Two monster Vervaet beet harvester models make British debut

Dutch firm Vervaet’s two new Q-Series self-propelled beet harvester models have touched down on British soil for the first time and offer a range of new and improved features.

Interested customers were treated to a demo by Vervaet’s UK importer J Riley at H Jones (Farms), Great Witchingham, Norfolk last week, with the six-row Q-616 and Q-621 both put to work.

The 16t bunker capacity Q-616 is a direct replacement for Vervaet’s popular Beet Eater 617, while the 21t option offers some middle ground between the Q-616 and the 25t flagship Beet Eater 625 to offer weight and capacity to suit a range of farm or contract sizes. 

A Vervaet beet harvester works in a field of sugar beet

© Adam Clarke

See also: Advice on using starter fertiliser to lift sugar beet yields

Minimising compaction

Like the larger 625, the two rear boots on the Q-Series are close-coupled to offer a one-track-per-wheel configuration that spreads weight across the machine’s width to minimise soil compaction.

Front tracks can be fitted to further lighten the footprint and unlike the 617, which required a different harvesting unit to make way for the track units, the Q-Series can have them slotted straight on.

With the rear wheels on a turntable, manoeuvrability is also enhanced by the new “Quad” tracking and combined with a steering front axle, the inside turning circle is just 2.4m.

For those who prefer the old-fashioned approach, conventional tracking can still be specified.

A Vervaet beet harvester unloads beet into a truck as it travels through a field

© Adam Clarke

Improved elevators

The ring elevator on the Q-Series has been beefed-up and is 20% wider to deliver beet to the bunker more efficiently, but it is the all-new discharge elevator that will catch the eye of operators.

It now sits at the front of the tank, giving the man in the seat better visibility for unloading.

It can also lift higher and has a longer reach – ideal for those discharging straight into lorries or with larger farm trailers.

If unloading direct on to a heap on the headland for a self-propelled cleaner loader, using the self-levelling front axle can drop elevator height by 50cm to reduce beet damage, while the extra reach also helps keep the wheels away from the heap edge.

The pivoting front axle will also prove useful for those growing beet on steep ground.

Economical topping

Out front, the Q-Series will come with a couple of topper options, including the low-maintenance and compact Integral, which mulches green material and throws it between the rows for an even and easily incorporated spread.

For those who still want the option of throwing the topped material to the right-hand side, there is also the Combi 2, which has the capability to do either at the flick of a switch.

Behind the series of walking shares are further opportunities for buyers to customise their machine, with the choice of five or six cleaning turbines to tailor to varying soil types.

Turbines have also been increased in size by 8% to improve flow of beet through the harvester.

Power in the Q-616 is drawn from a 465hp DAF engine, with its bigger brother having a pokier 510hp unit and both run between 1,100-1,350rpm for improved fuel efficiency.

A 40kph box and four wheel braking are also options and might appeal to contractors with plenty of road work at harvest.

Easy maintenance

Jeremy Riley of importer J Riley says the user experience has been improved on the Q-Series too, with easier accessibility around the machine for general maintenance and once inside the Claas cab with the door shut, it is extremely quiet.

He reckons there has already been significant interest in the new models and between J Riley and Vervaet, the whole package of sales, service and backup is available seven days a week for new and existing customers.

Price is yet to be set in stone, but buyers can expect to part with £390,000-£440,000, depending on model and spec, with the Q-616 estimated to be about £35,000 cheaper than the Q-621.