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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
144 pictures from the tour (56K beware):
http://lefebure.com/farming/2009/march/

What a fantastic experience. I would definitely recommend this tour for anyone that has some seat time in a red machine.


We also had a “class” to cover some of the changes and general info about the manufacturing process. I took some notes:

There are approximately 1150 employees at G.I. The Production line only runs 1 shift, and they work until they complete however many machines they plan on for the day. In this case, they planned to build 26 machines (22 red, 4 yellow). There are also people that do fabrication of parts, and some of those departments will run around the clock.

The new 88 series (5088, 6088, 7088) now uses the same header hook up as the 10 and 20 series do. For those of you that want to buy a new combine, but keep your older headers, you can get the old style face plate for the new 88 series combines. I don’t believe you can get that faceplate as a factory option, but it can be ordered through parts. We were told that it is a rather expensive thing, and somewhat involved to swap out due to the different electrical and hydraulic couplers. Also, be aware that it will reduce the amount of tilt that field tracker can move. Normal is 5 degrees either way, and the old face plate will restrict that to only 4 degrees each way.

The 88s have a larger fuel tank of 250 gallons (up from 194). This is good, because these new engines burn more fuel, and we couldn’t get a full day of use out of our 2588 on one tank last fall.

The 88s now have a 2 speed header option that can increase the header speed by 15%. It is located on the front of the feederhouse, and is manually changeable. It is just two sets of gears with a spline that you can slide from one set to the other. If you order a corn head for the older 2300 or 2500 series, they come with a 2 speed gear box on the header. The heads for the 10 and 20 series (and the new 88s) don't have that gear box on the header.

The 88s now have electronically adjustable sieves. You can open them on the go, but you don’t want to close them on the go. The reason is that when you close them, they actually open all the way, close all the way, then open to where you want them.

The 7088 has an option of an in-cab electrically open/close hopper. The hopper does have to be empty to fold it due to the clean grain auger moving with the hopper cover.

New reverser which is a lot simpler than the previous one.

88s still use the same rotor and cage as the 2388s/2588s.

88s have a 15% larger clean grain elevator. The intake and output were both updated, and the top boot now moves up and down when adjusting chain tension. It will stay correctly spaced from the yield monitor sensor, so that doesn’t have to be recalibrated either.

Front axle on the 88s was moved forward 4 inches for better weight balance with heavy headers. Rear axle was moved back 5 inches (total of 9 inches longer wheel base). However, the rear axle now uses an offset kingpin design, allowing the machine to have a tighter turning radius that the 2588s did. This should also allow it to pick up a heavy header without any rear ballast. Target is a 60/40 weight distribution.

The cab air filter on the 88s is a better design than before. It pulls air from up by the top of the cab, so it should remain cleaner for longer.

There are 3 seat options – regular cloth, cut and sewn cloth, and the cut and sewn red leather heated seat.

There are 3 lighting packages – standard halogens, 2 HIDs, or 6 HIDs.

The 5088 has two lift cylinders of 2.5 inch diameter, and the 6088 and 7088 have two 3” lift cylinders. I think they said that will pick up a 12 row corn head. I think there is also an option to add a third 3” cylinder for really heavy headers. (I’m not certain I have this right).

The 20 series come with two 3” lift cylinders, and the 8120 and 9120 have an option for 3.5” lift cylinders. If you have a 12 row chopping corn head, you’ll want the larger cylinders. The smaller ones will do it, but you’ll probably have to turn up the system pressure.

The track option is only available on the 8120 and 9120. The 7120 doesn’t have enough extra HP to run them. The majority of the track parts are the same as is on the STX QuadTrac, except for the main mounting piece. The final drives come with the tracks, so no transmission gear ratio changes need to happen. A track machine can be swapped to wheels, and a wheel machine can be swapped to tracks. You CANNOT put your STX QuadTrack on blocks and use those tracks on the combine due to the final drives and how they mount to the axle. Turning radius and road speed are the same on tracks as on wheels.


Kudos to Titan Machinery and CNH. They both did a great job.

-Lance
 

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Discussion Starter #2
They also said that the class 5 market has been pretty stable. Class 6 sales are on a decline, Class 7 and 8 sales are both up.

-Lance
 

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It would be interesting to do the Yellow tour and Red tour back to back. When I was through they were all Case signs, but a NH marketing group was coming the next week and everything was getting changed. Interesting that people still would care this long after the merger. Its not like they tarp the yellow (or red combines, which would be a lot of tarps!) when an opposite color tour comes through!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was also curious about that. The presentation room we were in was 100% red equipment. I wondered if there was another room identical to that one with yellow pictures on the walls, and yellow stuff in the display cases.

On the other hand the majority of what they produce had red paint on it. As I said, production for the day was 22 red ones and 4 yellow ones.

-Lance
 

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That's interesting they gave production numbers. Those numbers and worker pay were the only off limits questions at Deere plants.

Did you have time to run through the Lexion plant? Does CNH have a Gold Key tour like Deere? Did they have a lot of tours running? Former employees, that sort of thing?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
No, this was a dealer sponsored tour, so of course we didn't stop at the Lexion plant.

The tour guides are retired employees.

They wouldn't tell us total unit production for the year, which I can completely understand.

I know people that have gone to the plant to watch their machine(s) be built, but I don't know what all is involved in that.

-Lance
 

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It is kinda odd how certain plants are branded. The vast majority of what we build is red in Saskatoon, but we're still a NH plant.

I suppose we do build a bit of blue/yellow and some black/grey, but right now in our east plant, nothing but red. Soon some yellow corn heads again, and always black/grey and blue air carts...
 

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question #2

Were you allowed to take video? If not, did you sneak some? (Some tour guides are not aware that video camera's come in really small packages. So I've heard.)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I didn't take any video. They said they didn't allow video in the plant, so I didn't take any. If there was just one thing I were to see video of, it would be the station where they test the self leveling sieves. It's interesting to see them moving.

The tour guide said the Modern Marvels people where there last week filming some stuff, so maybe we'll get to see that on an upcoming episode.

-Lance
 

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I was thinking they only build the cr's in Grand Island and that the cx's were built somewhere in Europe where the majority are sold.

Lance, when they were talking about class 5 market demand was that for North America or worldwide? Just curious, there are 100+ 5088's at the Port of Baltimore right now, seems as though the class 5 is in high demand across the pond.

hydro
 

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When I owned a TX 68 I believe it was built in Belgium.
I would assume that where CX's are built as well.
And does CNH not still make the TX in both color of dresses?

Don
 

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They have been building them in G.I. since the 1965. When they came over for the huge market. My Ford/NH book tells of no other factory listing the NH combines. NH combines are regional from what I have saw. I doubt they build them elsewhere unless someone else knows something.

I agree if they build them elsewhere I would like to know too.

Both the New Holland CR's for Europe and all the CX's conventional combines are built in Zedelgem, Belgium. Zed also builds some sub-assemblies and ships them to Grand Island for the CR combines. There are also smaller midrange and economy conventional combines built in Plock, Poland. Curitiba Brazil produces the CaseIH Midrange combines for the Latin America market as well as a conventional New Holland Combine for the same market. The plant in Curitba was build in the early 70’s to build New Holland combines when Sperry owned them. They now also produce tractors including the same Magnum tractor build in Racine, Wisconsin. Grand Island does build midrange combines for Europe and other countries except Latin America ever since the plant in France was closed a long time ago.
 

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its all about territory...we bought a stx 325 from beards implement up in northern illinois and it was like newholland heaven.... ive maybe seen 20-30 tractors (probably same ones) around here in my entire life..they had 40 blue steigers on the lot!!!!

we kinda looked around and said wow....um whats the deal? the salesman just laughed...

A good dealer is still a very important part just more so in some area's..
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I don't recall anyone specifying if the market share per class numbers were for the US or world wide.

With the 5088 now being the smallest machine they make (and nearly the same HP specs as the largest machine they made ~10 years ago), I think it will be a hot seller to the smaller farmers. We've found that corn doesn't require the HP that other crops do, so the 5088 would be great on a 6 or 8 row corn head. It still has the larger rotor and sieves that we're all used to on the 2388, which is usually the limiting factor in corn.

Green stem soybeans would be a different story, but it would just have to drive a little slower.

-Lance
 
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