In July Case IH invited members of the farm media to the combine assembly plant it shares with sister CNH Global brand New Holland in Grand Island, Nebraska. That’s where the brand wanted to give journalists their first look at the new 250 Series models. Available for the 2019 season, the 250 Series offers a host of high-tech improvements over the current 240 Series machines.
“We have a lot of new and exciting base features and new optional features,” says Ryan Blasiak, harvesting marketing manager at Case IH. “Everyone thinks technology makes things more complex. But it actually simplifies your harvest, and it allows that extremely inexperienced operator to become more skilled.”
Among those new features buyers might like are improved material feeding through the feeder house and automated adjustment systems:
“For the 250 Series we’ve completely redesigned the feed rate control,” he explains. “We used to use a strain gauge on the feeder drive shaft. We’ve redesigned the [digital] logic, so now we’re looking at engine load, and we’re looking at ground drive pressures to determine the available power for crop processing. It’s going to automatically adjust my forward ground speed to maintain one of three modes: fixed throughput [maintaining a constant harvest rate per hour], maximum throughput [putting the most material through the combine in the shortest time] or performance mode, which is really looking at grain savings and minimizing losses.”
And an on-the-go rotor cage vane adjustment feature will also be offered on the 250 Series.
“We have in-cab adjustable cage vanes,” says Blasiak. “As conditions change, I may need to change how long that crop spends in the threshing and separation area. I can do that from the cab now.”
To keep pace with the advanced automation features spreading across all combine brands, Case IH will offer an optional updated version of AFS Harvest Command.
“AFS Harvest Command is our answer to automation,” he continues. “We’re utilizing 16 sensors to proactively look and make seven combine adjustments. We adjusting forward ground speed, rotor speed, upper sieve, lower sieve, pre sieve and lower cage vanes. We adjusting those to meet one of those three modes: performance, maximum throughput and fixed throughput.
“And now we have a fourth mode, which is grain quality. So we have a camera that is looking for MOG (material other than grain), crackeds, and brokens. The nice part is not only are we adjusting forward ground speed, we’re adjusting the whole machine. And that’s for the four crop types, soybeans, corn, canola and wheat. But we’re certainly trying to understand other crops. And that’s based on customer demand.”
Up front all the combines get a completely redesigned feeder house, the feeder floor has been lowered by 20 millimetres to improve material flow.
“For a canola grower, it’s really going to help the feeding of the crop,” says Blasiak. “And we went from a three-piece floor to a two piece, so we reduced the number of seams there, which will result in less wear and more reliability. We’ve changed the feeder top shaft design. We’ve gone to a crown spline coupler, so we get three times the life out of that verses the previous design.”
All combines will get power from FPT diesel engines that use SCR catalytic reduction emissions systems, which is typical of all Case IH machines. The largest model, the 9250 will, get its power from a 15.9 litre diesel that offers up to 625 peak horsepower.
Along with a 410-bushel hopper and 4.5-bushel-per-minute unloading rate, the 250 series combines also get a self-levelling cleaning system, which the brand claims will allow them to clean and move grain more efficiently, particularly in uneven terrain. It should help producers avoid throwing grain out the back while maintaining harvesting ground speeds.
Also new for the 250 Series is a two-speed transmission that replaces the four-speed version in the 240 Series. It gives a wider range of working speeds and eliminates the need for shifting in the field.
“We have a harvest speed and a roading speed,” says Blasiak. “And it also gives us better tractive effort.”
Along with the 250 Series introduction, Case IH also pulled the wraps off the new 150 Series, which were designed with a retro body style as a nod to early IH Axial-Flow models. Intended to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Axial-Flow design, the 150 models will also display retro IH decals and that familiar white cab roof. But under the sheet metal, these models will offer features like the Cross-Flow cleaning system and the new two-speed transmission.
Only a limited number of 150 models will only be available to dealers and their customers through 2019.