THERE¹S one thing you learn very quickly in Esperance at harvest time.
The odds are that it will rain so getting the crop off quickly is an absolute focus.
For Wittenoom Hills, Esperance farmers John and Ann Hull, who crop 2800ha (7000ac), the solution is running two headers.
³We get a lot of cold weather and moisture so you really need to move when you get the opportunity,² John said.
Interestingly he uses two Case-IH 2388s. After doing the maths it was apparent that opting for a bigger class eight header wouldn¹t have solved the problem.
³We couldn¹t get the job done with one class eight and with the same investment, we¹ve got two headers.²
John previously used a Case 2166 and a Case 2388 but opted to get another 2388 for the 2004 harvest to increase his productivity level.
³Generally we like to run 12 to 14 hour shifts if the weather is good but shifts can be all over the place if the weather its patchy,² he said.
³The downside I suppose is that I need two chaser bins and two extra employees, but one is a qualified mechanic so that¹s a great help.
³The other aspect of the operation is that it¹s easier for me to have a life because we¹ve got more flexibility with two headers you¹re not pushing hard all the time.²
While the Hulls are happy with the reliability and performance of their 2388s, which are fitted with a standard rotor, Case has upgraded the models in 2003.
The most notable upgrade was an AFX rotor, new on-the-go mapping (if fitted with GPS), grain bin extension and a direct flow cooling package.
The updated AFS Universal Display Plus provides three fully configurable user screens, as well as configurable markers.
A new AFS software package also provides improved report and analysis capabilities, as well as the ability to import and export most major industry file formats.
There¹s also a new operator seat, mufflers, air cleaners and a new cover for the thrust bearing on the cross flow fan to improve bearing life by preventing material from entering the thrust bearing.