Deere cranks up power on forage harvesters…
MORE power, more power and even more power. Thats the theme from John Deere with its 1998 self-propelled forage harvester line-up.
The revamped four-model 6000 series tops out with what is now the most powerful forager on the market – the 505hp 6950. It was a title previously held by Claas with its 503hp 880.
John Deeres 6950 is followed by the 440hp 6850, 365hp 6750 and 280hp 6650. But Deere points out these power figures only represent power at rated speed and are not maximum power outputs – theres more power available to keep John Deere at the top of the horsepower league.
Engine characteristics feature a "power bulge" which means power rises significantly as engine speed drops back from the 2100rpm rated speed to 1900rpm. It gives maximum outputs of 540hp, 480hp, 395hp and 310hp respectively for the forager range.
All except the 6950 use Deeres PowerTech engines with electronic governors and capacities of 8.1 litres and 12.5 litres. The 6950 gets 14-litre Cummins power.
Plenty in reserve
"The engines have been developed to allow a reserve of power, so as the load increases, so too does the available horsepower to get through a tough spot," explains Deeres harvesting specialist John Gilbert. "If youve nothing in reserve, all you can do is slow down."
Though it doesnt stop with the increased power outputs. Changes to the chassis, ground drive and main driveline components have also taken place.
Handling the extra horsepower is a wider power band and larger diameter pulleys. Its a move aimed at increasing belt life, as Deere says a higher belt speed is used, with less of a loading.
Stretching the chassis by 24cm (8in) has enabled an improved engine cooling system to be fitted and at the same time also provides improved service access to the crop accelerator housing – an important wearing item which used to take about 1.5 hours to replace, can now be changed in 15min, adds Mr Gilbert.
The chassis changes also add to machine stability and means a 12cm (4in) longer wheelbase. This, says the company, has improved the machines ability to cope with wide, heavy maize headers such as the Kemper eight-row unit.
The chopping cylinder in all models remains unchanged from the previous range, at 66cm (30in) wide, though its working speed on the 6950 is up from 1000rpm to 1150rpm, for improved capacity.
A revised crop accelerator system is now fitted to provide smoother grass flow through the machine.
By using a multi-paddle rotor fitted with 12 knife sections (no cutting action is done, though), Deere says its accelerator takes less power to drive and as a result, wear is reduced against the blower band, on which it propels the grass.
Base prices for the harvesters are from £99,793 up to £143,072. Adding a 3m (10ft) grass pick-up costs a further £9572, while the wider 4.5m (14ft) version costs £14,776.
Deeres revised self-propelled forage harvester range sees power increases on all but the 6650 which uses 8.1-litre Power Tech engine of last season. Flagship 6950 offers up to 540hp from 14-litre Cummins engine.
6000 series forage harvesters
ModelRatedMaximum Price (£)
*=hp at 2100rpm
**=hp at 1900rpm