November 13, 2023
The crush of the crowd at Agritechnica 2023 in Hannover, Germany, was apparent across the event’s 30-plus buildings in mid-November. And one stand that garnered plenty of attention was New Holland’s — where centered among a range of innovative tools stood a golden combine.
“The CR11 is a new concept,” explained Lars Sorensen, global product leader for combines at New Holland. “It offers high capacity. With farms consolidating, there is a need for higher capacity.”
Sorensen said the challenge is to design for higher capacity but respect the need to maintain cost control on new equipment, as well as respecting the challenge of size limits on equipment. Size doesn’t help if you don’t take transport and field size limits into consideration.
The new CR11 is a twin-rotor machine, with each rotor wider and longer than in previous models, boosting capacity. And the machine delivers 775 hp at all times, he added.
The design is simplified as well, and raising the side shields reveals a simpler machine with no drive chains, which reduces costs and maintenance.
A redesign of the cleaning shoe is essentially a double design with a front and rear shoe. Grain passes over the first removing chaff, and then on to the second for a final cleaning. “And that provides losses close to zero,” Sorensen said.
From the rear, the machine added an intelligent spreader that can match head width precisely. It uses radar to adjust material width coming off the combine.
Sorensen said the new combine is not a clean-sheet design, but 90% of the parts used in the machine have been redesigned. “We’ve built on nearly 50 years of twin-rotor machines,” he added.
There will be CR11 machines running in 2024 in major markets ahead of launch likely in 2025.
New Holland unveiled its electric T4 tractor at the Farm Progress Show earlier in 2023. The machine includes some automation features, which remain in development. Oscar Baroncelli, head of tractor product management at New Holland, said the machine continues the company’s work to look at alternative fuels aimed at boosting agricultural sustainability. Some electric T4 machines will be available in the U.S. in 2024.
New Holland’s focus on alternative fuels includes work on methane. The T6 is the pioneer tractor for this effort, providing a kind of full-circle system for livestock farms where a biodigester could become a fuel source for a tractor. But Baroncelli noted that those farmers with biodigesters wanted more.
NEW METHANE MODEL: The new T7 methane tractor expands the company line by using biofuels. The T6 was the first to run on methane alone. New Holland is also experimenting with other fuel sources.
“They wanted a larger machine for doing work on their farms,” he explained. “So we are introducing the T7 methane tractor, a big brother to the T6.”
The 270-hp tractor offers top-end features such as a continuously variable transmission. And with that larger size, the machine has more methane carrying capacity. Baroncelli said it can run under full power for nine to 10 hours on a fill.
New Holland is also looking at liquid natural gas as an energy source, which would boost its operating range, but that work is still in the prototype stage.
Making hay is a core business for New Holland, and the company has offered a fair share of innovations over the years. A few years ago, the company launched a system where a tractor featuring ISOBUS 3 and a baler with the same infrastructure could work together to improve baling efficiency. The baler would speed up or slow the tractor based on the size of the windrow entering the baler.
The company is building on that tech with a new system providing precision autosteering during baling. “Baling is a manual job where the operator is constantly maintaining an eye on the windrow,” said Felix Ramuenke, global product manager for large square balers. “We were looking to provide relief for the task.”
OPERATOR COMFORT: The lidar sensor in the center of the tractor cab is part of a new baler automation system, bringing auto-steering to hay-making. The aim is to help reduce operator fatigue.
The result is baler automation. A lidar system, which uses a laser to provide a 3D image of the windrow, is tied into the tractor steering system. “The sensor can see 8 meters ahead of the tractor and can measure the size of the windrow,” Ramuenke said.
This combined with the sensors on the baler tied to the tractor provides a system where the tractor takes on more of the baling task, providing less fatigue for the operator. The system can also reduce fuel consumption and is a “comfort game-changer” for the operator, he added. “This system was designed by New Holland in-house and will be available in season 2024.”
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