Case IH’s latest equipment for forage production will feature at Grassland UK, adjoining the Bath and West Showground, Somerset, on 10 May. As well as newly upgraded balers, Case IH will be showing the ‘Machine Of The Year 2018’, the Maxxum Multicontroller tractor with ActiveDrive 8 transmission, as well as the higher-powered Puma tractor and the compact Luxxum.
Three newly-upgraded balers will be shown on the stand. The four-wheeled RB 545 Silage Pack fixed chamber round baler now includes improved front hood access when changing net and film, stronger rotor cutter knives, a configurable blank knife option, an improved bale quarter turn option and longer wrapper table belts.
The RB 455 variable chamber round baler also benefits from a 2018 upgrade. This includes a dual density option, while a new rotor design on Rotor Cutter models improves durability, with tine thickness increased from 6mm to 8mm and inter-tine spacing up from 8mm to 10mm. A new net wrapper design features a new net knife to improve cut quality. Bale shape fill sensor sensitivity has been improved, as has the associated display.
The biggest change to the RB variable chamber models is a new integrated wrapper option – previously this was only available on Case IH fixed chamber balers. Machines leave the factory wrapper-ready and are then transferred to wrapper manufacturer Goweil for fitment. This option is available for RB 455 and RB 465 models in Rotor Cutter specification.
Square bale users will be interested to see Case IH’s improved LB 334P model. It now has a 31% longer bale chamber for better bale stability during formation, improving bale density and shape, with less risk of the twine snapping. It has also gained a new active bale ejection system.
The Maxxum 145 Multicontroller with the new 8-speed 24-speed ActiveDrive 8 transmission is expected to get a lot of attention. It achieved the lowest specific fuel consumption ever recorded for a four-cylinder tractor in the respected PowerMix test, conducted by Deutsche Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft (DLG), the German Agricultural Society. The machine achieved an average specific fuel consumption of 258 g/kWh in the Field Work section of the test, almost 9.5% lower than the 282 g/kWh recorded by its nearest competitor.
Named ‘Machine Of The Year 2018’ at the Agritechnica show, the Maxxum 145 Multicontroller is powered by a 4.5-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged and intercooled FPT engine which meets Stage IV emissions regulations using the Hi-eSCR selective catalytic reduction system. This has a rated power output of 107kW (145hp) at 2,200rpm and produces up to 118kW (160hp) with Power Management, the maximum power of 114kW (155hp) being produced at 1,800rpm, and 129kW (175hp) with Power Management.
A key factor in its record-breaking fuel economy was the tractor’s ActiveDrive 8 transmission, a new 24 x 24 semi-powershift which provides eight powershift steps in each of three ranges. The transmission can now be specified on all Maxxum Multicontroller tractors from 116hp to 145hp as an alternative to ActiveDrive 4, a four-step 16 x 16 40 km/h semi-powershift system, and the continuously-variable 50 km/h CVXDrive transmission. ActiveDrive 8 is suited to power-hungry tasks where maintaining momentum is critical, such as operating large mowers or cultivating, because the clutch pedal is not required to change gear.
Other tractors on the Case IH stand will include the short wheelbase version of the popular Puma and the high-spec yet compact Luxxum tractor.