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Deere introduces the W235 windrower

A new 235 horsepower model available in hay and small grains configurations joins the company’s windrower lineup

Does anyone notice anything similar between these swathers and that combine?” asked James Petersen, senior marketing manager for windrowers, as he stood between a group of farm writers and a row of machines in a field near Columbus, Ohio. “The cab,” he explained. “The S Series combines introduced this cab in 2012.”

Partly to save R&D costs, the S Series combine cab has been grafted onto Deere’s brand new windrower, the W235. “It makes sense,” added Petersen. We have the same operators using both (the combine and the windrower).

Using the same operator station brings a sense of familiarity to those running both an S Series combine and the new windrower. Inside the W235 cab, operators get a similar interior control arrangement — Deere’s CommandCenter display with all its functions, including integrated AutoTrac and JDLink telematics.

Updates and new design

The updated hydraulic steering system on the W235 better accommodates AutoTrac guidance than the mechanical system on existing models. “The windrower steers a lot differently than other vehicles (tractors and combines), so it’s a bit of a challenge to deliver accuracy with AutoTrac,” explained Petersen. “Our current solution today (on other windrowers) will get about seven or eight miles per hour before we start to see performance degrade because it’s a mechanical system. We’ve now replaced that with a hydraulic system which is much more accurate. We’re now seeing speeds up to 17 miles per hour.”

Overall, the windrower is a completely new design. “This thing is all new from the ground up,” he added. The 6.8-litre, Tier 4 Final-compliant diesel offers 35 more horsepower than Deere’s previous flagship model. And a newly-designed intake draws air flow from the top of the hood rather than from the dusty environment closer to the ground, which minimizes chaff build up in the radiator and cooling condensers. A 19 per cent larger fan screen also helps keep debris out.

A new header drive system keeps power flowing to the header in tough conditions, and adjusts to meet demand when the engine starts to lug. “We have a feature called Constant Header Speed,” said Petersen. “When crop conditions change, we’re maintaining that (header) speed and constant windrow formation.”

The W235 will be available in two configurations, with a rotary header for hay crops or a draper for grains and oilseeds. The rotary will be compatible with 994 and 995 hay cutting heads and the draper version will come equipped with a 600D head. †

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Scott Garvey

Scott Garvey is a freelance writer and video producer. He is also the former machinery editor at Grainews.

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