I think Deere should have developed the CTS further, and built one on the 9600/9610 chassis. The CTS is basically what Cat has in the Lexion, and a 9610 version could have been a simple machine for Deere to manufacture and the customer to purchase. But, I think that the axial-flow style of rotary has become "fashionable" with farmers in North America, and that's what they demand, so Deere met that demand with the STS. I think comparable capacity could have been achieved with a 9600-based CTS machine, and it could have had better all-crop capability than the STS machines.
I agree with you, 105, except a comparably classed twin rotor (with conventional cylinder) in the most difficult conditions (heavy straw, moisture, weeds) will usually always have more productivity (more bushels/hour, acres/hour) than a comparably classed single axial rotor (and walkers). There are basic three styles of combines made: basic walker, single rotor, and twin rotor, all with manufacturer mods for their niches. Each one has its place, and each one excels in its own conditions that it is best suited for. The single rotors (axial flow, sts, etc) are cheap to build and have high production in smaller packages in the most ideal conditions, clean, dry, not too much , if they have enough horsepower. Which conditions include most of the US and not too many conditions in Europe. Deere exports one STS to Europe, and has eight different styles of machines for sale in that market. Check out Deere's Europe website to see all the different models.
The point is there is no best machine for all conditions, however, for any condition, there is a best machine. I, too, have been puzzled why Deere has not built a CTS (or conventional twin rotor) on the 96xx frame and had a real Claas or New Holland twin rotor fighter, even for the European market, but we probably would have to ask their bean counters. Their marketing guys sure don't have any pull or at least it would appear that way. Weight is not an acceptable answer (most custom cutters aren't going to buy a big twin rotor and haul it around). So it must be volume and farmer demand in North America.
The only reason there was a CTS for NA, is it would kick the walker's butt in rice. As far as farmer's being fashinable, it wasn't "fashionable", in my opinion, for Deere to bring out the STS, it was for Deere's "survival" in the North American (primarily USA) market. When CNH finally figured out to put some real horsepower to their axial flow (about 1998 with the 2388), the 9600 walker lost its production edge in the perfect conditons (dry, clean, low straw - CORN wheat soybeans) that encompass most of the midwest and plains states. (If the 1480 had been introduced with 300 HP, there never would have been a TITAN II or Maximizer produced, the walkers would have come from Europe). As long as CNH could not discover horsepower, Deere could say "we don't need to make a rotary."
Farmer's like high production, so Deere finally blinked. In 1999, they pulled their rotor off the shelf were it had been sitting for 20 years and SHAZZAM, new stuff. Walker and CTS production was ceased in the US and Deere continued to import one walker for the niche markets. See the "new" conventional post for the newest walker Lexion fighter, and the grass guys love it (an example of Deere trying to satisfy customers in special markets).
And, I do agree comparable capacity could and would be achieved with a 9600 based twin rotor machine with superior crop capability than a single rotor. Deere is attempting to get some of that market back with the T670 (see that thread, a couple of handfuls (50)l being sent to Canada). We see examples on this site of farmers switching to the twin rotor when their conditions warrant it.
It will be interesting to see if Deere finally blinks on the CTS and brings out a big one.
It would be interesting to see how a wide body cts would perform to say the least.
I think a few factors why we didn't see on in a 96xx frame is:
1. There may have been the need to totally revamp the separator drive system to handle the load of bigger rotors.
2. A bigger motor than the 7.6 or 8.1 was unavailable at the time.
3. The amount of weight/stress a 96xx frame could handle.
4. A need for a bigger grain handling system.
With the T series coming out, it looks doubtful that we'll see one here in the U.S. anytime soon.
Your points are well taken, Guru. The demand for the big one in Europe, especially, is not enough to justify the cost to develop and build.
On a side note, today's WSJ has an article announcing Deere's 3rdQ results. It includes some information not in Deere's statement on their website regarding new equipment. The article stated that Deere stated it has sold 70% of expected 2009 combine sales before some orders have been priced (not unusual) and that it expected combine prices to increase 9-10.5% primarily due to increased steel costs.
I've heard tales of old CTS II's (Ironically my favourite Deere Header) with Corn kits gettin more Ha to the hour then other headers, such as the popular 9600's and even an STS if I remember correctly.
Who wants a class 9 or 10 in Australia? We cut all over the eastern side and the average yield is probably a little better than a ton to the acre with a lot below that and some around the 2 in nth nsw and southern qld. In those conditions a 9860 with a 40 foot front is more than enough. Farmers are flat out keeping the grain away as is, what are you going to put in front of class 10. An 80 ft front? Seriously!
I can confirm that they suck in canola. We had 2 CTS maximizers with 6m header from NA till 2003. Then we traded them for a Lex480 with 9m. It did a lot more in canola then the both 2CTS together. But in dry wheat they worked well. I dont know anyone who has a CTS nowadays. Some ppl are keen on the new T-series, cus they shall ahve more capacity than a walker and take a lot of care to the straw. For some ppl its really important, cus they ball everything.
Your right everyone is forgetting that not all conventions combines suck in canola our lexions will easily out do any JD and the difference maker is the aps in the front of the lexions main threshing cylinder. We cruise at 7 to 7.5 mph all day in 50 bu. canola. We hardly ever even stop for a wad, maybe slow down to 3 and it's gone. The losses with the twin rotors behind is way less than it is with straw walkers atleast by claases own testing. The down side is more moving parts but they don't wair nearly as fast as a rotory either.