New Holland’s latest combine goes for throughput

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The world’s most powerful combine harvester has arrived. It’s New Holland‘s 591hp twin-rotor CR9090 Elevation and it’s claimed to be capable of 10% more throughput than the previous CR9080 range-topper. Typical output is 70t/hour with spot rates potentially higher in ideal crop conditions.

The company says this puts the CR9090 in pole position in the race for maximum harvesting capacity, challenged only by the Claas Lexion 600, which packs a slightly less staggering 586hp punch.


The CR’s other statistics are impressive, too, with a 10.7m (35ft) header (although 30ft is an option) and a new header chassis. NH says it has avoided the need for split knife-drives and central reel and auger support bearings by beefing up the wobble-box and increasing auger and reel tube diameters.

The operator can also extend knife-to-auger clearance hydraulically up to 575mm to cater for tall and lodged crops.

The company’s engineers are also testing a 12m (40ft) American Draper-type header in Europe this year which uses belts to draw crop to the intake elevator rather than an auger.

The engine is a 12.8-litre Iveco Cursor fitted with a compound turbo system. Put simply, as the exhaust gases leave the main turbo they pass on to a second turbine, although this one doesn’t power an intake air compressor. Instead, it drives a gear-set that transfers power directly on to the crankshaft.


NH says this set-up can cut fuel consumption by up to 5%. So, compared with a combine without TurboCompound burning 17-litres/ha and cutting 1200ha a year (3000 acres), that is a potential fuel saving of 1020 litres a year.

The CR9090’s brace of concaves and rotors have been rejigged so the vanes can be adjusted to speed up or slow crop through-flow, thus altering threshing intensity. This is said to be the main factor behind this model’s 10% jump in capacity compared with its predecessor.


But wider headers mean more work for the straw-chopper. So NH has developed a twin-disc unit that flings the chopped straw across a width of up to 12m, giving a good indication of which way header sizes will go.

Cleaning capacity is similarly gargantuan and the 6.5sq m of sieve area is claimed to be the biggest on the market. And, in case potential buyers are worried about grain quality, there is a camera-based system, Graincam, which automatically detects sample quality and prompts the operator to alter settings accordingly.

Future developments will see cleaning shoe adjustments (like fan speed and sieve openings) made automatically and the ability to create GPS grain sample maps as well as straightforward yield records.

CR9090 interior

Along with GPS auto-steering and cruise control that senses the load on header and intake elevator drives to keep the combine at maximum capacity, it all stacks up to a technologically advanced package.

But there’s a price – £346,000 plus another £33,523 if you opt for suspended rubber-tracks.

New Holland says it plans to build 100 CR9090s for harvest 2009, with 30 of them expected to come to the UK. That seems a fairly conservative figure given that one in three combines sold in Europe last year wore yellow livery.

NH has also recently revamped the lower end of its harvester line-up, ditching its CS combines to create a five-model CSX range (see table).

Super-size stats

  • Header: 10.7m (35ft)
  • Engine: 591hp
  • Grain tank: 12,500 litres
  • Sieve area: 6.5sq m
  • Fuel tank: 1160 litres
  • Price: £346,000

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