1989 - Volume #13, Issue #2, Page #34[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Operators Report on Deere's Maximizer Combine"It has more innovative engineering built into it than any piece of farm equipment Deere has ever produced ¨ a real winner," says Illinois farmer Cliff Warkins, of Erie, one of several dozen farmers throughout the U.S. who've worked closely with Deere over the past six years in field testing prototypes of the just-introduced 90 series "Maximizer" combine.
"It's been improved in one way or an-other from top to bottom, making it easier to work on, quieter and nicer to drive, and equipped with more power, and more cleaning and threshing capacity," reports Cliff. He's field tested all three new diesel-powered Maximizer models ¨ the 9400 (155 hp), 9500 (190 hp), and the 9600 (190 hp for small grains and 253 hp for corn, rice).
"I'm confident that, in completely redesigning the new 90 series, Deere's engineers have solved the walker loss problem we've experienced with the 8820 in heavy crops," says custom operator Jon Taylor, of Copeland, Kan., who over the past three years has logged over 1,000 hours of field time each on prototype 9500 and 9600 Maximizers. "These new combines are well thought out and superbly engineered. They're easier to work on, and easier to tear down and set up when moving from job to job. The parts manual for the 9600 lists about 40% fewer parts than the 8820," notes Jon who has purchased six 9600's for his custom operation.
Because he makes his living with combines, he expects a lot of out of them. "We keep records on each machine and expect them to be at least 98.5% efficient ¨aver-aging no more than 1.5 hours of down time per 100 hours of field operation," he told FARM SHOW. New Maximizer features he feel will contribute to minimal down time include: more engine power, more threshing and cleaning capacity, 33% fewer belts and chains, a feederhouse reverser (standard on all three models) a 140 gal. fuel tank and a 240 bu. (9600 model) grain tank. "Most any combine will do a good job in 30 bushel wheat or 100 bu. corn. The real test comes in rough going ¨ such as a heavy crop that's lodged and tangled. This is where the new Maximizer shines. It's not power limited like the rotaries," he told FARM SHOW.
Jon offers this word of advice to farmers shopping for a new Maximizer "Put a lot of thought into the options you want. Be sure, for example, to match engine capacity to header capacity so you don't end up under-powered."
"It's a great machine," says custom operator Scott Payne, of Imperial, Neb., who, after four years of field testing 9600 prototypes, will go to the field this harvest season with eight new 9600's, each equipped with 30 ft. platforms and the big 253 hp engine.
Like most users we interviewed, Scott cites "operator comfort and convenience" and "overall performance" as the Maximizer's most outstanding filatures. The Sound Gard type cab, with curved wind-shield, has been moved to the center and the feederhouse extended 6-1/2 ft. This positions the header well in front, making it unnecessary for the operator to lean forward to see the cutterbar, or to observe cuttting height of the platform.
Other engineering innovations include "on the go" cylinder speed and concave adjustment, a new 8-wing beater which moves crop material across a beater grate for better separation; four new cleaning fans and a new pre-cleaner, and a single-handle operator control with integral switches to control ground speed, header height and feederhouse speed. Controls built into the console include engine speed, cleaning fan speed, concave adjustment, and unloading auger swing and engagement.
Suggested retail prices (less header or platform) for field-equipped, ready to go machines range from $83,000 for the 9400 to $115,000 for the 9600 (with 253 hp engine).
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