Grimme’s Varitron Platinum ushers in ‘new era in potato harvesters’

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Grimme has launched its new generation of two-row self-propelled potato harvesters. For season 2017, the two-row Varitron Platinum will also be available as a wheeled machine or as an unloading bunker machine with two-tonne buffer bunker.

The new telescoping rear axle is a real all-rounder. For the first time a machine width under 3.5m is achievable in conjunction with narrow wheels (option) and a row width of 75cm. For digging, it is possible to extend the axle by an impressive 550mm which ensures the highest driving stability. The inner turning circle of only 5.3m generates the most maneuverable two-row self-propelled harvester on the market.

Power comes from the high-torque six-cylinder Mercedes-Benz engine with 7.7 liter capacity and 354hp, which replaces the old 326hp version. The engine runs at 1,300rpm during road travel and 1,500rpm during digging. Fuel consumption is significantly reduced due to the new, lower engine speeds. The latest exhaust technology is also included in this upgrade.

‘Everything in view and under control’ is the motto of the ErgoDrive concept in the comfortable driver’s cab, which has a panoramic view. The new ergonomically designed control desk integrated into the driver’s seat immediately catches the eye and has been designed especially for the complex demand of self-propelled potato and beet harvesters.

Up to 77 different functions can be programmed into the armrest and of course via the joystick, rotary or touch keys to avoid searching on the terminal. Quick software programming via the control panel is possible. With Clean Control, settings and adjustments made by the driver can be saved and then recalled easily when in the same or similar digging conditions. A total of 16 storage spaces are available with Clean Control. This function can retain individual values even when changing operators.

Two modern control terminals and two professional video monitors ensure a perfect overview – with up to eight cameras to ensure nothing remains unobserved. The Visual Protect system automatically switches the camera on when a critical situation has been noticed (risk of a separator blockage for example), so the driver can react and prevent the blockage.

Six standard LED headlights, which create a great panorama view and automatically switch-on while driving backward provide virtually daylight-quality lighting.

The machine hydraulics have been radically changed. The whole hydraulic pipe layout has been designed in a much neater understandable way and makes fault finding much easier, as only the required components and pipe work are fitted for increased efficiency.

Also new is the track tensioning via the Varitron’s machine hydraulics. Previously an external system was required, such as tractor hydraulics, but now by switching the ball valve the tensioning is activated. The new profiled carrier rollers in the rubber track – designed by Grimme – ensure smooth running under strong conditions without blockages.

The haulm feed-in roller brackets have been redesigned to allow a quick, almost tool-free maintenance when changing webs.

Corrosion-free GFK bars are fitted to the 1.1m wide picking web. Soil rarely sticks to the web and it is also about 80% lighter than traditional webs.

The new reversing system is unique to the Varitron Platinum. The intake web as well as the first and second main web are independently reversible to minimize the risk of blockages under all digging conditions. And if a web gets blocked, it can easily be reversed without damaging the crop or the need to get off the machine.

The 7-tonne NonstopBunker is unique to the market and has a patent application pending. The effective capacity is in use the whole time thanks to the rotating bunker web; furthermore it is significantly more gentle than traditional systems. When stationary it has an unloading time of only 45 seconds.

The bunker head is hydraulically lowerable in three steps and therefore ensures extremely low drop heights during unloading. The maximum unloading height is 4.2m and the lowest position is only 1.4m. This provides an increased output of 35% compared with traditional bunker systems.

July 29, 2016

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Tom is editor of ivtinternational.com and iVT magazine. During his 20 year career in journalism Tom has worked for a diverse range of titles including Men's Health and Cosmopolitan. He also edits iVT's UKi Media & Events stablemate Traffic Technology International.

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