Farm Ireland

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Fendt set to aim their new '65' at the fleet market

The Katana features standard rear-axle suspension and permanent all-wheel hydrostatic drive
The Katana features standard rear-axle suspension and permanent all-wheel hydrostatic drive
Derek Casey

Derek Casey

Fendt is launching its brand new 653hp Katana 65 self-propelled forage harvester in Ireland. The move follows its successful introduction in France and Germany, where more than 100 of the harvesters have already been sold despite their whopping retail price of €404,537 plus VAT.

Industry figures show that Britain and Ireland is the third largest market for foragers in Europe.

Normally the market for new self-propelled forage harvesters in Ireland is around 26-34 units per year, dominated by Claas, John Deere, New Holland and Krone.

While the Katana 65 appears to be priced outside the comfort zone of the majority of Irish contractors, Fendt is nonetheless hoping to shift a couple of units here over the coming years.

According to Richard Shelton, Fendt sales manager for Ireland and Britain, the demand for the Katana 65 is coming primarily from contractors operating fleets of Fendt tractors who already have experience of high specification Fendt machinery.

"At 653hp, the Katana is aimed at the fastest growing sector of the market and we are receiving serious enquiries for demonstrations from customers who are new to us as well," said Mr Shelton.

"These operators are looking at all the alternatives, including the Katana 65, before they trade up. We will have models on demonstration in Ireland for the 2014 season when the technical knowledge has been fully transferred to our dealers."

The Katana 65 introduces the largest cutting cylinder in the industry as well as some novel features which are designed to improve output, increase efficiency and cut operating costs.

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The Katana 65 is powered by a Mercedes-Benz MTU V8 engine, which is well proven in forage harvesters. Tuned specifically to deliver the torque and peak power to match forage harvesting demands, the 16 litre capacity engine develops its maximum power of 653hp at a low rated speed of 1,800rpm. It generates its maximum torque of 3,000Nm at a low 1,300rpm, which helps to reduce fuel consumption. Electronic engine management provides close control and ensures it operates at optimum efficiency.

Access for maintenance and servicing is through large side doors, which open on parallelogram linkages to reveal the engine and hydraulic system, as well as the two large air filters. In addition, the Katana's unique engine layout provides space for a large maintenance platform between the cooling unit and harvesting elements.

Fendt claims that mounting the engine lengthways (rather than across) the chassis offers a number of benefits and novel features, as well as the ability to fit it lower down to improve stability and providing visibility over the low, rear bonnet. Drive from the main shaft goes straight into a speed shift gearbox, which allows the cutting speed to be achieved at just 1,600 engine rpm, saving fuel when operating in lighter second- and third-cut grass crops. From here a massive multi-V belt transfers power to the main knife cylinder through a clutch via the cooling system pulley and blower and auto-tensioner unit.


An even feed in a straight line is key to achieving efficient forage harvesting, so the Katana 65 design feeds crop from the pick-up or maize header straight into the feed rollers and into the cylinder. There are no direction changes to the crop flow in the Katana's chopping system, with the material fed directly into the centre of the cylinder on which the knives are arranged in a V shape.

Fendt engineers claim this straight feed pathway means there are no bottlenecks, thus allowing for high capacity chopping performance to be maintained in all crops and conditions.

Even feed and optimum crop flow is also maintained on undulating surfaces and slopes because the feed rollers always remain parallel, while the header mounting point is free to oscillate. The Katana uses six hydraulically driven feed rollers which progressively compress the crop, feeding it straight into the knife cylinder.

The metal detector is fitted to the first (outer) roller for maximum distance from the drum to provide a greater safety margin.

Cutting quality is maintained by an 800x720mm knife cylinder – the largest on the market. Up to 16,100 cuts per minute can be provided by the 1,150rpm cylinder speed. Stepless chopping length adjustment can be selected from the cab terminal in two ranges: from 4mm to 10mm or 10mm to 21mm. Removing half of the knives doubles the available chop lengths, again in two ranges, up to 42mm.

The crop accelerator roller is 770mm wide and 550mm in diameter and fitted with V-shaped paddles on an open rotor design, propelling large quantities of material up the chute.

The accelerator gap is set by moving the whole unit closer or further away from the chute wall. Fendt says this approach not only makes adjustments simple, but also adjusts the drive belt at the same time.

The machine's chute standard overload height is 6m and with a wide swivelling arc it fills trailers easily and effectively.

When worked in conjunction with Fendt tractors, it is possible to synch the video camera on the spout with the screen in the trailer tractor so both operators can see the filling process on the Variotronic screens.

Fendt has developed a new corn cracker for the Katana 65 which quickly engages or disengages at the touch of a button. The design uses interlocking, V-shaped rollers to process the crop. The large 265mm diameter rollers ensure kernels are crushed and feed utilisation rates by animals is high.


With its hefty retail price contractors will expect an unprecedented specification level and it appears the Katana 65 doesn't disappoint.

The Viso5 cab was developed for this machine and offers operators space, comfort and visibility. Virtually every function and control is operated via the Variotronic terminal. This has a touch-screen that provides operators with easy-to-use buttons and pages to monitor all operations and make adjustments to settings.

The display is mounted on the right armrest just ahead of the programmable, multi-function joystick, which incorporates buttons to operate all the main forager functions.

Alongside this, by the armrest, is a 'blister button' keypad for all the less frequently used controls as well as finger-switches for controlling the chute movement.

Automatic climate control, air-conditioning and heating are standard, as are cameras facing the rear and on the spout, both of which can be viewed together or separately on a second cab screen. A wireless system to send images to screens in haulage tractors is also available.

Rear axle suspension is standard which allows high road and cutting speeds, with the active system working in a similar way to that on a Fendt tractor. Manual height adjustment allows operators to change settings and eases fitting rear weight plates when required.

The rear axle provides a drive to the wheels through shafts connected to a central hydraulically-driven differential gearbox. Traction is maintained by an automatic differential lock. This automatically senses when one wheel is slipping and diverts drive to the others.

The front wheels are driven by individual hydrostatic motors for each wheel mounted on the chassis.

These provide permanent all-wheel drive and also work within the differential system.

Irish Independent

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