Torque Talk - generous donor for military museum

11 Feb, 2017 02:00 AM
Esperance farmer Mic Fels sent Torque this pic of his new Turbodrum mounted on his MacDon front. The feed drum is a collaborative effort between Mic and Merredin manufacturer Laurie Phillips, who told Torque this week he has had an
Esperance farmer Mic Fels sent Torque this pic of his new Turbodrum mounted on his MacDon front. The feed drum is a collaborative effort between Mic and Merredin manufacturer Laurie Phillips, who told Torque this week he has had an "amazing" response to the story in Torque's column on January 19.

THREE weeks ago Torque suggested a crowd funding exercise to help out the "vollies" at the Merredin Military Museum.

At the time, museum curator and ex-farmer Rob Endersbee said $5000 was urgently needed to pay operational costs.

Last week a delighted Rob reported to Torque he had received a $5000 cheque from a farmer who had read the story about the museum in Torque's column.

"I was just blown away," he said.

"We got a $500 donation from another farmer and $10 from you so we've got $5510 to clear our debt.

"It's just amazing the generosity of people."

Rob said attempts to gain funding for the museum had fallen on deaf ears at government and local government level.

"You can't get funding for operational costs," Rob said.

"We have to rely on the tourists."

What about funding for a shed to cover the Huey helicopter and the APV (armoured personnel carrier)?

"We're trying various avenues but so far we haven't had any luck," Rob said.

It appears Torque will have to kick in another $10 to crowd fund the shed.

What about it Torque readers?

Tracking new tyre

TITAN International is introducing the Goodyear OPTITRAC LSW1400/30R46 at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky, next week.

So what's the big deal?

If you've haven't read the tweets, the OPTITRAC LSW (low sidewall technology) is touted as an alternative to tracks or conventional dual configurations on high horsepower 4WD tractors - its 1400 millimetre (56in) section width makes it the largest farm tyre in the world.

Titan also claims it offers the best combination of flotation, traction and ride quality.

"We developed this tyre to meet the growing demand for super-single flotation tyres," Titan spokesman Scott Sloan said.

"Our customers - end users and OEMs - are beginning to shift from the old mindset that standard dual configurations work well in every application.

"That's simply not the case.

"There's really no reason to be running a dual configuration on any of their tractors, whether it is a MFWD or a 4WD.

"In fact, they could be causing unnecessary soil compaction by doing so.

"We've seen a lot of success bringing this concept into MFWD tractors and combines, but our customers wanted an option for 4WD tractors.

"That's why we're introducing the largest farm tyre in the world, which will be available by the second quarter of 2017."

Titan says the new size is specially suited to John Deere 9000 series or Case Steigers and is a perfect fit to reduce compaction in any application where dual 710/70R42s or 800/70R38s are being used.

Whereas these standard dual configurations commonly cause pinch row compaction and rutting between the tires, along with higher ground-bearing pressures under the tread, Titan says it's Extreme Flotation design on the LSW spreads ground-bearing pressure across a wide, singular footprint for less soil disturbance.

Outfitted with LSW technology, the tyre also has a larger rim diameter than standard tyres that improves lateral stability, and drastically reduces occurrences of power hop in high drawbar applications, as well as road lope during high-speed transport.

Naturally the overall width of the machine is reduced.

Another product of interest to be released is the FurrowJet.

Made by Illinois-based Precision Planting, it's an attachment to a tine to integrate dual-banding and near-furrow liquid placement with optional third band in-furrow for maximum plant uptake, rate flexibility, and suited for a wide range of liquid product options.

The attachment mounts behind the seed tube to a quick-attach bracket.

It rides in the furrow right behind an integrated seed firmer with wings that slice the furrow sidewall to apply liquid fertiliser 18mm away from the seed on both sides of the furrow.

Company product manager Jason Stoller said by being near-furrow, FurrowJet's placements gave the seedling and crown roots immediate and continuous access to nutrients.

Ag Implements on the move

AG Implements has consolidated its John Deere dealer network with new management appointments.

Campbell Aiken, formerly AFGRI Equipment branch manager, is its new Quairading branch manager while the new Narembeen branch and sales manager is Peter Calligaro, who comes in with 25 years of experience with Westrac behind him.

Peter will be joined by new service manager Liam Hickey, who has been in Narembeen's service department for the past two years after running a successful agriculture business in Ireland.

The previous service manager Mitch Miolini has returned to the family farm but will contract his services back to AG Implements.

According to Campbell there will be an increased focus for the Quairading branch related to precision farming.

"We're a phase three-accredited John Deere dealer in precision ag (PA) and we have a lot of new services to offer farmers this year," he said.

"Our former PA specialist Lyndon Wallis has re-joined the company so his experience will add to what we have to offer."

Just remember guys, you're dealing with high sophisticated equipment that works wonders... when you can get a signal.

LAMMA releases

SEVERAL tractor manufacturers unveiled new models at last month's LAMMA Show in England but Australian farmers will have to wait to hear the "official" news and their availability in this market.

John Deere revealed a new flagship model to its 8R series with the 336kW (450hp) 8400R, though no tracked version will be available.

It also has extended its 6R range adding the 6230R and 6250R, with rated power levels of 172kW (230hp) and 186kW (250hp) respectively.

A boost function sees the 6250R pump out 224kW (300hp), giving it a claimed power-to-weight ratio of 31kg/hp.

A stand-out feature of the new models is the new CommandPro joystick control concept.

Available as an option, it offers control of both drive and a multitude of tractor and implement functions.

It incorporates 11 buttons and rocker switches which can be assigned to any tractor function, including front and rear linkages, PTOs, spool valves, headland management, auto-guidance and ISOBUS functions.

Deutz Fahr also weighed in with a new transmission, front suspension design and a new integrated front linkage for its six-cylinder, 6 Series tractors.

Comprising six main models spanning power ratings between 116kW (156hp) and 158kW (212hp), the series gains three extra models to cater for the diverse nature of Deutz's customer base in this power bracket.

The 6 Series can be specified with a five range, six-speed powershift transmission, offering 30 forwards gears and 15 reverse.

Two specification levels of the transmission are available including the new RC Shift option which uses a joystick to change gear and allows full automation of the transmission.

But Deutz's TTV continuously variable transmission is still available.

Kubota continues to deliver on its promise of expansion of its tractor line-up with its new M5 Series.

The two new models feature Kubota 3.7L, four-cylinder engines, which produce 71kW (95hp) in the M5091, and (84kW) 113hp in the larger M5111.

A wider cab, a left-hand, electro-hydraulic power shuttle and 40km/h transmission add to an increased Cat II linkage maximum lift capacity of 4.1 tonnes.

For JCB, it was a focus on extolling the most powerful tractor it has ever made – the 8000 Series.

Like the 4000 Series, the two new 8000 models feature a centrally-positioned cab and the inclusion of a rear deck.

Designated the 8290 and 8330, the company has made the mandatory move to increased horsepower for its flagship 8330, with a power rise from a rated 250kW (335hp) to 260kW (348hp).

A new dual-line hydraulic steering system allows one hydraulic line to take over, should the first fail and should the engine, which drives the steering pump, fail, a back-up, ground-driven pump, integrated within the transmission, takes over.

For Massey Ferguson, it was all about showcasing its 6700 S Series tractors, topped by a 150kW (200hp) model.

The update features more transmission choices and hydraulic performances.

Comprising six models, the 6700 S Series is powered by AGCO Power 4.9L, four-cylinder engines.

These generate maximum power outputs from 90-131kW (120-175hp), with engine power management providing a 18.5kW (25hp) boost on all models.

On all but the smallest model, the firm's Dyna-VT continuously variable powershift transmission is available.

Powershift transmission options now provide an AutoDrive pedal mode, offering complete changing of gears automatically, based on engine load and speed.

Landini also made an appearance with a lower-spec model designed to appeal to users who do not necessarily need all the bells and whistles.

In doing so, the manufacturer offers more spec choice in its range, with the new 'Active' specification neatly filling a gap above the company's predominantly mechanical 'Dynamic'6L Series.

Active models comprise four and six-cylinder machines, ranging between 107kW and 131kW (143-175hp).

The most visible difference between Active and Dynamic models is the change of primary controls from the armrest to the fender.

While 24x24 transmission remains electronically-controlled, spool valve control is mechanical, using levers.

Underneath, hydraulics have been simplified, with Active models using an 88 litre a minute gear pump. A 123L/min pump is available as an option.

And as they say in the trade, that's all folks.

Ken Wilson

Ken Wilson

is Farm Weekly's machinery writer


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