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October 2009 Archive for Machinery Journal

RSS By: Aimee Cope, Farm Journal

The Machinery Journal blog is your place to find the latest machinery updates, industry news, and interesting tid bits.

Bobcat Steers Its Way to the Smithsonian

Oct 27, 2009

For the cause of historical record, Bobcat Company has donated 58 boxes (56 cu. feet) of records to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.


The records focus primarily on production, marketing and advertising. They span a period from the 1940s to the present and illustrate the progression of a small, family-owned company to the company Bobcat is today. The donation includes photographs, product literature, advertisements, employee newsletters, drawings, scrapbooks and audiovisual materials. Housed in the museum’s Archives Center, these papers join the museum’s extensive collection of agricultural, industrial and business papers.

A selection of these records is scheduled to be on view from Nov. 30 through Jan. 17, 2010.


Bobcat Company manufactures compact construction and ag equipment and is based in North Dakota. Bobcat Co. started as Melroe Manufacturing Co., a Gwinner, N.D., family-owned ag equipment maker founded in 1947. Based on a request from a local turkey farmer the original compact loader was invented by Louis and Cyril Keller, who operated a small family blacksmith shop in Rothsay, Minn. After prototypes, a move to North Dakota and an acquisition by Melroe Manufacturing Co., the three-wheeled Keller loader went into production in 1958 as the “Melroe self-propelled loader.”


In 1962, as a four-wheeled model, it was named the “Bobcat” skid-steer loader, because of its “tough, quick and agile” characteristics and “skid-steering” ability to turn within its own length. This single product became successful and the company later took the Bobcat name, while adding several other machines to its product line.


Click here for the Smithsonian web site of the National Museum of American History.


Click here to visit the Bobcat section of the Smithsonian web site.

Innovations Get Gold at Agritechnica

Oct 22, 2009

Every Agritechnica, the top innovations introduced at the event receive a gold or silver medal.


Here are the five gold medal winners for 2009, and check back for more coverage from the upcoming event. The DLG (German Agricultural Society) reports more than 1,850 exhibitors from 40 countries have booked stands at Agritechnica. This exhibition for agricultural machinery will take place in Hanover, Germany from Nov. 10 to 14, 2009, with preview days on November 8 and 9.


2009 Gold Medal Winners

CNH and New Holland: Tower control with automatic ejector manifold and ejector flap control

Chopping is demanding harvesting work. The goal is to achieve optimal filling performance with low stress, risk and field losses. The 3-D scanner from New Holland allows automatic filling of the transport units in daytime or the dark of night. Both the ejector manifold and the flap of the chopper are automatically oriented to the trailer contours.


Claas: Auto Fill 

In the field chopping silage can bring long days of hard work. The goal is to achieve optimal filling performance with low stress, risk and field losses. The digital 3-D image analysis from Claas Autofill allows automatic filling of the transport units in daytime or the dark of night. Both the ejector manifold and the flap of the chopper are automatically oriented to the trailer contours.


Claas: Cemos


The electronic machine-optimizing service (CEMOS) from Claas is an interactive setting assistance system that contains all settings of all the combine assemblies for different crops and harvesting conditions and guides the driver step-by-step to the optimal machine setting. Holistic optimizing of the combining process is thus made possible for the first time with the aid of a machine-supported setting assistant system. Modern combines are admittedly equipped with programmed setting values in their information system for average harvest conditions. However, when optimizing the settings the driver often only alters them slightly to cater to the prevailing harvesting conditions. As a result, most combines harvest with working rates and work qualities that fall short of the technical potential of the machine. The CEMOS system analyses the current situation, devises optimization steps systematically from the data obtained and suggest these to the driver. The system also takes into account the given basic settings and equipment variants. The driver can accept the suggested setting or request an alternative. If he accepts a suggested setting, he is notified for sensor-monitored settings whether the work result has improved or not. The CEMOS also draws the driver’s attention at an early stage to conflicting targets, such as for example an increase in the broken grain component in the case of intensive threshing out and the technical limits of the selected setting. In a dialogue with the system, it can maximize the work quality and working rate of the combine up to its technical limits.


Cross-manufacturers: ISOBUS operating concepts


The world's first cross-manufacturer concept and realization of user-kindly operating concepts for ISOBUS-compatible agricultural machinery has been implemented in cooperation between several agricultural machinery manufacturers – including market competitors. This effort was initiated by the firms Amazonen, Grimme, Krone, Kuhn, Lemken, and Rauch. Identical menu structures, masks for setup and entry, identical graphics and placement for intuitive entry and navigation have been developed for both different kinds (e.g. loader wagons, potato harvesters or plough) and same applications with mounted implements from various manufacturers (e.g. fertilizer spreaders). To implement the concept, the companies jointly realized an ISOBUS-Terminal with ergonomic design in accordance with the latest state of the art. In addition to the necessary technical hardware and software interfaces, the focus was placed especially on the human-machine interface. Examples are entry via touchscreen, softkeys and incremental transmitters, single-handed operation or the ISOBUS-Stop-Button. The operating concept realized was tested successfully by interchanging the terminals of various manufacturers and mounted implements and it thus represents a milestone on the way from stand-alone solutions to the necessary introduction of ISOBUS irrespective of the manufacturer in practice.


John Deere: ActiveCommand Steering

John Deere is for the first time presenting a Steer-by-Wire steering system that intervenes actively in the steering circuit via a controller in order to distinctly improve driving safety and driving comfort. This active intervention in the steering control circuit has not been presented in the car and commercial vehicle sector so far, but instead only formulated as a development goal for the future. The unsatisfactory straight-ahead behavior that has been evidenced in customary fully hydrostatic steering systems available so far is improved, so that steering activity is reduced and the driver’s workload is distinctly lowered. The steering moment is modulated actively, depending on the driving situation, so that the driver feels a feedback at the steering wheel via his steering maneuvers. Fast evasive action has so far sometimes led to uncontrollable rocking (over steering) of the vehicle and this is now actively suppressed with an effect similar to ESP in cars. This effect is felt particularly during fast travel with heavy multiple-axle rigid drawbar trailers. In addition to the safety aspects, the system with a speed-dependent steering ratio additional facilitates operations in the field and front-loading work.


For more Agritechnica innovations, click here.



Machine Giveaway Takes on Gridiron Rivalry

Oct 21, 2009

You don’t have to tell me it’s college football season. I love college football. People across the country take the game seriously. Naturally, along with favorite teams come rivalries. And one to take note of happens in a state near and dear to my heart: South Carolina.


So the team at Blanchard Equipment isn’t picking a side between Clemson and the University of South Carolina, but rather they are promoting a house united with their giveaway.


One lucky entrant will receive a team spirit 277C Caterpillar MTL. They can pick the CAT that rings true to them. The machines are covered with tiger and gamecock decals and colors. Both machines come with a bucket and a one (1) year or 1500 hours warranty.


Blanchard has been the a Caterpillar dealership for nearly 27 years with 14 locations throughout the state of South Carolina featuring five divisions - Compact Equipment, Heavy Equipment, Pioneer Recycling & Forestry, Power Systems (featuring generators, marine engines and truck service), and Rental Services.




Does Your Combine Float?

Oct 19, 2009

The wet conditions of this harvest across the Corn Belt reminded me of an image shared with me by the good folks at Claas.



This picture of a Crop Tiger rice harvester was taken in Southeast Asia. To get the machine from field to field, the farmers have to mount it spanning two canoes to get it across the canal.


Claas manufactures the tracked rice harvesters in India, and has done so since 1993. With two factories in India, Claas makes machinery for across Asia and Africa, which share a growing demand for agricultural mechanization.

Shop Talk is For the Dogs

Oct 15, 2009
Celebrity pets sometimes have their own blog. It’s disturbing but true.
Case in point: Martha Stewart’s Francesca and Sharkey. The two dogs were photographed as a CAT repairman worked on a forklift at Stewart’s farm, and then a blog about the afternoon was posted. You can view the full blog here.


The biggest difference between these hounds with every other farm dog I’ve ever been around, Martha Stewart has a security guard alert her when the equipment repairman comes.
And if you haven’t seen it yet, AgWeb has a new blog: Farm Friends. This is where you can highlight the four paws around your farm and helping you in the shop. E-mail photos or video to

Self-propelled sprayer or drive through truck wash?

Oct 13, 2009
A customer in Louisiana reached out to Walker Ag Equipment with a unique request. They needed an 8’ clearance sprayer to use in sugar cane fields.
Tom Light owns the self-propelled sprayer company, which is based in Iowa, and he said his shop was happy to take on the task. Light says his team didn’t just put 2’ extensions on this machine–they stepped back and re-evaluated the entire structure.
The end result is a special application machine that takes an impressive picture.


There are rumors of a 10’ clearance machine out there. If you have a picture or any more information, send it my way:


Many "Mad Men" Fans Out There?

Oct 12, 2009
I've probably only watched a total of 45 minutes of “Mad Men”. But it seems like plenty of people around me love the show, and judging by the fact it’s still on air, it’s got a strong following. So when a co-worker alerted me that machinery brand John Deere made an appearance on the show, and contributed in a major way to the plot, I took interest in the particular episode entitled “Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency,” which is number 6 in the third season.
Season 3 of "Mad Men" is set in 1963, the year John Deere started to manufacture and sell garden tractors. In the show, character Ken rides a lawn tractor into the agency’s office after he’s secured the machinery maker as a client.

Then during an office party, the employees don’t exactly practice safe equipment operation. I won’t ruin the ending for anyone who has a queasy stomach or is waiting to watch the episode on their DVR or Netflix.


Comparative Cornhead Demos

Oct 04, 2009
Oxbo has opened sign ups for in-the-field demonstrations
Building on their specialty equipment for harvesting sweet corn and seed corn, Oxbo has specifically designed the 50 series cornhead for commodity corn. The “Soft Touch” technology is claimed to cut ears off cleaner and remove them gently, which leads to reduced ear shelling and efficient conveying.
But put them to the test yourself. Farmers are invited to sign up for the Oxbo Challenge. The free demos can be registered for here.
The company says they’ll centrally locate equipment at their service centers across the corn belt, and the in-the-field switch from your current cornhead to one of their 50 Series will only take 15 minutes.


The Wild Ride of a Square Bale

Oct 01, 2009
A young farmer has captured making hay in a great way. He’s taken on the viewpoint of a bale from the field to the hay loft.
Here’s his description of the scene: 

“Making some hay with a JD 4430 and 8 wheel M&W rake and a JD 4020 on a JD 348 baler. The rake and the baler were new when we started this year. This is the second cutting of alfalfa and rye grass which had about an inch of rain on it. It was treated with Conklin ProServe II so it still has some color left to it.”

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