High tech machinery crucial for the future

HANNOVER, Germany — If there was one key message pitched to visitors at the huge Agritechnica Show in Germany, it was that investing in high-tech, efficient machinery is vital to a profitable farming future.

More than 450,000 farmers, contractors and machinery enthusiasts took in the week-long event in Hannover, which is regarded as the world’s largest agriculture machinery show.

Machinery manufacturers use the show to launch their latest innovations and technology that may, or may not, make it into full-scale commercial production some day.

Some of the key focuses this year included producing engines fuelled by alternatives to diesel, developing more affordable smart technology and increasing the use of autonomous vehicles.

In total, 2,819 exhibitors from 53 countries exhibited products with a number of joint ventures between competing brands surprising some of those in attendance.

Here are a few of the innovations featured at the event:

First telehandler for Fendt

Fendt revealed a unique telehandler at the show with a cab that lifts to a viewing height of 4.25 metres, giving the operator a bird’s-eye view of the surroundings.

Fendt delivered a new machine for the company’s long line of equipment, a telehandler with a rising cab. | Chris McCullough photo

The new Cargo T955 is Fendt’s first telehandler and has been developed in a joint venture with German manufacturer Sennebogen, best known for building large industrial machinery including port cranes.

The Cargo T955 has a load capacity of 5.5 tonnes and a lifting height of 8.5 metres.

There is no dashboard to obstruct the lower part of the continuous windshield and the cab is vibration dampened, to increase operator comfort.

The unit can travel at up to 40 km-h for transport.

Autonomous robotic sprayer (main image at top of page)

John Deere’s autonomous, robotic, electric-powered sprayer has been designed smaller to operate 24 hours per day and to work as part of a team of multiple units.

It has a 560-litre spray tank and a 30-foot boom. The high ground clearance of 1.9 metres and four-wheel steering make it versatile, while the four tracks minimize ground pressure and greatly extend the operating window.

Much development work is required before this machine becomes a reality, but John Deere says it is confident this approach will be popular in years to come.

Russian forage harvester

Powered by a 611 horsepower Mercedes engine, the RSM F2650 self-propelled forage harvester took up the prime position on the Rostselmash booth.

Making the shortlist for European Farm Machine of the Year for 2020, the RSM F2650 has a new cutting system with 48 blades arranged in four rows arranged in a v-shaped pattern.

Rostselmash’s new RSM F 2650 forage harvester is powered in Europe by a 611 Mercedes engine. If the machine makes its way to North America it might get Cummins power and Cat drive train. | Chris McCullough photo

It has a cutter head diameter of 630 millimetres and a rotational speed of 1,200 r.p.m. Hydraulically driven feed rolls provide uniform material feeding and allow the operator to adjust the length of cut from the cab. The length of cut could be adjusted from four mm to 22 mm with a full set of knives or from eight mm to 44 mm with a half set of knives.

The drive axle and electro-hydraulically operated transmission allows a maximum transport speed of 40 km-h.

Joskin, JD secure gold medal

The only gold medal awarded at this year’s event went to a joint effort by Joskin and John Deere for development in electric drives.

Joskin and John Deere developed an electrical drive that powers axles on a 26,000 litre manure tanker-spreader, yielding them an Agritechnica Gold award for their innovation. | Chris McCullough photo

The manufacturers have introduced a system where two axles on a tridem manure spreader are electrically driven by motors.

The eAutoPower gearbox that is projected for the near future with Deere’s 8R tractors represents the first electro-mechanical power split gearbox in agricultural technology.

Two electric motors are used as a continuously variable actuator and are specified to not only supply the drive, but provide up to 100 kilowatts of electric power for external consumption on equipment such as the manure spreader.

On the tractor side, this electrical integration results in improved gearbox efficiencies and reduced maintenance costs, says Deere.

Used in combination with an axle drive on a manure spreader improves traction, reduces slip and improved track guidance on steep slopes.

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