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John Deere 1910 air cart

Farms & Farm Machinery - - Contents -

John Deere’s 1910 air carts have more fea­tures and are more in­tel­li­gent than pre­vi­ous mod­els in John Deere’s lineup of tow-be­hind carts. They also tow bril­liantly and, de­spite the fact the pack­age in­cludes a con­sid­er­able amount of tech­nol­ogy, they are re­fresh­ingly easy to op­er­ate.

There are a to­tal of nine mod­els of vary­ing size and con­fig­u­ra­tion in the 1910 series. Options in­clude tow-be­hind or tow-be­tween, and two or three bins with car­ry­ing ca­pac­ity rang­ing from 6.6 to 17.2 tonnes.

Three sizes are now avail­able for pur­chase in the triplebin tow-be­hind range. Options in­clude a 12,002-litre/9.1tonne, 15,179-litre/11.5-tonne and the re­cently re­leased 19,381-litre/17.2-tonne ver­sions. The lat­ter cur­rently rep­re­sents the largest of any within the 1910 range.

I man­aged to get my hands on a 9.1-tonne unit on a re­cent trip to south-west Vic­to­ria. It hap­pened to be har­nessed up to a John Deere 1890 No-Till Air Drill that I had or­gan­ised to test as it was be­ing demon­strated on the McGuin­ness fam­ily’s 2400ha crop­ping op­er­a­tion about 50km east of Hamil­ton.

(That air drill re­view was in Farms & Farm Ma­chin­ery is­sue 349, or you can read it at TradeFar­mMachin­ery.com.au)

Fea­tures in­clude three com­mod­ity bins, a self-load­ing and self­emp­ty­ing con­veyor, a rear stair­way with handrail for safe ac­cess to the bin open­ings dur­ing the fill­ing process, a sin­gle-weigh cal­i­bra­tion sys­tem and a range of me­ter­ing car­tridges.

Speed-match­ing vari­able rate con­trol is fully in­te­grated with GreenS­tar par­al­lel track­ing and Au­toTrac to en­sure pre­cise sow­ing rates are achieved. John Deere says the sys­tem is de­signed to min­imise stress and driver fa­tigue while max­imis­ing speed and ef­fi­ciency. Three bins is a real ad­van­tage be­cause it al­lows for the si­mul­ta­ne­ous ap­pli­ca­tion of in­oc­u­lants and pest con­trol prod­ucts at the point of sow­ing.

FILL­ING FIRST

The built-in con­veyor at­tached to the side of the 1910 air carts en­able the ma­chine to be filled any­where with­out the need of a sep­a­rate auger or some­one to tow it around to top you up with seed and fer­tiliser.

It is a 305mm-wide belt con­veyor with ris­ers at­tached every 152mm. Belt con­vey­ors are proven to move prod­uct faster and cause less dam­age to the seed com­pared to con­ven­tional screw augers. There is a lower risk of block­ages with belt con­vey­ors; they are much eas­ier to clean and the abra­sive ef­fect of fer­tiliser is sig­nif­i­cantly less com­pared to a screw auger.

Al­though the con­veyor is man­u­ally opened and closed it is ac­tu­ally quite easy and doesn’t re­quire a great deal of strength. Once it’s opened it can be held in po­si­tion with lock­ing pins. I found that guid­ing it back into its closed po­si­tion was a lit­tle tricky on my first at­tempt, some­what eas­ier the sec­ond time, and a breeze on the third go.

The cart fol­lowed the airseeder ex­cep­tion­ally well and, as we ma­noeu­vred through gate­ways while turn­ing off the road, the rear wheels on the cart closely fol­lowed the tracks left by the tractor

The auger runs off the same line that feeds the hy­draulic pump on the main fan, so when you want to fill you just re­di­rect oil flow to the hy­draulic pump that runs the belt auger.

A meshed grate on the top of the auger hop­per catches any lumps or con­tam­i­nants and a plas­tic cover keeps the hop­per dry. For con­ve­nience and safety the con­veyor can be started and stopped from ei­ther the bot­tom or top.

At the end sow­ing the auger can be used to empty the bin back out again.

EX­CEL­LENT AC­CESS

No ex­pense has been spared to pro­vide a well-engi­neered, safe and se­cure stair­way to the top of the air cart.

Each slip-re­sis­tant tread is well spaced and is at a gradient that’s com­fort­able to climb. A hand rail on both sides vir­tu­ally elim­i­nates the risk of fall­ing, and a good-sized plat­form and guard rail at the top pro­vides a safe area to ac­cess the tank lids to carry out the fill­ing process.

Each of the bins is made from a thick poly plas­tic type ma­te­rial which is light­weight and rust-re­sis­tant. Large rub­ber buf­fers are po­si­tioned be­tween the bin walls and the frame to pre­vent any wear caused by vi­bra­tion and con­stant rub­bing.

SIN­GLE-SAM­PLE CAL­I­BRA­TION

Ex­pe­ri­enced op­er­a­tors will find the cal­i­bra­tion process an ab­so­lute breeze. But don’t worry if you are not as fa­mil­iar with mod­ern cal­i­bra­tion tech­niques be­cause the mon­i­tor will pro­vide you with step-by-step in­struc­tions to guide you through the process.

Tak­ing and weigh­ing a heap of sam­ples to achieve the ex­act rate can now be achieved by weigh­ing just a sin­gle sam­ple.

To cal­i­brate any one of the three bins, you just open the trap door at the bot­tom of the me­ter­ing unit and at­tach the catch bag. It fits per­fectly around the bot­tom of the me­ter­ing cham­ber so none of the test sam­ple is lost.

The steps I took to run a cal­i­bra­tion on the unit are about as sim­ple as it gets.

Us­ing the in-cabin touch­screen mon­i­tor I en­tered wheat as the prod­uct and 100kg/ha as the rate. I then jumped out of the cab and made my way back to the side of the cart where I in­sti­gated a cal­i­bra­tion flow of the me­ter­ing unit via an elec­tronic switch.

I un­hooked the catch bag and hung it on the scales that come with the cal­i­bra­tion kit which pro­vides an ac­cu­rate sam­ple weight. Jump­ing back into the cabin, I en­tered that weight into the mon­i­tor and pressed Ac­cept.

With this in­for­ma­tion the com­puter cal­cu­lates the me­ter speed re­quired to achieve 100gk/ha. Once you have en­tered what prod­uct is in each bin and cal­i­brated all three me­ter­ing units, you’re set to go.

An ac­cu­rate rate is main­tained re­gard­less of speed, and sec­tional shut off is avail­able for even greater ef­fi­ciency by re­duc­ing over­lap­ping.

All of the equip­ment as­so­ci­ated with weigh­ing and cal­i­brat­ing the ma­chine is stored con­ve­niently in a durable stor­age con­tainer mounted to the frame.

Hy­draulic drive mo­tors are stan­dard equip­ment on all the air carts in John Deere’s 1910 range. They pro­vide con­sis­tent drive power to the me­ters through all me­ter speeds and of­fer the fea­tures of vari­able rate con­trol and hy­draulic cal­i­bra­tion.

To cater for all types of prod­uct and ap­pli­ca­tion rate, each me­ter­ing unit has a se­lec­tion of four dif­fer­ent size me­ter­ing car­tridges. The car­tridge holder slides out of the me­ter­ing unit for easy changes and this can be done when the bins still have prod­uct in them.

THE FAN

A hy­drauli­cally driven 447mm (17.6-inch) fan is ca­pa­ble of mov­ing up to 560kg/ha of prod­uct by pro­pel­ling a high vol­ume of air at slower speeds, which re­sults in min­i­mum seed dam­age.

The fan is de­signed to per­form best at around 3000rpm. That

com­bined re­ally well with our John Deere 8320R test tractor be­cause it has con­stant flow hy­draulics, so the fan speed re­mained at a con­stant 3000rpm re­gard­less of the tractor’s en­gine speed. This helps pre­vent block­ages in the airlines when the tractor slows down while ne­go­ti­at­ing its way through drains or rough ground.

An­other great lit­tle fea­ture is a cou­ple of yel­low hazard lights mounted to­ward the front of the cart to alert the driver to any changes re­gard­ing the air­flow. Two il­lu­mi­nated lights in­di­cate cor­rect air­flow; the top light alone means fan speed is too high and the bot­tom light sug­gests the fan speed is too low.

Promi­nently mounted up the front of the John Deere air cart are three gauges that can be clearly seen from the driver’s seat. Each pres­sure gauge in­di­cates to the op­er­a­tor that the cor­re­spond­ing tank is op­er­at­ing at its cor­rect work­ing pres­sure.

A low pres­sure read­ing on one of the gauges may in­di­cate some­thing as sim­ple as the lid on a tank not be­ing prop­erly fas­tened down.

STEER­ING

There is no steer­ing mech­a­nism on the air cart but the two front wheels mount us­ing a caster wheel de­sign. It’s a bit like what you see on the front of a shopping trol­ley but I guar­an­tee you it doesn’t wob­ble around all over the place like they do!

The cart fol­lowed the airseeder ex­cep­tion­ally well and, as we ma­noeu­vred through gate­ways while turn­ing off the road, the rear wheels on the cart closely fol­lowed the tracks left by the tractor.

THE BOT­TOM LINE

The com­plete John Deere out­fit works re­ally well to­gether with the key fea­ture be­ing that the 1890 disc seeder can op­er­ate at 7.5-inch or 15-inch spac­ings, but the tran­si­tion is not as easy as it could be.

Switch­ing from 7.5-inch to 15-inch sow­ing spac­ings on the 1890 disc seeder re­quires half of the air hoses on the air cart to be dis­con­nected and half of the chutes in each of the me­ter­ing units to be blocked off. This is a time-con­sum­ing task and is prob­a­bly the only crit­i­cism I could come up with.

If the de­sign gu­rus at John Deere are in­ter­ested in giv­ing me a call I could show them a sim­ple de­sign change that could re­duce the change over time to a mat­ter of min­utes with­out the need to block off any chutes or air lines.

We have been look­ing at the cart as part of a com­plete John Deere out­fit but each im­ple­ment is avail­able in­de­pen­dently.

The cart works ex­cep­tion­ally well with the John Deere mon­i­tor but it will work equally as well with other trac­tors that are ISOBUS com­pat­i­ble.

The John Deere 1910 air cart might not be per­fect but it’s damn near close. Given the choice, I be­lieve the tow-be­hind op­tion is a more sen­si­ble op­tion be­cause it does not have the stress of pulling the heavy load of a seeder bar..

Pho­tos by An­drew Brit­ten

1. The John Deere 1910 Air Cart be­hind an 8320R

tractor and an 1890 No-Till Air Drill

2. A hy­draulic mo­tor drives the 447mm-di­am­e­ter fan at

an op­ti­mum work­ing speed of 3000rpm

3. An in-line valve switches hy­draulic oil flow from the

fan to the con­veyor when fill­ing

4. Every step has been taken to en­sure a safe trip to

the top of the bins

5. The catch bag makes it easy to col­lect a sam­ple for weigh­ing dur­ing the sin­gleweigh cal­i­bra­tion process

6. The gauges run in the green when the tanks are prop­erly sealed and op­er­at­ing at the cor­rect pres­sure

7 & 8. The can­is­ter in each me­ter­ing unit slides out to make the car­tridge changes a breeze.

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