While visitors to Canada’s Farm Progress Show in Regina are used to seeing Prairie-based implement manufacturers debuting new equipment, the major brands don’t often use that show for major product launches. But this year, New Holland decided to unveil its new CR combines there. Allowing prairie farmers to be the first anywhere in the world to see these new machines, which included the brand’s first Class 10 model, the CR10.90.
“It’s the first Class 10 combine in the marketplace,” says Nigel Mackenzie, combine and header marketing manager for New Holland. “Listen to this: it’s 653 horsepower. It’s an enormous combine.”
“This is the first public showing of the model year 2015s anywhere in the world,” he continues. “We’re launching in Western Canada first, because it’s such an important market for us.”
The new model
According to the company, the new CR models offer improvements in productivity of up to 15 per cent over the previous series. The company gives a large part of the credit for that to the twin rotor concept it pioneered with the very first rotary to hit the market, its TR70, which was launched in 1975. NH remains the only combine manufacturer to use two threshing rotors.
“Two rotors allows us to do two things,” explains Mackenzie. “We can be far more gentle (on grain). We have more time, we have more separation area, more threshing area, so our grain quality is second to none. The other thing is when times are tough and it’s difficult to thresh we can be more aggressive because we have a bigger separation area, bigger concave area.”
To help improve the efficiency of the rotors, NH combines now offer the Dynamic Feed Roll, a beater that helps transfer the crop mat from the feeder house to the rotors more efficiently. The DFR also helps remove stones from the crop flow without requiring the operator to stop and close a stone trap. In fact, stone protection was originally what engineers were trying to accomplish when they designed the DFR, but they found it actually improved the combine’s performance. DFR is available on all the new CR models.
“It (the new CR Series) has a feature we call the DFR, the Dynamic Feed Roll, which is that module that sits between the feeder and the frame of the combine,” says Mackenzie. “In there you have an 18-inch diametre beater which is feeding the crop from the feeder into the rotors. Initially, we launched it as a stone protection system, but we were finding we were getting increasing capacity, and we weren’t using any more power. The CR10.90 comes standard with the DFR.”
Mackenzie believes the width of the twin rotors also aids in streamlining the flow of material through the machine, eliminating a pinch point and further improving its efficiency.
“The feeder is the same width as the rotors, the cleaning shoe is the same width as the rotors, so there is no merging or pushing of material,” he says. “It comes straight from the feeder into the rotors, then it evenly distributes onto the cleaning shoe.”
The new CR Series also has redesigned rotors that use adjustable vanes to further help material flow through more efficiently with reduced power demand.
“(The CR10.90) is also standard with what we call twin-pitch rotors,” he continues. “It’s a development of a rice rotor, so it should help in those (tough) situations. If you change the way you drive it, run the rotor at lower speed and wider concaves, we’re seeing no deterioration of grain quality and we’re getting more capacity.”
To store all that harvested grain, hopper capacities on the models ranges from 315 on the Class 6 CR6.90 to 410 on the Class 10 giant. Unloading speed is now 4 bushels per second. Two unloading auger options are available, a 29-foot and a 34-foot.
‘Theoretically you could go to a 50 or 55-foot (header) with that unloading auger,” He adds. “Also, the end of the spout pivots.”
To keep the machines moving, fuel tank capacity gets bumped up to 340 gallons on the CR8.90 and larger models.
In the cab
But even with all those enhancements to the machine’s performance, the brand wanted to highlight what it’s done to help improve the operator’s performance. Mackenzie thinks providing an even more comfortable environment to spend the work day in accomplishes exactly that. So the new CRs get another round of updates to the cabs.
“We have the best cab on market, second to none,” he says. “What we did with the cab is sit down with customers all over the world. We asked people what they liked, what they didn’t like, what wound them up, what irritated them, what they couldn’t do that they wanted to do. And we built it (the new cab) based on what they told us they wanted. We develop prototypes, then clinic those prototypes with them again and again.”
“The overriding thing customers told us is you have the best cab in the business, please don’t mess it up. (now) It still feels like the CR cab, but it is so much better. You have more visibility. The steering column is narrower than on previous models, not only for better visibility, but to create more space.”
Aside from pushing the interior space to 131 cubic feet and making the seat more comfortable for people of all sizes, the control arm also gets an update to improve ergonomics.
“The right-hand console has been completely redesigned,” he adds. “The multi-function lever is new. It’s very similar to what we have on a tractor. It behaves very similar to a CVT. We’re trying to create a feeling where a customer can go from a combine to a tractor and be familiar with the controls. We can offer two IntilliView 4 displays. It’s the same display we have in the tractor.”
“We were the first people to introduce a rotary combine,” says Mackenzie. “We launched the rotary combine back in ’75 with the TR70. We’re planning some exciting things to celebrate the 40th anniversary.”