The Case for going bigger at harvest

Bigger tank, heavier engine increases harvest capacity

Size seems to be the biggest factor in the equation of harvest efficiency and Case just bumped up the numbers big time.

The Axial-Flow 7240, 8240 and 9240 combines have the industry’s largest grain tanks at 410 bushels and largest fuel tanks at 297 and 317 U.S. gallons, according to Case IH.

“As producers continue to achieve more yield per acre, Case IH combines match their capacity for even more efficient harvesting,” Case combine specialist Nathan Weinkauf said in a news release.

All that mechanical efficiency comes with a price in terms of weight on the ground. The benefit of better harvest efficiency might be offset if the higher weight isn’t handled correctly.

“You’re absolutely right,” said Weinkauf, who explained in an interview that a 410 bushel tank and heavier engine demand a redesign of all components in the chassis.

“We’ve added 3,000 to 4,000 pounds to the combine, but I think we’ve kept the unit well-balanced from a compaction standpoint.

“And, of course, we have the optional 30-inch rubber tracks that install very quickly if they’re needed.”

Weinkauf said Case has a good inventory of rubber track systems for their combines, but they haven’t seen a big rush of orders so far.

“No, we haven’t seen it yet this year, but we do see a peak in rubber track sales when we get into a wet harvest and there’s potential for that this year,” said Weinkauf.

“But, actually, most of the guys who buy rubber tracks don’t do it because of mud. These are the guys with an attitude of paying close attention to their soil and management.

“A lot of guys who put tracks on their combines see the value in reduced compaction. I’d say those are our main customers for tracks.”

Numbers on the 240 series have grown from previous models. The unload rate is 4.5 bushels per second. The larger grain tanks on the 8240 and 9240 have higher load rated tires to accommodate the extra weight. Power Plus CVT for the rotor and feeder lets the operator reverse the rotor for quick de-slugging.

“The CVT is especially useful in regions where you get those heavy crops with lots of material coming through,” said Weinkauf.

“When you slug-up the feeder, there’s no need to waste time getting down from the cab. You just rock the rotor with a switch in the cab. Once you’ve backed the slug out, you feed it through slowly. Then you’re on your way again.”

For all the benefits of fuel efficiency and operator convenience, why hasn’t the same CVT technology been applied to the combine drive transmission?

“I’d say it’s under investigation. There’s a potential big weight saving and that’s important in a combine,” said Weinkauf.

Weinkauf said cooling is critical in the new 240 series, especially on the big 9240. He said the previous generation rotary screen wasn’t up to the job.

“What we’ve come up with is something we call a rotary wand. It goes around the outside of the air screen and keeps all the dust and chaff off the air screen so air keeps moving.”

For further information contact Nathan Weinkauf at 262-636-6651 or visitCaseIH.com/Axial-Flow.

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