Krone was showing its latest forage harvesters near Whitchurch earlier this week. The Big X 530, 630 and 770 have been in the UK in prototype form but this autumn is the first time they have been in full production.
These are six feed roller machines with high pre-compression/high throughput and claim to give uniform performance even in inconsistent swaths. The Varistream system used is said to cope easily with uneven swaths and eliminate peak loadings.
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Bosch Rexroth wheel motors give a stepless speed range from 0-40kph and traction control can be used in one of three modes – grass mode tuned for maximum sward protection, corn mode that allows limited slip and switched off.
Powersplit gives the choice of manual or automatic adjustment to suit the conditions, but is not available on the Big X480 and 530.
Engines on the new machines are 530hp MTU 1399 units on the Big X 530 and 626hp MTU 1500 on the BigX 630. Drum width is 630mm. The new machines also have the firm’s VariQuick corn conditioner that can be quickly changed between corn conditioner and grass chute.
Meanwhile the Big X 770 has a MAN V8 engine with 753hp and a 960-litre fuel tank.
The corn conditioner and grass chute are connected and can be moved on the same plane. This enables a quick turnover when chopping wholecrop silage/grass in the same day. The conditioner can also be removed quickly from the machine when not in use.
In the cab, climate control and a touchscreen is standard. There’s an optional reversing and spout camera, too. A new safety feature is a drum brake that can be stopped in less than 10 seconds.
Chop lengths go from 2.5-15mm on the 40-knife chopper to 31mm on the 20-knife version. Headers include the 3m EasyFlow 300S, 4.5-7.5m EasyCollect 450 and the 6.2m X Disc.