IT’S amazing what an extra 40 ‘horses’ can do to lift productivity at harvest.
That has been the case over the past six weeks for Ogilvie farmers Alan Carson and his son Rhys putting a New Holland CR9.80 through its first harvest.
Last year the pair decided to upgrade their old header after it had recorded 1400 rotor hours, opting for a higher horsepower model, which was delivered by Geraldton dealership McIntosh & Son after last harvest.
The CR8.90 comes with a maximum power rating of 360 kilowatt (490 horsepower), but the bonus is that it has the same cleaning area as its bigger brother, the flagship 10.90.
That combination, plus the fitment of a Turbo Drum in the front of the feeder house, provided the optimum capacity without thrashing the header, with engine load mainly working at 85 per cent.
Rhys said in one 32-hour event when conditions were right, 1200 tonnes of wheat was taken off with the 13.6 metre (45 foot) DC65 MacDon draper front, putting the whip on truck drivers to keep up.
“It certainly performed better than our other class eight header, which was 450hp (336kW),” Rhys said.
“In some of our better crops, we were averaging 40 tonnes an hour and getting a good sample.
“And fuel was OK at 50 to 60 litres an hour and I’d say we were saving at least three litres of fuel an hour.”
The CR8.90 is earning a reputation for its productivity with a 13.6m front, compared with bigger class machines and there’s also the appeal of keeping at least $100,000 in your wallet.
The ability of the 8.90 to handle a 13.6m front is due to tyre size, 800 singles, rated to handle the extra load.
The 8.90 is basically the same as the 10.90 with the main difference being higher horsepower and a bigger grain tank in the 10.90.
But today’s technology has arguably created a more level playing field between so-called class eight and class 10 models.
Some would argue you need a bigger header for heavier crops, but the CR8.90’s performance munching through some above average crops on the Carson’s property, leaves room for discussion – particularly driving at normal speeds.
The ‘piece de resistance’ as far as 8.90 owners go is the machine’s ability to deliver a clean sample, with little grain going out the back, courtesy of what New Holland says is its Twin Rotor technology.
New Holland invented the Twin Rotor concept more than 40 years ago and has been refining and evolving this technology for four decades to increase capacity and improve grain and straw quality.
New Holland’s standard ‘S³’ rotors are ‘Staggered, Segmented and Spiralled’ to control the crop, moving material rearward, evenly, without bunching and reducing the opportunities for grain damage.
With the twin rotors, more centrifugal force is created, with a tighter turning of material, enabling the crop to evenly divide for a more even distribution of material onto the cleaning area.
This gentle action, according to New Holland, is a key to maintaining small grain loss, and in some cases, zero grain loss.
New Holland also was one of the first manufacturers to introduce a self-levelling cleaning shoe, which automatically optimises the cleaning shoe angle by up to 17 per cent to neutralise the effects of side slopes, and also prevents grain banking during headland turns.
In changing crop conditions you can remotely adjust the sieves to allow greater wind flow or reduce sieve openings in lighter crops, to prevent losses and improve harvesting efficiency.
And to make harvesting even easier, an ‘IntelliCruise’ Automatic Crop Feeding system automatically matches the forward speed to crop load.
A sensor on the straw elevator driveline continually monitors the demand placed on the header, so in areas of lighter crop, forward speed is automatically increased to guarantee the combine works at full capacity independently of areas of differing yields.