By Ag Equipment Intelligence’s European Correspondent
An all-new combine design from AGCO reportedly brings not only unprecedented levels of performance and automation technology to the corporation’s harvester range, but also tackles some of the cost and logistics penalties of running a multi-brand strategy.
The new IDEAL rotary combine developed for world markets will be supplied through Challenger, Fendt and Massey Ferguson dealerships starting next year in a single “neutral” uniform color with the individual brands represented only by their decals.
AGCO’s European harvester operation, located in Breganze, northern Italy, where the new machines will be built, turns out other same spec combines in the yellow, green and red color schemes of those brands and replacement parts must similarly be duplicated in brand colors.
But with the new combine, a graphite gray finish is common to all, so there will be fewer demands on the paint shop, production and inventory of parts will be simplified. In addition, individual machines will be interchangeable for shipment to dealers subject to applying the relevant insignias.
The new combine design is the culmination of one of AGCO’s biggest product development projects and aims to propel its harvester operations to the forefront of the market. The public launch at Agritechnica in Germany in November follows 6 years of laboratory and field testing using 45 prototypes to ensure compatibility with harvesting conditions and crops around the world.
Top versions in the 3 model ranges have twin rotors said to be the longest available and provides the largest threshing area of any combine. The biggest volume grain tank and fastest unloading rate are also claimed, yet the combines are built on a “narrow body” chassis for ease of transportation on wheels or new suspension tracks.
High level fuel efficiency from AGCO Power and MAN engines that go up to 647 horsepower (the U.S.-built MF 9505 Series peaks at 490 horsepower) is also among the highlights, together with slope compensation sieves, self-levelling options, cab-operated power couplings for the header drive, hydraulics and electrics, and an automated control option.