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New Holland launches the world's most powerful combine harvester

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August 3, 2014

New Holland Agriculture's CR10.90 - the new horsepower heavyweight champion of the combine...

New Holland Agriculture's CR10.90 - the new horsepower heavyweight champion of the combine harvester world

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Is there a horsepower war in the combine harvester segment? Probably not, but it's more fun if we pretend there is. New Holland Agriculture has thrown down a grainy gauntlet to Claas, John Deere and the rest of the harvesting industry by releasing the CR10.90 – the world's most powerful combine harvester with a chaff-smoking 652 horsepower (486 kW) fit to thresh the plants off the competition.

Combine harvesters have been a very significant part of the global industrial revolution. Consider that back in 1850, more than half of all American workers were farm laborers, doing tedious work like hand-cutting, threshing and winnowing wheat – and coming up with truly awful songs like this one.

Today, the US agriculture sector is exponentially more productive, while using only some 2.4 percent of the workforce, according to the University of California, Riverside.

Wheat - grown to harvest the tiny grains at the end of each stalk. (Image: Shutterstock)

The combine harvester has saved our species an awful lot of work. Its gigantic cutting head clips the grain-bearing heads off the wheat stalks and sucks them up into a threshing machine that essentially beats the heck out of the wheat ears to knock the grains out. Then it bounces and shakes the wheat around to separate the grain from the husks and fires each bit out a different hole so the grains can be collected for milling, and the chaff can be used as livestock feed or discarded.

The CR10.90 is the new Big Daddy of the combine world, with its 16-liter, six-cylinder inline diesel engine, the Cursor 16, pumping out a massive 652 horsepower (486 kW), and a 14,500 liter grain storage tank.

A machine this large and heavy could easily crush the soil beneath it to the point where growing further crops could be very difficult. So to combat this, New Holland has fitted the CR10.90 with a SmartTrax flexible track fitted with Terraglide suspension – a combination that allows the track to conform to the surface of the field as closely as possible, distributing the harvester's weight over a large, broad footprint.

SmartTrax with TerraGlide suspension - allows the CR10.90 to spread its weight out across ...

We look forward to seeing how the CR10.90 performs on the dyno and quarter mile drag strip.

Source: New Holland Agriculture

About the Author
Loz Blain Loz has been one of Gizmag's most versatile contributors since 2007. Joining the team as a motorcycle specialist, he has since covered everything from medical and military technology to aeronautics, music gear and historical artefacts. Since 2010 he's branched out into photography, video and audio production, and he remains the only Gizmag contributor willing to put his name to a sex toy review. A singer by night, he's often on the road with his a cappella band Suade.   All articles by Loz Blain
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12 Comments

It would be nice to know what the farmer gets for the extra power. I notice where I live that there is a marked difference in speed of travel of the combines between older and newer models. I assume that there is some play off between width of 'cut', speed of threshing and speed of travel, but do not know for sure. Not speaking the local language very well, it is difficult to ask.

As for the tracked 'wheels'; all the local farmers seem to automatically plough the field before replanting so I wonder if such arrangements are only meant for till-less agriculture, something that will become more popular as oil supplies diminish.

Mel Tisdale
4th August, 2014 @ 03:20 am PDT

Important details we want to know are road transport width, cut width, maximum throughput, cutter height range, fuel consumption (in litres per ton of grain in the chaser)

The main advantage of tracks like the New Holland system is more ground contact per width. Current systems use double and triple tyres which make road transport awkward.

The logistics of getting these things from paddock to paddock can make or break a harvest operation.

nutcase
4th August, 2014 @ 06:26 am PDT

Combine heads (grain platform or corn head) are sold separately. This unit will support up to a 45 foot wide grain platform.

Moving the combine from one field to another down a road involves removing the header and putting it on a four wheel transport.

Tracks instead of wheels do help with traction and soil compaction, especially in wetter fields.

Here is a brochure (PDF) with additional information. Of special interest to this audience would be the operator controls in the cab. Farming has changed in some incredible ways over the last number of years thanks to advances in technology.

http://agriculture.newholland.com/us/en/About-New-Holland/NewCR/Documents/NewCR_NH36145307.pdf

AllenH
4th August, 2014 @ 08:19 am PDT

AllenH, thanks for the link which has some awesome photos and info. Chances are slim to none that I'll ever be invited to ride in a harvester so that's the closest I get.

moreover
4th August, 2014 @ 09:07 am PDT

I don't think the song was from the pre-mechanical farming days- it sounds very much like the work of the late eccentric Scottish humourist Ivor Cutler.

Not one of his better works, but if you can tune into his highly individual sense of humour, he can be very entertaining.

bergamot69
4th August, 2014 @ 09:51 am PDT

I am betting engine torque is mildly astronomical.

Bruce H. Anderson
4th August, 2014 @ 09:57 am PDT

No cup holders in the cab?

Bill Bennett
4th August, 2014 @ 07:09 pm PDT

Track vehicles are know for there efficiency, that is, harfing down fuel and gobbling power.

seems New Holland needs to focus on building square balers and PTO driven hay rakes.

Jay Finke
7th August, 2014 @ 11:02 am PDT

The amount of work it takes to prepare sail for planting is dependent on how compressed the soil is. The tracks save fuel by reducing the necessary number of times the tractor has to cross the field to get the soil ready for planting.

Slowburn
12th August, 2014 @ 10:28 pm PDT

Ya I'm not buying it, the maintenance alone on track vehicles is crazy expensive, dual wheels are the best way.

I bet a track for this thing is about 8 grand, and I'm probably way off, it's probably twice that. Whats next walking equipment ?

new Holland I think used to be new Idea or White. been awhile that I've been in a seat.

tracks do work well on skid steers, in situations, like a yard where you don't want to tear up the grass. but to fully understand the amount of power consumed by tracks.. slap some on your wheeled bobcat SS and feel the big time loss of performance. And as a added bonus they need huge cooling systems, making a hard to work on vehicle even harder.

I have a old 80's model 920 mustang SS with a T handle steer. no electronics no $3000 computer that needs setting the parameters before it will work ? just a little 3 cylinder Yanmar that starts every time., I love it

Jay Finke
14th August, 2014 @ 09:02 am PDT

@ Jay Finke

Let the air out of big tires so that they provide the same flat area of flotation and you will find the tires eat a whole lot more energy than the rubber belts do.

Slowburn
15th August, 2014 @ 08:20 am PDT

@ Slowburn

I like the idea of having the air pressure choice.. I'm used to paying for the parts and doing repairs myself, so I'm cheap that way.

Any idea on the cost of the track, and the total weight that a track might be subject to in a extreme conditions with sharp rocks, that seem to pop out of the earth every year, how long does it take to change a track verses a tire, availability of the part. it's a fine line we walk when harvesting crops, and a few hours can mean a total loss and a piece of equipment on fire in the middle of a field, with a farmer and his match book.

Jay Finke
20th August, 2014 @ 09:20 am PDT
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