Agritechnica - the latest in machinery technology draws crowds of 450,000
The Agritechnica show in Hanover is on every machinery enthusiast's bucket list as the latest developments in hardware, software and technology are unveiled.
There are 23 massive halls, each full to the brim with shiny new tractors, combines, telehandlers and other machinery, for the visitors to admire. It's impossible to visit all those halls in one day.
This year the crowds were in the region of 450,000, including an estimated 10,000 from the UK and Ireland, while there was 21 exhibitors from Ireland attending and 57 from the UK.
'Digitalisation, autonomous, connectivity and smart' were the key buzzwords at this year's Agritechnica. Alternatives to diesel are also a big trend on the Agritechnica stands with many mainstream manufacturers offering up electric and even methane-powered engines.
However, the general opinion from the key players is that diesel use in the agricultural sector is here to stay for the next 10 years at least.
Hermann Lohbeck, from German tractor and machinery manufacturer Claas, said: "Claas can see no real alternative to diesel to power agriculture engines in the next five to 10 years. Of course we are looking at the alternatives but I think it is too early for them."
Some of the other highlights noted in Hanover this year include a tractor entirely powered by electricity, a silage system that can work continually even if there is no trailer to fill alongside it, and a new breed of tractor on offer from India.
And, it wouldn't be a proper Agritechnica if there were no massive machines on show such as the new Case IH Quadtrac 540 CVX which with 613 peak horsepower is the flagship in the Quadtrac CVX range.
Merlo has some exciting launches lined up for Agritechnica including important innovations in the Multifarmer Range with a complete new family member in the medium duty section.
The new Multifarmer Medium Duty 34.7 and 34.9 are both available in three versions; a standard version; a CVT version; and a CVT version with cab suspension.
Due to the compact dimensions, the new 34.7 and 34.9 will be able to work in narrow spaces where bigger machines would be limited in moving around.
These models also have the Category 2 rear three-point linkage – 4,000kg of lifting capacity and a mechanical rear PTO. Thanks to the EPD now the operator is allowed to choose between three different working modes: heavy duty, speed control and self-accelerating joystick.
AGCO Fendt have won a silver medal from Agritechnica for its world’s first all-electric tractor called the Fendt e100 Vario.
A compact tractor with 50 kW power output, e100 Vario can operate for up to five hours under normal operating conditions.
The tractor will be used for the first time in limited numbers in 2018 initially on selected farms and in local municipalities.
The energy source is a 650 V high-capacity lithium-ion battery with a capacity of around 100 kWh.
The battery is charged either with 400V and up to 22kW via a standard CEE outdoor socket, or by a supercharging option with direct voltage. With a standard CCS type 2 plug, the battery can be recharged up to 80 per cent in just 40 minutes.
In addition, energy can be recovered thanks to the use of an electric motor. The Fendt e100 Vario allows the use of conventional as well as electrified implements.
JCB will launch its brand new TM420 telescopic wheeled loader
with a whopping 4.1 tonne lift capacity. The company says the new model will have extra lift height to 5.4m, ideal for high sided diet feeders.
This new model also uses the same 108kW (145hp) JCB EcoMAX engine that meets Euro Stage IV emissions rules using SCR technology. Other new features over previous models include a regenerative hydraulics circuit giving faster boom lowering for quicker loading cycles and a tougher chassis with larger pins and bushes for the centre pivot and loader. It also has heavier-duty JCB axles with permanent four-wheel drive to handle the increased payload and 26in wheels with larger tyres to optimise traction.
A larger lift cylinder fed by the 160-litre/min piston pump provides 4.1 tonnes of lift capacity from ground level to full height, which is 32pc more than from the TM320S.
The semi-tracked Claas Axion 900 Terra Trac is the first tractor that has a suspended front and rear axle and also has a substantially larger contact area compared to Triangle tracks, which results in excellent directional stability both in the field and in road travel.
Claas say it is not officially available as yet but it is going to be offered as an option for all Claas Axion models.
Optimum adaptation to the ground contours is key for low compaction. This is achieved by a 15-degree pivot range, and the fact that the machine weight is distributed to all track rollers hydraulically.
The pivot point was moved forward, which shifts more weight to the rear axle.
This benefits from a larger contact area and so can transmit tractor power to the ground more effectively while keeping compaction low.
The machine transfers more than 450hp to the ground without causing damage to the soil. At the same time, it does not exceed the statutory road width limit. It also won a silver medal from Agritechnica.
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