Massey Ferguson IDEAL combine harvester will deliver growers real benefits

The three IDEAL class 7, 8 and 9 models propel Massey Ferguson’s harvester product line into the top echelon as far as performance is concerned with a capability that will spur growers onto record breaking harvests

There are some big buying decisions for growers to make this season and the AGCO seven-year design process that’s produced the Massey Ferguson IDEAL combine for simpler and more productive crop harvesting is at the forefront with models arriving in time for the 2019 harvest

AGCO is quick to emphasise that growers are being offered its first totally new combine this century, with the Massey Ferguson IDEAL harvester.

The IDEAL is an operators’ dream with fewer belts and gearboxes, and much easier to set combine controls that also take into account weather conditions and crop types.

AGCO engineers purposely set out to build into the world’s biggest capacity harvester a lot of automation to make the IDEAL combine work simpler with on-the-go adjustments.

At 476kW (647hp) the range-topping Massey Ferguson IDEAL 9 has more power than any of the top models from Case IH, Claas and Deere, as well as a larger threshing area, bigger grain tank capacity and a faster unloading rate. Add IDEALharvest a fully automated operation along with a unique display for the in-cab terminal with settings and strategy options of crop flow and it is clear that AGCO has come up with a package that can outperform any current rival models

Let’s get the operation and productivity facts in now.There are three Massey Ferguson IDEAL models, a class 7, 8 and 9. On tyres or tracks.

Engine power for the MF IDEAL 7 is 332kW (451hp), the MF IDEAL 8 is 396kW (538hp), while the MF IDEAL 9 offers 476kW (647hp).

While there are additional ParaLevel versions available to handle adverse conditions and undulating paddocks.

A horizontal beater drum transfer crop from the elevator to the rotors where tapered paddles create two crop streams. Threshing rasp bars are set inline with the rotors rather than at an angle. AGCO engineers say this solution proved the least power-demanding and straw-damaging of the designs they looked at, with the length of the rotors also helping because straw is not compacted around the rotor and the threshing mechanism does not have to be as aggressive

With the Massey Ferguson IDEAL, operators will have the biggest integral grain-tank capacity that is available on any current production harvester, 17,100 litres. Standard for the IDEAL 8 and 9, while the IDEAL 7 holds 12,500 litres.

To move this mountain of grain efficiently, the IDEAL has the fastest unloading rate at 210-litres/second, just 1 minute 10 seconds in all. A 50% increase on most other combines. Standard on the IDEAL 8 and 9, optional for the IDEAL 7.

Add to that, the largest threshing area with two unique outwardly contra rotating rotors working across 1.66sq.m, a 31% greater area than the nearest competitor.

With the seat-mounted control console and display linked by the IDEALharvest control it brings fully automated operation to the combine along with an in-cab terminal that provides settings and a visualisation of crop flow within the harvester. This option uses 52 mass acoustic-detection sensors that register grain impacts to monitor as well as the distribution and flow of crop through the different stages of the threshing, separation and cleaning systems

Similarly, the total separation area of 4.06sq.m on the IDEAL 9 is also ahead of the current best in class. The IDEAL 7 and 8 are 2.27 and 3.58sq.m respectively.

To ensure that the IDEAL had an Australian feel, extensive testing was conducted locally with almost 5000ha harvested across Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria.

“It was incredibility important to us that we tested the IDEAL across different crops, so we harvested wheat, barley and canola mainly, but also test the machine in lentil and chickpea crops” explains Fergal Meehan, Director of Marketing Australia and New Zealand.

This is where the difference in time starts to show up. With the Massey Ferguson IDEAL operators will have the biggest integral grain-tank capacity that is available on any current production harvester, 17,100 litres of grain. Standard for the IDEAL 8 and 9, while the IDEAL 7 holds 12,500 litres

“We wanted to ensure that the IDEAL had the features our local farmers were looking for and that’s why we took our time speaking to and developing the IDEAL alongside farmers” states Meehan.

“What we discovered was that technology was a key area and they wanted a machine with fully integrated guidance, full yield mapping and automation.

“Local farmers are innovative which is especially necessary in such challenging conditions, so providing farmers with the most up to date technology and software enables a more productive farming experience.” Meehan added.

Aiding the increased capacity is the ‘Dual Helix’ rotor that is fixed to the IDEAL 8 and 9. “The farmers who tested the IDEAL commented on this feature as well as the smoother cabin ride and ease of operation.” says Meehan.

The IDEAL combine is an addition to the existing range of combines offered in the Massey Ferguson 9500 Series.

“The introduction of the IDEAL to the market is designed to complement our existing models by offering a different platform rather than to replace it. “The Massey Ferguson 9500 Series is still being made in North America and the demand for this machine in Australia is still strong.” Meehan said.

Any grower or contractor used to encountering steep terrain will find a ready solution in the ParaLevel option on the IDEAL. Its purpose is to eliminate losses and keep the combine working efficiently on slopes that incline up to 15%.

This is achieved with the front wheels mounted on a double wishbone suspension that responds to the combine moving up and down and across sloping ground.

This arrangement and its compact design also has the added advantage over rotating final drives of permitting wide wheels and tyres to be fitted without extending the overall width of the combine.

On 800mm wide tyres, the Massey Ferguson IDEAL combine is no more than 3.3m wide overall, and the same goes when 660mm (26-inch) wide traction belts are installed with the TrakRide suspension track option.

There is also a 762mm (30-inch) and 914mm (36-inch) track option that takes overall width to 3.5m but even so with the IDEAL combine 1.4m wide frame it is clearly designed for relatively easy road travel up to 40kph on tyres.

A power distribution gearbox encompasses drives for the straw chopper, header and grain processing systems, with just 13 belts involved in further distributing power to various components to keep things as simple as possible and to minimise power losses.

Up front, the unique AutoDock system automatically connects left and right-hand drive shafts for the reciprocating knife, hydraulics for the reel and electrics for the controls and float sensing, all at the press of a button in the cab.

Operators will only have to master one optional function not familiar to them on IDEAL models. It’s the brain centre, IDEALharvest.

It brings a fully automated operation to the combine along with a unique display for the in-cab terminal and provides settings and strategy options and a visualisation of crop flow within the harvester.

The operator can choose a combination of performance and sample cleanliness in line with the priorities on the day and follow what adjustment decisions the system makes by keeping an eye on the crop-flow visualisation display.

Functions include real-time crop load monitoring at the threshing and separation sections of the rotor, variation of ground speed and rotor speed, and adjustment of the concave clearance and sieve opening.

Crop data can be fed back to the farm base or local dealer.

So far for the 21st century, The IDEAL harvester is the must-have hit machine. The only thing to beat it will be a fully autonomous tractor, but how old will we be in 2050 when that happens.

Contact the Massey Ferguson IDEAL team for your nearest dealer and take advantage of this first season release, as it will be unlikely you will get to see introductory offers as good as these, next season.

Call direct on tel: 03 9313 0313, fax: 03 9312 6279, or see the dealer locator finder online at: http://www.masseyferguson.com.au/Dealer-Locator.aspx