The combines that have shaped their world today - The Combine Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-03-2007, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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The combines that have shaped their world today

In the course of recent combine history, four major model types have emerged to become true movers and shakers, shaping today's modern combine technology. I feel it is time to recognize these four as being rather outstanding for their trend-setting standards to which other manufacturers have followed suit. The combines are as follows:

1. Allis-Chalmers Gleaner Model L Series [1972-1988]

The Model L Gleaner first appeared in 1972 and was the first combine ever, to employ electromagnetic over hydraulic controls and functions. The basic separator configuration of the L was also a proven departure from the long-standing Baldwin design, carried on by Allis-Chalmers since the purchase of the company in 1955. The old design lasted from 1951 through 1979, when the remaining two smaller Gleaner models were redesigned as well, to the new square tailed configuration. Although the first 3 production years of the Model L resulted in poor quality, overall, the new electromagnetic control system was getting better. The name was changed to Model L2 in 1977 and again, to Model L3 in 1983. The industry in general, began to pick up on the new concept of electromagnetic over hydraulic controls. By 1990, the concept had become rather widely used in most current combines worldwide.

2. The Axial-Flow International Harvester and Case-IH [1977- ]

This was the second commercially-produced "rotary" combine. The New Holland Model TR 70 preceeded it in 1975, but New Holland only had a small share of the North American combine market. International Harvester was clearly one of the "Big Three" in the combine sector. The Axial-Flow differed from the TR 70, in that it featured a single, larger-diameter rotor, whereas the TR had a pair of rotors, hence the trademaked name, "Twin Rotor." Initially frought with low production numbers due to a prolonged labor strike at the plant where the combines were built, the Axial-Flow eventually recovered in due time to slowly gain more popularity. By 1980, the rotary revolution was in full force, with New Holland now producing 3 all-new rotary combine models. A year later, IH dropped their remaining conventionals and replaced them with A-F models, too. The Axial-Flows continued to prosper. More than everfarmers and custom harvesters wanted them as their reputation increased. The Axial-Flow soon found its way into regions and pockets previously unknown to other International Harvester [conventional] combines.

Time also proved to be on the Axial-Flow's side as well. International Harvester was severely ailing from the long strike and other financial issues, so in 1985, the farm equipment division was completely sold to Tenneco--to be linked to the J.I. Case name. The new Name was Case-International. Shortly after, in 1986, a new series of Axial-Flow combines was introduced, the 1600's. In 1993 the numerical index changed on the last two digits of the each model number. New features such as a crossflow fan system and more Hp were added. In 1995, an entirely new series, the 2100's came about, ushering in even more improvements, including an all new cab style, new ergonomic features and a buddy seat. In 1998, the series name was again changed to the 2300's. The 2500's came out in 2007. Over three decades, though the Axial-Flow had not changed in overall outside dimensions, the placement of new separator components allowed the latest models to perform over 1.5 times their original counterparts. In all, the Case-IH Axial-Flow rose to become the second best-selling combine in North America. It had been in the forefront of the new rotary revolution from its debut and is moving forward to keep its place in both the capacity as well as the technology race.

3. John Deere Model 9600/9610 [1989-1999]

The Model John Deere Model 9600 was one of an all new "family" of John Deere combines known as the Maximizers. The 9600 was substantially larger than the Model 8820 which preceeded it, and was the world's largest conventional combine. Now the Model 9600 took that status. Clearly this new size of combine, also did not fit most trailers made for combines. Such had been the problem some 10 years earlier, when another like-sized combine was tried, the big White 9700. The Model 9700 was a rotary and contemporary of the rotary revolution. The John Deere 9600 was a conventional or walker design. It's immediate success was based on reconfiguration back to a center-lined design, much like the John Deere combines from 1969 and back had been. It was also the first John Deere combine to use mostly electromagnetic over hydraulic controls. Maximizers were also the first combines to feature complete passenger seats in their cabs, too.

Initial sales of Maximizers were slow due to the major farm crises of the time, but slowly, they picked up momentum. Once sales did increase, the model 9600 moved quickly to the No. 1 position in overall sales of John Deere combines. This had never happened before in the history of John Deere's combines--the top-of-the- line model pushing ahead of the others to lead the sales! Once the big 9600 was popular so were the new, larger trailers designed to carry them. Other manufacturers began building like-sized combines, too. Although AGCO never restored the Model 8590 [formerly the White 9700/9720] to production, the big combines were here to stay. The John Deere 9600's popularity had simply set the standard for maximum height and width dimensions. The name was changed to Mode 9610, in 1998. Another trend set by the 9600 and other like-sized combines, was the advent of the semi tractor-trailer so popular on farms today, having replaced the bobtail trucks of just a few years earlier. The bigger combines simply worked faster, took out more crop in a given time, so needed the hauling capacty to take it from them.

4. Claas Lexion models [1997- ]

The fourth combine to set a higher standard, is the Claas Lexion. The Lexions were first marketed in Europe and once successful, Claas marketed them in North America, under the Caterpillar name, as a joint venture with the Company. The Lexions were among the first combines to have a fully computerized control center. They were also the first to link the sieves to an automatic, in-cab control, where before, any and all combines had to have their sieves manually adjusted, from ground level. The computer or CEBIS as it's called, is a lot more than most monitoring systems for the Lexion. It is capable of actually self-setting. The CEBIS is what many believe to be a prelude to a succession of self-running or semi self-running combines in the near future. Like the John Deere Maximizers and Axial-Flows, the Lexions are in growing demand as their quality and reputation spread. The relatively recently built plant in Omaha, Nebraska, has "naturalized" the German combines to North America.

While some Lexions were also walker machines, the rotary ones were the most popular. While Lexions do not thresh with their rotors, the rotors are for separating grain from the straw and of course, eliminating the straw from the combine. Their success in grain processing, was a triple drum system, rather than just the single tangential one for threshing. High-speed and high capacity harvesting are the trademark of these combines. Ergonomics is also no little thing. Claas lead the way in special features such as drink coolers in their cabs, in addition to passenger seats. Lexions also brought rubber tracks to combines. Any one of them could be fitted with tracks, making them enormously popular in rice and wet country. Like the Axial-Flows, Lexions are not limited to any one series or generation of models, but rather a "family" that has become firmly established and will continue to propagate and prosper in the coming years.

Whether in production or not, these afore mentioned combines have and will continue to shape the way of our combines of the future.







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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-04-2007, 08:01 AM
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Re: The combines that have shaped their world toda

nothing about rotors. new holland was an outcast when they introduced the rotor...........

Matt

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-04-2007, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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Re: The combines that have shaped their world toda

Matt, go back and read. I said plenty about the rotary revolution and even mentioned the New Holland TR's.





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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-04-2007, 09:30 AM
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Re: The combines that have shaped their world toda

Quote:nothing about rotors. new holland was an outcast when they introduced the rotor...........Matt
I agree Matt, New Holland was the rebel in the crowd, a true ground breaker. But in the scheme of a 35 year history, market share dictates history ink. Unfortunate, as the TR70 was revolutionary, but true.

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-04-2007, 09:32 AM
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Re: The combines that have shaped their world toda

doh, i insert foot into mouth. i read headings and spoke. sorry

Matt
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-04-2007, 09:41 AM
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Re: The combines that have shaped their world toda

That was close Matt, I was just about to accuse you of having your Aggieville goggles on.

Nice job, Combiness. I agree with the Gleaner L take on the hydro controls. After a lifetime of JD 55s and 95s, I remember running a Gleaner in the late 1970s and was in awe of the stick. Still in use today by almost everyone.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-04-2007, 12:02 PM
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Re: The combines that have shaped their world toda

Quite a essay Combiness! It's going to take time to absorb it all but I'm sure it will stir up discussion.

Don
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-04-2007, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The combines that have shaped their world toda

Indeed. Now I went back and separated the paragraphs and subtitles for better clarity. It just did not post in the same format as I wrote it. I only saw one numerical typo. It's been corrected.





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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-04-2007, 12:21 PM
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Re: The combines that have shaped their world toda

Quote:Indeed. Now I went back and separated the paragraphs and subtitles for better clarity. It just did not post in the same format as I wrote it. I only saw one numerical typo. It's been corrected.
That looks much better. the original format was overwhelming.
How long did that take to type? I could have done it in 100... hours flat!

Don

Not really that long just to type it, really, although I'm still much faster with a PEN!
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-04-2007, 12:56 PM
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Re: The combines that have shaped their world toda

Hah, That rocks.

Maximizers FTW!

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