Farm machinery: Dream job for young tradeswoman; Case IH Optum; Lexion harvesters + more

Grain Central, October 18, 2021

What’s the latest in the farm machinery world:

  • JD dream job for young tradeswoman
  • Case IH adds Optum AFS Connect range
  • Record delivery of CLAAS LEXION harvesters
  • Howe Haulage fleet dispersal auction
  • CNH announces new leader, bolsters team
  • Crop dividers essential for WA contractor


Jaymee Ireland will spend International Day of Rural Women on the tools preparing headers for harvest.

JD dream job for young tradeswoman

JOHN Deere technician Jaymee Ireland spent International Day of Rural Women on Friday on South Australian broadacre farms ensuring grain grower’s headers are primed and ready for the upcoming harvest.

The hard-working, 21-year-old, based at John Deere dealer Emmetts, Roseworthy, said there was no place she would rather spend the important day than on the tools.

“Harvest is my favourite time of year,” Ms Ireland said.

“Knowing I have ensured a farmer’s machinery is operating at peak performance during this critical window of time, is extremely rewarding.”

Growing up in the heartland of Far North Queensland’s sugar-producing region, Mossman, Ms Ireland discovered her zeal for heavy machinery at an early age as her grandfather, Charlie Brischetto, was a cane harvester operator.

“He would take us for little drives and I remember being amazed by the machinery,” she said.

Like many future technicians, Ms Ireland was the kind of kid who was fascinated by learning how things worked, and enjoyed problem solving and working out how she could repair anything broken around her home.

She followed that interest and completed a Certificate Two in Aircraft Line Maintenance, however, when living on Kangaroo Island with her family, she started thinking agriculture would be her preferred industry to work in.

When she was just 17, Jason Barrett, from Barrett’s Mechanical Services, took her under his wing and offered her work experience repairing machinery across the Island’s farms.

“I just loved getting out and about and heading to different farms, and it was during that time I saw Emmetts Roseworthy had an apprenticeship opening, so I jumped at the chance,” she said.

Although Ms Ireland is bucking the trend, given most technicians working on heavy machinery are male, she is hoping her drive and passion will help inspire other young women to consider carving careers in trades.


Case IH adds Optum AFS Connect range

AFTER launching its next-generation AFS Connect Magnum and Steiger tractors onto the local market in the past 12 months, Case IH Australia/New Zealand has announced the AFS Connect Optum will be available for order by Australian and NZ customers from this month.

The first deliveries are expected early next year.

The Case IH Optum CVT tractor range has been re-engineered to create the new Optum AFS Connect range, with a new cab, interior and connectivity package designed to enhance its operation, comfort and efficiency.

Key among the changes, the new cab offers more space, lower noise levels, improved vision and upgraded premium interior materials. There is also a new Multicontroller armrest, and configurable controls to allow the tractor and its implement to be adapted to the operator and the task.

The Optum AFS Connect range, like the line-up it succeeds, contains two models, with rated power outputs of 270hp and 300hp, each featuring the Case IH continuously-variable transmission (CVT).

Beyond that though, many of the tractor’s other key design points are new, particularly the cab, which has been completely redesigned in line with that of its larger cousin, the AFS Connect Magnum, allowing for more intuitive and customisable operation.

Features include the Multicontroller armrest and its Multi-Function lever, larger AFS Pro 1200 touchscreen monitor with greater functionality, and A-pillar tablet instrumentation for engine/transmission information read-outs.

The new AFS Connect Optum series are now equipped as standard with the Case IH AFS Connect telematics package, for instant two-way data transfer between the tractor and the AFS Connect online management portal. This gives tractor owners and farm managers complete control over farm, fleet and data management.

The Case IH Optum CVT tractor range has been re-engineered to create the new Optum AFS Connect range, with a new cab, interior and connectivity package designed to enhance its operation, comfort and efficiency.


Record delivery of CLAAS LEXION harvesters

CLAAS Harvest Centre will deliver a record number of CLAAS LEXION combine harvesters to Australia in time for the 2021/22 harvest, swelling the size of its Australian fleet to more than 1000 machines.

CLAAS Harvest Centre Product Manager – LEXION, Steve Reeves, says almost 100 new machines will be delivered to grain producers and contractors over the next three months.

“We are very happy with sales growth over the past decade, and particularly the successful launch of the new LEXION 8000/7000 series,” he says.

“This is the biggest upgrade in the brand’s 25 years and it’s effectively a new machine.

“Every aspect has been re-engineered to meet the needs of today’s grain producers.”

The LEXION 8000/7000 series delivers 10 per cent more capacity than the previous 700 series thanks to its enlarged APS SYNFLOW HYBRID threshing and separation system.

Grain holding and unloading capacity have also been significantly increased to a maximum of 18 tonnes and 180 L/second, respectively.

The 7600, 7700 and 8700 models are fitted with the 12.5-litre, six cylinder, Perkins 2206D engine, which delivers a maximum power of 461, 524 and 571 hp, respectively.

The top–of-the-line 8800 model is equipped with a 15.6 L six cylinder Mercedes-Benz OM 473 LA engine delivering 653 hp.

All engines are equipped with DYNAMIC COOLING on-demand variable cooling system and DYNAMIC POWER advanced engine management system for even greater fuel efficiency.

All models can be equipped with the proven 635, 735 and 890 mm TERR A TRAC tracked assemblies or wide diameter tyres (2.15 m front and 1.75 m rear) for maximum traction and comfort.

CONVIO draper fronts or VARIO variable cutter bars are available in 13.8, 12.3 and 10.8 metre operating widths.


Howe Haulage fleet dispersal auction

AFTER 57 years in the industry, Tony Howe, founder of Victorian-based Howe Haulage, will sell his fleet of agricultural, transportation and construction gear through a Ritchie Bros online auction over coming days.

“Tony has lived and breathed trucks since he was 16 years old and has won many awards over the years at truck shows across Victoria. His rebuilt 2006 Mack CL666RS Super-Liner and his 2006 Kenworth T904 are his pride and joy,” Ritchie Bros senior territory manager, Tim Shaw, said.

There are 27 prime movers and 46 trailers in the auction.

The event will be held exclusively online with bidding opening on October 16. Day one of the auction (October 20) will be dedicated to construction and crushing gear while day two (October 21) will focus on transportation and agriculture assets.

Howe Haulage will sell its fleet of trucks and transportation gear through a Ritchie Bros online auction over coming days.


CNH announces new leader, bolsters team

CNH Industrial general manager of seeding and tillage, Glenn Soper.

NEWLY-APPOINTED CNH Industrial general manager of seeding and tillage, Glenn Soper, has been tasked with shaping CNH Industrial’s local strategy for seeding and tillage, across the three brands: the Canadian brand Flexi-Coil, and the Australian brands Horwood Bagshaw, based in Mannum, South Australia, and K-Line Agriculture, based in Cowra, New South Wales.

Mr Soper, who has a background in automotive, fleet sales management, dealership sales and OEM leadership roles, will be based at Mannum, SA.

One of his key focus areas will be around agile, customised, efficient, and responsive production and engineering.

“Seeding and tillage practices are constantly evolving, and we have to constantly evolve, too,” he said.

Planned for an imminent launch is the new Horwood Bagshaw TVW Spreader, featuring twin chain technology that delivers a true variable width spread pattern.

This feature enables half the spreader to be shut off on headland turns, reducing fertiliser waste by up to 20 per cent.

Full ISOBUS control also makes the unit compatible with a wide range of tractors.


Crop dividers essential for WA contractor

ADDING a set of crop dividers to spray equipment costs to help prevent wheel damage while in-crop spraying can be considered a bridge too far for some.

WA spray contractor Trent Ridgway, Ridgway Contracting, and his ‘trusted worker’, Zara, with the E-Kay crop dividers on his Miller Nitro sprayer.

But Western Australian contractor Trent Ridgway now won’t run a self-propelled sprayer without them and his workload has doubled since making the move.

Mr Ridgway said his E-Kay crop dividers had played an even bigger role this year due to the wetter conditions in many areas, as well as the shortage of aerial contractors, which had resulted in the requirement for significant late-season in-crop spraying.

“This season, because it was so wet, we went to wider (650) tyres with the dividers on the front and you could see the crop recover in seven days – you could see it cover over the wheel tracks,’’ he said.

Mr Ridgway still has thousands of hectares of crop-topping and canola and lupin desiccation in front of him to finish the season.

It is claimed the crop dividers can reduce yield loss from wheel damage by up to 90 per cent, but he said he believed it was more than 90pc.





Sources: Case IH, John Deere, Ritchie Bros, CNH, McIntosh







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