Alright, now it seems its just becoming a pissing match of who can have the most power. I think machines have reached their limits as far as capacity, for a number of reasons, and now everyone just keeps coming out with more hp to one up the next guy.
I think it should be obvious what a lot of the limiting factors are. Look at todays combines at how big they are. People are wanting and speculating about these larger classes of combines in the future but if everybody wants these higher capacity machines then we're going to have to get bigger and bigger machines obviously. First think about the roads we all have to travel down with these things. Todays machines are already taking up the entire road not to mention the driveways we need to get into. Or the bridges that need to be crossed or powerlines and overpasses that need to be driven under.
If everybody wants these class 9+ combines then manufacturers will have to build them longer, wider, and taller to accomodate the capacity that they would need. Sure you could build a class 15 combine capable of handling a 48 row cornhead, but how the heck would you get it to the field. It would have to be delivered in pieces and assembled in the field just to get it there. A lot like those big coal mining dump trucks.
And the heads that these monster machines would need would be ridiculous. We've hit 16 row heads, start getting much bigger and we would need 24 row or more heads just to keep those giants fed. And think of the practicality of that. Then you would have to have huge, flat fields just to make them work efficiently.
And as casefarmer mentioned weight is starting to become an issue. Look at the stress you would be putting on certain parts of the machine just to carry all that. Not to mention compaction issues that are more and more important these days. So unless combine manufacturers can figure out a way to get more capacity into the same size or smaller package I think we're seeing out limits as far as that goes.
I think a lot of people need to stop and look at a lot of these things as well as other issues before wanting these bigger and bigger machines. I guess you can keep adding horsepower but you can only have so much before it starts to be a waste. And I even think that we're starting to see the peak on that as well.
I think it was obvious to farmers in 1975 what the limiting factors were on a IH 715. But then came the axial flow series. I don't think that combines are finished progressing. There are places in the world where HP makes all the difference. Places were over 100hp is needed to run the chopper alone. There are also places where larger and larger headers will be made and will work just fine. And places where a 30 ft header at 3 mph can change to a 30 ft header at 6 mph. Thats double the capacity without a larger header Sorry to say it, but the world does not revolve around midwest corn.
You can make a combine longer or wider or taller. You don't have to make it all three. You can use different materials and different drivetrains to cut down on weight so that machine can weigh the same but have larger capacity. You can run it on tracks. On all 4 corners even. Can go to controlled traffic like in Australia -just compact the same spot all the time. There is no reason that a CR9090 is the peak, just like there was no reason to believe that a 1480 was in the late 70s.
I'm not talking about the just the midwest. Take a look in Europe and their roads, fields, and so on are even smaller than what we have here. I can only imagine what its like for them to try and menuever a combine like that around there. We have a hard enough time here once in a while. And yes there are parts of the world where gigantic combine with a gigantic head would work. But it's still going to have to be in a very large field that is relatively flat for a setup like that to be efficient enough to justify it. Sure you can have contour adjusting feeder houses and heads that flex, but still you can only go so big before you start running into problems unless you're on some table top flat ground. And you would have to be in a field thats a square mile or more to make it worth the time of having it there, and very few places in this world have farm ground like that. Otherwise you're going to be spending more time unhooking and trying to transport everything and hooking it back up if you're just dealing with a quarter or an 80 or whatever here and there. Once again efficiency would be a huge factor there if you're starting to figure in a lot of setup and travel time. At that point you could make quicker and more efficient use with two smaller combines.
And 1975 was a completely different time, obviously. They weren't running into those problems such as roads, bridges, powerlines, and so on that we are today. Machines were considerably smaller back then and designing bigger machines wasn't a problem. Now thirty some years later after continuing the trend to buld larger and larger we're running into these problems with the size of the machines we've got. And I don't think that states, counties, provinces, or whatever may be are going to be willing to reconstruct roads and bridges and powerlines just because someone can't get their combine down it, under it, or across it. I think they'll be told to find another route where they can or get a smaller machine.
And if they want to keep increasing capacity by say making it longer then yes the other two variables will inevitably follow right along with it. If you keep increasing threshing and cleaning capacity that way then you will need a bin that can hold all that, a 300 bushel bin won't go very far with a 16+ row head. And I don't think the bin can be dropped down. So it will have to either go wider or taller, or more likely both. And length can only go so far. Again think of the practicality of trying to crank a longer and longer machine in and out of fields or even in the field itself. It'd be like trying to get a maintainer around all day.
And yes different and lighter materials could be used to save weight, but then what is that going to do to the price of an already outrageous $300,000 machine?
I agree with you there that there are places where the monster combines would work and be welcome. But I don't think that just a few areas like that will influence the trend of companies to build bigger and bigger combines. I think for a combine manufacturer to be able to justify designing and building that large it would have to be for a global, not regional, purpose or scale. And for most of the world a machine that big just isn't practical. I do think that we will continue to see some growth but mainly in hp, probably some as far as capacity as well. But everyone needs to start thinking about the physical dimensions of these things. Like I've said, I'm sure its possible to build something so big to handle these dreamt up capcacities that would work, but how practical would it really be. Again, look at how 99% of these machines have to get around just to get to the crop. Nobody can really justify having something that they have to disassemble or shut down highways just to move it. And I don't think companies can justify building something that big just for the 1% who would be able to utilize their size and move them around with relative ease. I think it would be neat if we could see class 15 combines or bigger, but I think companies will have to figure out how to get it out of a package no bigger or not much bigger than what we're seeing right now.
So you guys are going to turn this into an argument about size ey? well im gonna say something then. Has anyone thought about the fact that maybe combines will become entirely different?
maybe we will see combine that dont have grain tanks more like a forage harvester?
maybe we will have machines that take the whole plant and load it into a truck to be threshed somewhere else. If this cellulosic ethanol really takes off i think that might be where we are going for combines.
But who knows, when one of you invet a time machine let me borrow it and i will go in the future and tell you
Thanks for posting this tx68.
This is about 95% more understandable then the last version I saw.
But you gotta love how the translation turns out:
"The power system automatically harvest IntelliCruise ™ monitors the burden of harvest on the cutter bar to optimize the speed of play".
So were going to control feed rate by the load on the knife? That should work great at +/- 50%. I doubt that's what they mean though.
"The new system performance Opti-Spread ™, mounted at the rear of the shredder straw, divided evenly straw crushed on the entire width of the cutter bar".
Our choppers don't just cut and spread straw, they "crush" it.
"The new cabinet of self-cleaning, the system Opti-Clean ™ is equipped with racing disengagement of the largest grids, angles release more abrupt and surface cleaning the largest market (6.5 square metres). It uses a training independent of the reception table and grids to optimize the movement of each component. The box cleaning Opti-Clean ™ is the first to make possible the movement opposed to the reception table and the top grid, which increases the height for greater separation capacity and a more aggressive cleaning while reducing the overall level of vibration."
Gotta be the first combine so big it has a reception table.
Something to keep in mind is that Kazahkstan, Russia and other developing ag sectors are not small markets. They are huge! I work as an engineer for a planting and tillage manufacturer in Canada, and a good 1/4 of our total sales are international (outside NA), with orders of 20-30 units from a single farm not being uncommon. If the big manufacturers can already justify a completely separate line of equipment just for Europe, they will definitely be able to justify it in countries with quickly emerging ag sectors. Along with a greatly increased price tag comes a much lower number of units required to justify a production run.
I agree there are limitations to the maximum size of a combine, but I don't think the size limits capacity. There was a period of time before aerodynamics were better developed when the best way to make a car go faster was to pour the fuel/hp to it. And at one time, if you wanted more hp, you needed a larger engine. If these have changed so much, why not ag?
The Aug.28 edition of the W.P. (Western Seducer aka Western Producer) has a article on the CR 9090 Elevation claims it set a harvesting record. Here is the the deal 16,579 bu. in eight hours = 2866 bu/hr.of wheat in Leipzig , central Germany on July 31. Average moisture 10.9, broken grain 0.14 percent, grain purity up to 99.5 percent. Did'nt the wheat yield of the field they cutting???