Raining grain

Farms & Farm Machinery - - Contents -


New Hol­land CR10.90

Just a few days be­fore its launch at New Zealand’s South­ern Field Days, Jaiden Drought man­aged to sneak in a test drive of the most pow­er­ful com­bine in the coun­try – the New Hol­land CR10.90 – thanks to Earl and Vicki Dillon and their son Scott, who drives this mas­sive ma­chine on their 1,000-hectare crop farm in North­ern South­land

First im­pres­sions are ob­vi­ous – she’s a mon­ster. This ma­chine has some se­ri­ous ca­pac­ity and the sort of ef­fi­ciency I like. Take a stroll out to the com­bine mid-morn­ing, tidy up all the wheat on the farm with no fuss, and head off to the beach for din­ner – it’s all about work-life bal­ance!

While the range-top­ping CR10.90 was the main at­trac­tion on this day, there are also five smaller mod­els avail­able.


The CR10.90 gen­er­ates a mas­sive 700hp from the new FPT

(Fiat Pow­er­train Tech­nolo­gies) six-cylin­der, 15.9-litre en­gine. Topped up by the 1,300-litre fuel tank, it en­joys 600-hour ser­vice in­ter­vals.

To keep up with the reg­u­la­tions (Tier 4 B), an SCR AdBlue ex­haust af­ter-treat­ment (120-litre tank) is re­quired, al­low­ing less com­pli­ca­tion in the en­gine.


The first thing you no­tice is that the cab is a big step up from pre­vi­ous mod­els; it’s more spa­cious, com­fort­able, and user­friendly and has a larger wind­screen for bet­ter vis­i­bil­ity.

Hop aboard the leather-bound, air-con­di­tioned and heated seat and you’ll dis­cover it also has auto weight ad­just­ment. This is great if you are skinny but a lit­tle de­mor­al­is­ing if you hop on and think the com­pres­sor is bro­ken be­cause it won’t stop pump­ing.

The right-hand con­sole, where all the busi­ness hap­pens, will be largely fa­mil­iar to those who have op­er­ated or own re­cent high­horse­power New Hol­land trac­tors.

New Hol­land’s In­tel­liView IV touch­screen mon­i­tor al­lows you to cus­tomise the lay­out of the main screen, al­low­ing stor­age of 50 dif­fer­ent crop set­tings. As crop con­di­tions change dur­ing the har­vest day, small ad­just­ments can be made. A sec­ond touch­screen can be added for func­tions such as yield me­ter­ing, auto guid­ance and cam­eras. This can be switched in and out of New Hol­land trac­tors, al­low­ing greater flex­i­bil­ity in your busi­ness.

Other com­forts in­clude an in­tu­itive di­a­gram show­ing all func­tions in re­la­tion to their lo­ca­tion on the ma­chine. Blinds on all four win­dows are use­ful for com­bin­ing late in the day, and 26 (mostly) LED lights mean you can keep work­ing through the night.


Deep cut Dy­namic Feed Roll – the ac­tual term on the 2018 ma­chines – is a 450mm di­am­e­ter cylin­der, which runs at 1,100rpm (for ce­re­als) and as low as 640rpm (for del­i­cate crops such as peas). It sits between the feeder hous­ing and the Twin Pitch Plus ro­tors (more on that in a bit) and was ini­tially de­signed pri­mar­ily as a stone protection sys­tem. It has also led to a much higher ca­pac­ity in the ma­chines, al­low­ing them to use all that power and re­duc­ing the risk of crop rop­ing, es­pe­cially in heavy, damp con­di­tions.

Putting a beater in seems counter-in­tu­itive but grain dam­age is re­duced due to the pos­i­tive feed into the ro­tors by the DFR. This has al­lowed the twin ro­tor speed to be re­duced and opens the con­cave clear­ance, in­creas­ing out­put, and al­low­ing the ma­chine to use a higher por­tion of the avail­able power – of which it has plenty!


It starts with the DFR, which pos­i­tively feeds the crop off the front head first for an ex­cel­lent pre­sen­ta­tion. Feed­ing width is the same as the auger width, which means no crop nar­row­ing, and then it en­ters New Hol­land’s clever twin ro­tor.

New to the 2018 model is the Twin Pitch Plus ro­tor. While still the same 22-inch over­all di­am­e­ter, they are slightly nar­rower, with slightly larger thresh­ing ele­ments. In­ter­na­tional test­ing sug­gests 10 to 15 per cent less power is re­quired to get the crop through the ma­chine. Twin ro­tors use sim­ple physics to cre­ate more ca­pac­ity, cre­at­ing a cleaner grain sam­ple. It’s sim­ple sci­ence and you can’t ar­gue with sci­ence. If you’re won­der­ing what type of physics I’m harp­ing on about, it’s cen­trifu­gal force – a com­bi­na­tion of speed, weight and turn­ing ra­dius.


In this case, the rate at which the crop mat ro­tates around the ro­tor of the com­bine. This is a con­stant. The size of the grain is about the same as the next one when the crop is har­vested, so the weight is again a con­stant.


This is where the twin ro­tor is unique to the mar­ket. As the com­bined turn­ing ra­dius of the two smaller ro­tors is smaller, there is a tighter spi­ral pat­tern of the ro­tor bars over the con­cave area.

The spi­ral pat­tern then widens out over the sep­a­ra­tion area, cre­at­ing a ‘break’ in the flow pat­tern. It cre­ates more cen­trifu­gal force than a large sin­gle ro­tor, mak­ing grain let go faster, so there’s less of a crop mat, al­low­ing ma­te­rial to flow eas­ily through the ma­chine.

Twin ro­tors gen­er­ate around 40 per cent more cen­trifu­gal force than any other ro­tary de­sign, mov­ing grain quickly for faster sep­a­ra­tion. This sig­nif­i­cantly re­duces grain dam­age and loss while be­ing less power hun­gry to run.


Dy­namic flow con­trol is an­other ad­vance­ment on al­ready proven tech­nol­ogy, which has been up­graded for the 2018 model. This al­lows you to al­ter the ro­tor veins from the cab, ei­ther ad­vanc­ing or re­tard­ing the crop through the ro­tor for bet­ter thresh­ing. This also means the fan speed can be in­creased to blow lighter chaff and straw out of the sieve area quicker.


Auto con­cave re­set is an­other handy up­grade. Pre­vi­ously, a shear bolt was lo­cated on the con­cave. If you got a lit­tle too am­bi­tious, the shear bolt broke and it all turned to cus­tard.

Now you sim­ply re­set from the cab, so no more half an hour of muck­ing around emp­ty­ing the grain tank etc to get the shear bolt to line up. You just re­set and go.


The en­tire clean­ing sys­tem – the grain pan, clean­ing fan and sieves – re­mains level while the lower main frame moves up to a 15-de­gree pitch. Along with the ‘Opti-Fan’ au­to­matic fan speed ad­just­ment, this means less grain loss when go­ing up­hill and across slopes, mak­ing it no dif­fer­ent to ta­ble-top pad­docks.


For the high­est clean­ing qual­ity in all crops, the unique Opti Clean fea­ture of op­er­at­ing the grain pan and lower sieve to­gether (op­pos­ing the pre- and up­per-sieve mo­tion) while the grain pan an­gle is el­e­vated, en­ables 120 per cent greater cas­cade of ma­te­rial. This al­lows more air blast from the fan between the grain pan and the pre-sieve.

Be­cause the pre- and up­per-sieves move op­po­site the grain pan, while the lower-sieves move with the same mo­tion as the grain pan, it re­sults in op­ti­mal han­dling of small grains.

These op­pos­ing move­ments in some way counter each other and re­duce over­all ma­chine vi­bra­tions, re­sult­ing in greater op­er­a­tor com­fort.


Opti-Spread has been up­graded in the 2018 model, with two spin­ning ro­tors and two ad­justable de­flec­tors to evenly dis­trib­ute chaff or chopped straw across nearly 14 me­tres. The fea­ture can be con­trolled from in­side the cab where you can al­ter both chaff and straw dis­charge to suit re­quire­ments.


Like all high-ca­pac­ity ma­chines, whether silage har­vesters or balers, there will be a bot­tle­neck some­where.

In com­bines, high thresh­ing through­puts re­quire high grain tank ca­pac­i­ties. This is sim­ple maths.

New Hol­land has a mas­sive 14.5-cu­bic-me­tre tank, with a foldup lid, which can be op­er­ated from the com­fort of the cab, and means the ma­chine can be closed off at night.

To deal with this ex­tra through­put, augers are 25 per cent larger and the un­load­ing rate is 142 litres per sec­ond.

Emp­ty­ing takes less than two min­utes via the 8.3m un­load­ing auger, which split folds around the back to avoid col­li­sions.

An­other smart fea­ture is the mov­able chute tip that can also be con­trolled from the cab and al­lows trail­ers to be filled in a for­age har­vester-like fash­ion, which means less spillage.


One ques­tion I had be­fore the test drive was: how can the ma­chine pos­si­bly need so much power? The an­swer is sim­ple – ca­pac­ity, and New Hol­land has cre­ated a clever way of har­ness­ing that power and turn­ing it into through­put.

This is a very clever ma­chine. Ma­te­rial is fed head-first into the feeder house and ac­cel­er­ated for pos­i­tive trans­fer into the ro­tor by the DFR. The feeder is the same width as the ro­tors, so there is no nar­row­ing of the crop caus­ing it to slow. It then goes through the gen­tle yet quick Twin Pitch Plus ro­tors. Opti Clean takes care of the rest while the self-lev­el­ling sys­tem keeps things on track. The chaff and straw are chopped and spread all while you are sit­ting up front in the lux­u­ri­ous air-con­di­tioned seat with 700hp be­hind you. What’s not to like?

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1. The 700hp New Hol­land CR10.90: First im­pres­sions are ob­vi­ous – she’s a mon­ster! 2. The hy­draulic tip on the end of the spout makes fill­ing trail­ers eas­ier 3. The In­tel­liView IV touch­screen mon­i­tor 4. The arm­rest con­trols are in­tu­itive and will...


6. Rear view of the twin ro­tor and sieve area 7. The myr­iad of belts drive the var­i­ous parts of the com­bine 8. The large 14,500L grain tank 9. Large, spa­cious cab 8




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