23 August 2002

Large appetite provides CXtra help at harvest

Its one year since

New Holland unveiled its

CX combine range.

Andy Moore caught up

with Kent contractor

John Hynard who replaced

two TX63 combines

with a CX840 model

Faced with a reduction in the demand for his contract cereal harvest business, John Hynard came to the conclusion that running two five straw walker combines to harvest 526ha (1300 acres) rather than 730ha (1800 acres) could not be justified.

Hence his decision replace the TX63s with one of New Hollands six walker CX combines – the CX840.

Launched in Seville last year, the CX840 is the third largest model in the CX range, which New Holland claims is capable of a 15% increase in output when compared with combine harvesters of similar power.

"Despite the catchy weather and some laid crop, the CX840 performed very well combining our customers 470 acres of oilseed rape," says Mr Hynard. "The combine saw off a good 75 acres/day harvesting the desiccated crop in dry conditions – twice the output of one of the TX63s."

Mr Hynard believes a key element in the overall design of the CX840 is the combines header which has received a number of modifications.

Among the revamps, the header has a faster drive speed to the knife and auger components, and a wider elevator with U-shaped slats to reduce grain damage.

Further updates include hydraulic reverse for the elevator and table auger, ground synchronised reel speed, together with single point connection for hydraulic services.

"When harvesting standing oilseed rape, the 24ft header handled anything that was thrown at it," says Mr Hynard. "And Autofloat enables the header to accurately follow ground contours on both planes."

He also praises the two header height positions which allow the unit to be lowered to the deck to cut laid crop, or to a regular height for standing crops.

However, Mr Hynard believes the combine could benefit from an automatic steering system, such as the one used by Claas, to ensure the header receives a full mouthful of crop to fully exploit its cutting width.

In the threshing department, the CX840s drum has a 75cm diameter – 25% larger than on the TX range – which, with a 111deg wrap angle from the concave, provides a threshing area of 1.18sq m on six walker models.

After the drum, the crop is presented to a larger diameter separator and rotary beater which is designed to achieve higher outputs but not at the expense of damaged grains.

A large post-drum separating area employs returns roto-threshers – two in six-straw and one in five walker models.

"There is no doubt the threshing system is more efficient than the TX63, which increases output and allows us to keep grain losses to a minimum," says Mr Hynard. "It gives us the confidence to push the combine to the limit when we are working against the clock or the weather."

But while the threshing system gets praise, Mr Hynard says he is less impressed with the combines hydrostatic transmission.

The speed ratios in the transmission are too high, particularly in reverse, he says.

This can make opening up a field a bumpy business. "In most conditions the combine has to be driven in first gear rather than second to ensure the harvesting speed range is suitable."

The in-cab computer also comes in for some criticism. According to Mr Hynard, it is complicated and takes too long to plough through a series of menus to alter settings.

These comments apart, what is Mr Hynards overall verdict? "The machine far surpasses the capacity of the two TX63 combines when they were working head to head in the same field.

"The real test will be when we finish the winter wheat. In this crop Id like to see throughputs over 24t/hour or 60 acres/day." &#42

John Hynard: "The CX840 can harvest the reduced acreage more cost-effectively than the two TX63s."

Top: Grain train… The CX840 tucking into winter wheat; throughputs of up to 24t/hour are expected.

Above: Computer quibble… The in-cab monitors could be made simpler to operate, says John Hynard.

Engine 299hp. No of walkers Six. Header width 24ft. Drum dimensions 1.56×0.75m. Price £141,360.