need for distribution augers.
By adding an upper deck air stream directly below the processor, a forceful air blast pushes material other than grain (MOG) towards the rear of the machine so less material is landing directly on the cleaning shoe.
A new adjustable pre-chaffer replaces the cascade pan on previous models for more capacity and adjustability in all crops.
A 25cm (10in) clean grain cross auger and high capacity grain elevator contribute to a 60 per cent capacity increase in clean-grain delivery to the standard 350 bushel bin, with powerfold extension.
A standard 7.2m (24ft) unload auger still maintains the industry's fastest average unload rate at four bushels a second and gives a longer reach when using larger fronts.