In light of the wet spring this year and possible conditions this fall, the three-model S8 Super Series of combines from Gleaner seeks to limit those concerns with a comparatively light piece of equipment featuring increased engine-rated horsepower and maximum-boost horsepower enabled by dual turbocharging the engines.
Those changes and others like it help define what the company calls its optimum harvesting performance platform.
"We’ve been busy increasing the capacity and the drives of the machine," says Kevin Bien, brand marketing manager, Gleaner. "In areas where we didn’t want to wait till the Class 8 and the S8 Series (were introduced), we wanted to do that so customers could take advantage of these capacity and productivity gains."
At the heart of the S8 Series is the S88, the industry’s first Class 8 combine with a transverse rotor design.
"We can accomplish in one pass what it takes an axial rotor two passes to achieve," he says.
The S88 machine offers a 9.8-liter seven-cylinder AGCO Power engine rated at 430 hp with twin turbochargers and weighs 16,500 lb. less than a competitive machine in the same class. It can move through the field requiring 32 hp. less than the competitive machine and substantially reduce compaction which can affect yields, Bien says.
"That means Gleaner will consume less horsepower that can be used by the combine separator to harvest the crop, not just get the weight of the combine through the field," he says.
Also joining the S8 Series are the S78, a Class 7 combine, and the S68, a Class 6 combine. All are Tier 4 Final compliant. The S78 features the same engine configuration as the S88, an upgrade from the 8.4-liter engine found in the S7 Series equivalent. It offers a 375-hp rating and maximum-boost horsepower of 451. Like the S88, the model operates using cEGR, diesel exhaust fluid and an engine speed of 2,100 RPM. All S8 models operate without a diesel particulate filter, resulting in a machine that operates at a cooler temperature and are smooth, quiet engines, Bien says.
The S68 offers an 8.4-liter engine 322-hp rating and a maximum boost rating of 398 hp. All combines in the series have fuel capacity of 230 gallons, up from the 150 gallons available in S7 models.
"Customers said to us, ‘We want to be out in the field longer, and less time for fueling up,’" Bien says. An optional XR transmission with two-speed hydro allows for better climbing on hills and on-the-go shifting with a 30% larger hydro pump.
A variety of additional features incorporated into Gleaner combines are intended to make the machines more efficient in the field. Among them:
- Rugged two-speed DuraGuard rotor gearbox better able to handle S8 horsepower increases featuring a larger belt and reversing capability
- Higher-speed chopper that runs faster for more chopping and processor venting in soybeans and heavier straw conditions
- Accelerator rolls made of polyurethane versus previous rubber material, increasing component lifespan. They will be orange instead of black and can be retrofitted to older Gleaner models.
- First with the S7 combines and continuing with the S8 machines, the diameter of the accelerator rolls was increased by 25% for taking in higher levels of crop and increased cleaning capacity.
- SMART Cooling system offers exclusive radiator cooling fan that reverses its fan pitch to self-clean radiators and coolers and also varies the pitch of fan blades to operate with less horsepower while running in the field
- Cleaning fan diameter increased from 11" to 13", increasing cubic feet per minute of airflow by 34% over earlier models
- Largest grain bin capacity of any Class 6 or Class 7 combines at 390 bushels
- Lowest-in-industry transport height of 12’ 4" with grain bin extensions folded
- Chopper functions with a double-belt drive that increases its lifespan and requires only 40 hp. to operate compared to as much as 80 hp. required by competitive machines
- Upgraded variable speed header drive, allowing horsepower boost through the drive of 55%. "We did that on the variable speed header drive so that we could run bigger chopping corn heads and larger headers, in particular," Bien says.
- Increased pulleys on the separator drive by between 22% and 27% in diameter, creating more belt wrap in anticipation of the S8 Series
- Increased the rear feed conveyor drive, allowing 50% more power through the drive, and changed the speed differential between the rear feed conveyor and the front feed conveyor from 6% to 10%.
- Made the clean grain auger trough larger and increased the clean grain elevator capacity to a rating of about 5,000 bushels per hour. The clean grain elevator now has heavier paddles and heavier chain to increase capacity by about 30% over that found in 2012 model year and prior machines.
Early orders are being accepted this week with production beginning in January.
Overall, the S8 Series aims to provide a family of combines that can operate more efficiently for better crop handling and in-field movement while consuming less fuel and substantially reduce compaction.
"At the end of the day, natural flow rotary design affords us a fully welded mainframe, straight through shafts, a lower transport height than anybody else, a lower center of gravity than anybody else and a higher efficiency as well," Bien says.