Grimme brings extra high-tech to potato lifters

German potato equipment Grimme has upgraded its 2-row trailed and self-propelled machines for the 2015 lifting season.

The most interesting item is its pneumatic clod and stone separator, called AirSep, and an active swaying stability control for improved digging performance called ComfortDrive.

See also: Agritechnica – air-powered Grimme separation system

AirSep is unusual in being able to separate stones, wet clods and haulm from potatoes by airflow. It has already been successfully tested on the SV260 and the SE260 Off-set trailed harvesters.

The ComfortDrive system, meanwhile, has been designed mainly to reduce sway in offset trailed and self-propelled harvesters fitted with large wheels. Swaying can reduce digging output, says the company, and can be uncomfortable for the pickers.

Reducing sway can increase digging speed by up to 30% reckons the firm. ComfortDrive is available as an option on the SV260 2-row bunker harvester as well as the Varitron 200 and 270 2-row self-propelled harvesters.

Other improvements on the 4-row harvesters include a new crop flow system that minimises damage and requires less maintenance on trailed harvesters. Called VarioDrive, it is said to give the operator more precise control of the mechanical first web.

The new crop flow process helps minimise blockages by using two active running rubber rollers connected to the rear axle that separates the crop as it moves through the harvester. The crop is distributed over the full width rear of the axle on to the following separators.

VarioDrive allows the mechanical and hydraulically driven main webs to be infinitely adjusted to suit all digging conditions and can also be reversed at the push of a button to remove blockages.

It consists of an epicyclical gearbox with integrated hydraulic motor and is more or less the same size as the conventional mechanical drive. Compared to the hydraulic systems VarioDrive is said to have 20% higher efficiency and reduces the fuel consumption by 1 litre/hour.

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