30 October 1998

A French first…

BEET UK saw the first outing for Vogel & Noots French built Franquet Tetra 6-row harvester, which becomes a new contestant in the increasingly competitive self- propelled harvester market.

The harvester features an automatic steering system, where signals from sensors on the lifting shares are used to instigate small adjustments in the steering rear axle to keep the machine on line.

A 300hp Daf six-cylinder turbo diesel powers three-speed hydraulic wheel motors in addition to hydraulic motors driving the topping, lifting, cleaning and conveying systems.

These components are carried on an articulated chassis – an arrangement designed to allow tighter turning at the headland – running on 620/70R38 front and 800/50R30.5 rear tyres, with the option of wider 1000/5R25s, to minimise soil compaction.

Leaves, removed and shredded by a flail defoliator, are windrowed between the crop rows and compacted by seven small wheels, which also provide individual depth control for the scalping and mechanism and oscillating lifting shares.

Cleaning is in two stages, initially by five horizontal spiral rollers, then by three turbines.

The crop is then transferred to an up and over conveyor for delivery into either a 11t capacity bunker, or directly to a two speed unloading elevator whose discharge height is adjustable down to 3.8m (12.5ft).