24 November 1995

Sugar beet giant

A NEW six-row self-propelled sugar beet harvester with a hopper capacity of 25t has been launched by German manufacturer, Stoll. Features include computerised control backed by video surveillance from the comfort of an air-conditioned operators cab.

The giant machine was one of the most eye-catching presentations at this years Agritechnica event. Powered by a 480hp MAN engine, it weighs in at 50t when a full load is on board.

Operating such a machine without causing undue compaction or, indeed, traction problems, calls for an interesting wheel arrangement. In all, the machine is supported by five wheels – each wheel with a width of one metre.

A tandem axle at the front accounts for four of them, while a hydrostatically driven, mid-mounted wheel at the rear creates a situation where the weight is spread evenly over the whole width of the machine.

Despite its 17m length, inner turning circle is claimed to be just 4.5m – achieved through the use of computerised crawler-type steering altering the forward speed of the wheels on either side of the machine. Assisting this operation is the fact that the rear wheel can pivot up to 90í either side.

Apart from achieving a tight turning circle, a further advantage is that the main driving wheels remain in a fixed position, eliminating the need for space within the chassis for steering movements. This extra room allows the full width of the machine to be used handling the beet.

Stolls new self-propelled sugar beet harvester. Its all-up weight of 50t is supported on five wheels – four main drive wheels plus a mid-mounted fifth at the rear.