The Case IH Axial-Flow combine is still going strong after 40 years
Case IH is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its Axial-Flow combine, which was seen as revolutionary in 1977 as it was a departure from the traditional straw walker design to the now rotary design
The rotary design from the then International Harvester was the first of its kind to be mass-produced and proved to be a changing point for harvesting and productivity.
Case IH product manager Tim Slater believes the reliability of the Axial-Flow is why it’s so valued by customers.
“The Axial-Flow turned 40 last year and the technology has definitely evolved in that time, but the core design principles are still important today,” Slater says. “The Axial-Flow has less drive components than anything else on the market, this ‘simplicity in design’ enhancing the machine’s reliability in all conditions.”
There have been a lot of changes for the Axial-Flow over the years, notably the changes in horsepower. The original 1460 combine had 170hp under the bonnet compared to today’s 9240 combine, which has 625hp.
Other notable changes include the feeder reverser in 1986 and a rotor reverser in 2003. Cleaning systems have also evolved over the years, like the self-levelling cleaning system with hydraulic cleaning fan drive on the 240 Series, and a crossflow cleaning system on the 140 Series, in order to maintain performance when the combines are harvesting on slopes.
The company says clean-out doors have also improved farmers’ ability to clean down their machines between crop types or at the end of the season.
“We also started with precision farming, with the first yield monitors being fitted in 1996, which has progressed through to yield mapping, auto steering, and now the grain analyser for measuring oil or protein content,” Slater says.
Case IH Australia also celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Axial-Flow combine at last year’s AgQuip expo in Germany, displaying a new model Axial-Flow painted in the original style and colours of its predecessors.