NEW CASE IH AUSTOFT 8010 - Food for thought for Sugarcane Farmers
As the nation’s cane farmers prepare for the annual crush later in the year, Case IH is giving them something else to consider in their planning for the season.
The release of the Austoft® 8010 Series is a major update to the company’s sugarcane harvester product offering, with 28 new features and improvements that came out of more than 18,000 hours of field-testing.
“The last Austoft series release was the 8000 Series, and we’re confident growers will appreciate the improvements in these new machines and what they have to offer in the testing environment of an Australian cane paddock,” said Pete McCann, Case IH General Manager for Australia and New Zealand.
Among the new features are LED work lights, a raised cab position for better operator visibility which doesn’t add to the overall height of the harvester, a refrigerator in the cab and new rearview mirrors, footrests and operator seat to improve driver comfort.
Other features and improvements include:
- ‘Auto Float’ function (crop divider height control): This function automates the control of both crop divider lift cylinders, keeping the toe in contact with the soil at all times, while also preventing ‘ploughing’. It can stop inexperienced operators from accidentally lowering the crop dividers too deep, while letting experienced operators focus more attention on other harvesting functions. Activation has been integrated into the Auto Tracker control, so no additional operator actions are needed to use the system.
- Larger diesel fuel tank: The tank has 29 per cent more capacity and an adjusted position within the machine to increase the number of hours in the field, reduce maintenance costs and improve serviceability.
- Three operational video cameras: These are now standard, positioned on the sides and lower part of the machine and able to be easily monitored on the AFS® Pro700, with adjustable screens that provide easy interaction and switching of views.
- Improved engine protection software: This software improvement is designed to reduce the risk of engine damage due to a high cooling system temperature, and these events are now recorded to help identify issues with improper operation or inadequate maintenance.
The forerunner of today’s Austoft was conceived and developed in Australia and is now used in countries as diverse as India, China, Brazil, Sudan and Papua New Guinea.
The commitment to the Australian cane industry that resulted in the creation of that first mechanical harvester back in the 1960s is as strong today as it was all those decades ago, with Case IH investing significantly in product research and development.
“We pioneered the introduction of hydraulic systems on harvesters and continue to invest in simplifying and upgrading the efficiency of these systems,” Pete said.
“This latest Austoft combines the best of its predecessors with a raft of new features and improvements to create a machine that offers the most advanced solutions to the sector. For the sugarcane industry that helps contribute to ongoing strength and prosperity, and for the individual farm business a healthier bottomline through greater efficiency and overall yields.”
The first shipment of the new model harvesters is due to arrive soon, ready for the 2018 cane harvesting season.
18 Harvesters on and still with Case IH Austoft
June 2016 | Article supplied by Case IH
When contract harvester Gary Stockham began cutting sugarcane for the current season, it was the start of he and his staff running seven days a week.
“So all the gear’s got to go seven days a week too. Once the machine stops, everyone stops, no one gets paid. So it’s very important to keep going. Cane is crushed in about 20-22 weeks, so you have to keep the work up. All the machinery has to be going perfectly.”
The third generation sugar farmer and his wife own 200 hectares at Giru, close to the Haughton River in North Queensland’s Burdekin district. They’ve farmed there since around 1990, but have run Gary Stockham Harvesting since 1978.
While they began with a “Robot” Toft Harvester, these days they have four Case IH Austoft Sugarcane Harvesters (two 8000’s, a 7000 and a 7500 model) and two Case IH Magnum tractors (a two-year-old 315 model and 8920) among their machinery. Gary says the drawcard to buy that original Case IH harvester was seeing and hearing how reliable they were compared with other brands.
“They seemed to go better, so that’s what I bought to start with.”
He’s kept the same way, since—but has always had a look around, just to compare, before buying new equipment.
“Oh we do look around, but I can’t see any sense in buying anything else—they’re dearer and not as good a machine; they just cross-rip too big. The Austoft, the Case IH, they’ve been the best all the time. I reckon they’re the better harvesters.”
Before harvest began, Gary prepared all his equipment, having his dealer—AgNorth at Ayr—service everything and give it the once over. Any parts that needed replacing were all genuine.
“We do contract planting as well, about 2,000 acres [810ha], and we have to do preparation work to the ground before we plant. That’s the same as harvesting: if that stops, everything stops, but the dealer, with their parts and service, they keep us going.”
Gary is on to Case IH Austoft harvester number 18.