Rain fell with characteristic enthusiasm on Case IH’s demo of its latest tractors and combines in France last week. David Cousins looked at what would have been working, had it been dry…
Case IH Magnum tractors have had a gentle refresh and a bit more power for 2015, thanks largely to the need to meet the latest Stage IV/Tier 4 final emissions regulations. So the five models now top out at 250hp, 280hp, 310hp, 340hp and 380hp, with the top-of-the-range 380 putting out 435hp when its powerboost is operating.
All use 8.7-litre Fiat Cursor 9 engines and a choice of CVT and powershift transmissions. However, if you want the top model you have to go for CVT. Fuel tanks have also increased in size, from 575 litres to 617 litres, with integrated steps to reach the cab.
There are some smaller changes, too. The huge air intake has moved to the other side of the tractor and all lights (apart from the headlights) are now multi-LED units. Max lift capacity is 10,580kg.
Case has also entered the half-track market at this horsepower for the first time with an integrated rear-track design called Magnum Rowtrac. Impressive though it looks, UK uptake is likely to be restricted to veg growers in the Fens.
UK deliveries of the new Magnums are expected to start in the new year, while the half-track won’t be available until the end of 2015.
Case IH’s smaller Axial-Flow models (the 5130, 6130 and 7130) have been replaced by the 5140, 6140 and 7140 models for next harvest.
Meanwhile, the bigger 7240, 8240 and 9240 combines are going, too, with new 7230, 8230 and 9230 models with Fiat Cursor 16 engines up to 634hp replacing them. Suspended tracks will also be on offer for all models.
Case IH has joined that group of combine manufacturers who offer headers over 40ft. Its new 3050 header is 12.5m (41ft) wide and therefore able to give a bit of overlap for farmers practising 12m controlled traffic farming (CTF).
It’s meant that the knife has had to be split, with a wobble-box drive at each end doing the reciprocating. The reel stays as a one-piece unit and there’s now 57cm of forward-back movement to make tall crops of rape easier to deal with.
A decidedly bendy-looking header at the demo site looked somewhat odd to UK eyes, but turned out to be the firm’s 3020 Terraflex unit for harvesting soya beans or other crops that grow very close to the ground. It is mainly found in places such as Australia.
Draper headers are widely used in many countries and Case IH has traditionally fitted Canadian-made MacDon headers for the job. Their lateral rubber belt system, which pulls in crop somewhat faster than a standard combine header, has prompted several UK farmers to buy one.
Case IH has now designed its own 12m (40ft) draper unit called the 3100 series, with two variable belt speeds and a hydraulically powered double knife driven from the centre. There’s also a plastic auger at the back of the header that helps pull in wayward bits of crop.
The company reckons that these units could help growers improve the throughput of crops, giving a boost to the MacDon ones already working in the UK.