NEW Holland¹s latest conventional combine harvester the CX860, has emerged as somewhat of a surprise packet for the company in WA.
While conventional headers now take a back seat to the more preferred rotary models, New Holland has found a positive response in what may emerge as a niche market.
According to New Holland sales and marketing manager John Payne, the company has enjoyed a sales spike with its CX in WA ³mainly because it handles moisture better and therefore increases the harvesting window².
³In a year like this one that¹s a huge advantage,² he said. ³Owners are telling us they have more flexibility with the CX than they do with a rotary and that¹s one reason why we are confident we¹ll see more sales growth with the CX in the eastern states once seasons get better.²
Esperance New Holland dealer Neil Staines said the CX was his company¹s top seller, outperforming the CR twin rotor model.
³I think the reason is that it¹s a gentle conventional header,² he said. ³It doesn¹t crack grain, it doesn¹t walk grain out the back and you can harvest in any conditions.
³It certainly is a top performer in canola and for a conventional header I think New Holland got it right.²
Testimony to these comments is Mullewa farm manager Alan Woods who advised his boss Phil Saunders to buy a second CX860 after a successful harvest last year with one of the first models brought into WA.
The trade for the new CX was a New Holland TR99 twin rotor model. According to Alan, the preference for the CX is simple.
"We get a better thresh with the CX when moisture is higher (around 11.5pc) so we can start earlier and stay out longer,² he said.
"Last year, the TR performed better when the moisture went down but with the CX we maintained an average speed around 10.5km/h and we found the CX matched the rotary in a day shift.
"The CX has got some nice features and with the extended feederhouse everything is further out in front and easier to see."
According to Alan the CX is a well-balanced machine with attention to areas that makes the job a little easier.
"It has got light steering and it will keep performing at the top end under full load without using a lot of fuel,² he said.
"The cab is very quiet with a minimum of dust and it's easy to clean."
New Holland has gone to great lengths to continue the evolution of the conventional header.
Three models are available in Australia from 207kW to 275kW, with grain tank capacities up to 10,500L and a faster unloading capacity at 105L (3bu) per second, courtesy of a double auger system in the bottom of the bin.
According to New Holland, the CX brings new efficiencies and capacities that provide high levels of productivity.
Features include a new 750mm heavy threshing drum and 10 rasp bars.
The larger drum acts like a flywheel, generating high inertia and storing energy to smooth out peak loads during heavy harvests.
An integral facet of the threshing system is the increased concave wrap angle of 111 degrees which, together with the larger drum, gives and impressive rubbing area of 0.98m2 on five straw walker models and 1.18m2 on six straw walker models.
Whenever crop conditions demand a more aggressive threshing action, de-awning plates can be engaged to the underside of the drum concave.
These plates are permanently installed to the concave and are engaged in seconds.
The design and concept of the beater also has been refined. At 475mm, the beater has eight fixed plates while operating at the same rpm as the drum.
The third step in the threshing system, is the rotary separator drum, an integral facet of the separating process that also has been further refined.
The diameter has been increased to 720mm and has 12 paddle bars for improved production, ensuring that after leaving the separator virtually all the grain has been extracted from the straw.
New Holland also can install two roof-mounted flashing beacons to alert a chaser driver that the combine is nearly full.