With combine harvesters now at the legal limit in terms of width and height the only dimension not yet reached is the maximum road legal length of 12m.

Massey-Ferguson is looking to explore this as one possible way to develop an even higher-capacity machine.

Dubbed Combine 2030, the futuristic design, which supports a phenomenal 60-foot header, provides 11.4m2 of threshing area and has a calculated harvesting output of 110tph. Hiding scores of patented technology, it took recently graduated Coventry University student Henry George Parnell 8 months to complete.

Using aluminium for as many parts as possible — including the grain tank — helps to keep the weight down, but even if the 700-horsepower monster makes it to the production stage then it could have a target operating weight of around 22 tons. Carried on 4 axles, all 8 wheels have their own 65-horsepower electric motors. Providing 520-horsepower of additional power in the field, they will be disengaged during transport.

The 18,000-litre grain tank trails behind the articulation point. A hydraulic side shift mechanism, which pushes the sides out by a metre, boosts the capacity to 24,000-litres.

Using air pressure, grain is unloaded at the rate of 200lit/sec. Despite its size, the machine is still road legal. But they had to use 1.4m-tall tyres to keep it under 4m. MF stresses it is purely a concept to show one possible direction combine development could take in the future.

Another future combine can be found on Profi's forum where a user has uploaded pictures of a John Deere prototype working.