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Interesting article, I'm looking at my case combine sometimes with all the hydraulic motors everywhere and I'm wondering if it would be more fuel efficient to have just a big generator and electric motors. Wonder how many megawatt generator it would need? And the size of wheel motors... There must be many reasons otherwise it would already exist but wouldn't it be sweet not to have hydraulic oil to leek and get machine dirty...
 

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This is funny, there are three brand new New Holland swathers (130hp 200hp, 235hp) sitting on the dealers lot ten miles from me, May build dates. No EGR, no Urea, nothing, the smaller one even has a mechanical fuel pump. How are swathers exempt from emissions standards?

I don't think diesel electric is even close to mechanical power transmission for efficiency, they are running numbers and tests on farmer psychology and deciding if enough of us are actually going to buy this equipment.

A friend of mine works for Shell up in the tar sands and is working with both mechanical and electric driven equipment. Shell is almost 100% Cat up there with something like 240 pieces of equipment. He says they are demoing several Hitachi diesel electric truck right now. The diesel electrics work great on hard ground and are slightly more efficient but in soft ground he says they are gutless compared to the powershifts. He thinks that's why diesel electric hasn't taken off with Cat yet, they are tinkering with it but so far aren't convinced the customers are willing to give up the performance of mechanical drive. I read about an experiment Cat did with diesel electric ore trucks in the tar sands several years ago and back then it had the same issues. The D7E is their guinea pig and at over a hundred thousand more then a conventional D7 probably not a big seller, this is only a 250hp crawler, imagine the additional cost for a 700hp combine...
 
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