The Krone twin-engine approach for flexible forage harvesting has been applied to a new self-propelled machine from the German firm.

 

The Big X 800 has two DaimlerChrysler power units, one producing around 500 HP and the other around 330 HP.

 

Krone explains that clean and economical running is one of the selling points of the new model with engine emissions fully meeting the January 1, 2007 TIR 3 exhaust requirements and a rated 823 HP achieved at a moderate1950 rpm.

 

Krone-BigX800

Economy is further helped by the Krone electronic engine control which automatically shuts down one of the power units when not required, for instance during roadwork at up to 25mph.

 

The transport drive system also automatically matches engine rpm to requirements thus markedly reducing fuel use and drive train wear and tear, according to Krone.

 

In the field, the Big X 800 chops with an 800 mm wide 28-knife drum. For a finer chop, particularly desirable for biogas silage, Krone offers a 40 knife drum.

 

The new Krone is “little brother” to the 980 HP twin 12.8 litre engined Big X 1000 introduced in 2005 and now one of the stars in a booming German market for self-propelled harvesters which has brought total sales of all makes to over 500 during 2006.

 

One of the main reasons for this boom is a massive increase in on-farm biogas production from wholecrop fermenting.

 

More than half the 5000 biogas fermenters on German farms are now fuelled partly or completely with grass, wholecrop cereals or maize, according to the country’s Ministry of Agriculture.

 

The crops are first ensiled and then fed in regular batches into the fermenter.

 

Electricity produced is sold to the national grid at a 0.06 (4p) per kWh bonus under a government regenerative power incentive scheme.

 

The German machinery manufacturers association (VDMA) reports that 504 new self-propelled forage harvesters were sold in the year to October 2006, the highest annual number for nine years. At the same time the average power of the machines has also increased with one third of annual sales now rated at over 530 HP.