REGINA — Turns out the Ideal combine is a Fendt. At least from an Agco perspective.
After seven years of development Agco’s Ideal brand combine was released last fall at Agritechnica.
The company developed the machine after consulting engineers, carrying out extensive producer polling and gathering input from around the world.
The resulting machine will fly the Fendt brand flag, rather than appearing globally in the company’s Massey and Challenger combine colours.
Last fall, at the German release of the new combine, the company suggested that it would appear under a couple of other banners.
While not as well known in North America, Fendt has a loyal farmer following in other parts of the globe, especially Europe. The green machines represent a premium product and they offer a full lineup of equipment in Europe.
Richard Kohnen of Agco was recently on hand in Regina to unveil the new machine at a dealer meeting during Canada’s Farm Progress Show.
He said the new machine will not be available from every Agco dealer, which must apply for the right to distribute it and ensure its operations will be able to properly support the product.
“Not every Agco dealer will be a Fendt Ideal dealer,” he said.
The new combine is expected to offer all the features that it had when it was released late last fall. The 12.4-litre Man engine is common to the Fendt-Challenger 1000 series tractor in the Class 8 machine, and puts out 538 horsepower. The 15.2-litre in the Class 9 kicks out 647 h.p. The big rotors, twin 24-inch units in the Class 8 and 9 machines, a single in the Class 7, are about 16 feet long, allowing for plenty of threshing opportunities.
A set of poly grain guides move threshed material through, spreading it evenly onto the new grain pan. The grain pan has deep channels that stratify the grain and other material, then hit it with an air blast that continues the selection. The system uses a set of traditional sieves for final cleaning.
The company has developed a visualization user interface for the operator, which allows each part of the threshing and grain processing to be evaluated and set, or the user can observe the machine handling those settings on its own.
Caleb Schleder of Agco said the rotor setup allows harvested material to remain in primary processing for a longer time, allowing the company to slow down the rotor speed, producing a better quality of sample and greater selection up front in processor. A feeder rotor evens the material out as it makes it way to the rotors.
The 485-bushel grain tank can be emptied at a peak of 6.5 bushels per second.
“You want to make sure the grain cart or truck is in the right place when you fire up the auger,” said Schleder, adding that a set of doors in the grain tank gradually open to feed the big auger, preventing plugging and sudden flows of material.
The Ideal combines have tracks from birth. The machines were designed from scratch to use the Jackson, Minnesota-engineered system.
Kohnen said the track system was developed for the combines, and the “people who did it are famous for the quality and durability of the Agco track systems found on our Challenger tractors.”
“Transport speeds up to 40 Km-h mean that this tracked combine isn’t limited when moving from field to field,” he said.
Schleder said the machine isn’t “overly complex. It only has 13 belts. You can service it in the morning in about 10 minutes.”