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New Combine Steers From The Front
The new Arcus combine, made by German manufacturer MDW, is unusual in that it has a front steering axle and rear main drive axle. It's equipped with twin sieve assemblies to cope with a high volume of material from its rotary threshing and separation systems. It's said to have a bigger grain tank than any other combine on the market, and it has a hydrostatic transmission that allows road speeds up to 25 mph.
The twin threshing rotors are located where the crop elevator normally would be, and the rotary separation cylinder is mounted low on the chassis, freeing up space in the body of the machine for the high capacity sieves and grain tank. It also allows the wide flotation tires to be tucked into the machine to keep its overall width down to a narrow 9 ft. 10 in.
On the road, the driver uses an accelerator pedal to control his speed. In the field, the transmission drives the rear wheels via a 3-speed gearbox (two for field use, one for travel). The front wheels are also powered, using individual hydraulic motors for permanent 4-WD traction.
Clean grain from each set of sieves is augered separately to either end of the grain tank for even filling. After passing through the 8-ft. 3-in. long threshing rotors and centrifugal separation cylinder, straw is discharged on both sides to the ground ahead of the combine's rear wheels - either gathered in a swath or chopped and spread.

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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #1