Machinery manufacturer New Holland worked behind the scenes for ten years on the development of its new giant combine harvester CR11. On November 12, the CR11 combine harvester was officially presented to the public at the Agritechnica 2023 trade fair in Hanover (Germany).
The combine harvester features a golden color, celebrating New Holland being awarded the only golden Agritechnica medal (innovation prize). The golden color is just a showpiece; the CR11 will be marketed in New Holland’s familiar yellow color. For reference: the threshing capacity is 20% (in grain) to 40% (in corn) higher than that of the current flagship model CR10.90. For this, New Holland developed wider and longer threshing rotors.
The threshing principle of the CR11 is the same as that of the current flagship model CR10.90. This means that there are two longitudinally positioned threshing rotors in the machine.
However, the similarity ends there, as practically every component is new. Starting with the rotors themselves: they measure 61 cm in diameter (previously 56 cm) and are 3.5 meters long instead of 2.9 meters. The threshing rotors are driven at the back by a continuously variable transmission (CVT). To keep the hydrostatic share low, there is also a 3-speed gearbox in between. The CVT also allows the threshing rotors to rotate in reverse. Then the feeder roll also rotates because a belt tensioner also turns around.
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The engine block is practically above it but is now longitudinally oriented in the machine instead of transversely as on the CR10.90. The engine block is on the right side of the machine, thereby counterbalancing the weight of the unloading auger on the left. The engine block delivers a maximum of 775 hp. Notably, the left threshing rotor directly drives a feeder roll at the front, ensuring the threshing rotor and feeder rotor always have proportionally the same rotational speed.
The sieves not only shake forward and backward but also left and right. New Holland equips the sieves with sensors that weigh how much material lies on the sieve and where. The machine then automatically ensures that the material is evenly distributed over the sieves. This can be useful on slopes (the sieves are no longer kept horizontal) or if you only use one side of the cutter bar, as with a wedge or a last strip of grain.
The ejection drum behind the rotors, which throws the straw out of the machine, is now larger. Previously, it threw the straw onto a conveyor belt if you did not want to chop it. Now, the straw always goes through the straw chopper, which rotates in the opposite direction. If you do not want to chop the straw, set the straw chopper to a low speed (900 rpm) and it simply ejects the straw behind the machine.
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Radar sensors on the left and right sides of the machine continuously check the straw distribution. In case of side wind, the distribution is automatically adjusted. Also special: a sensor at the back constantly measures the straw length. Based on this, the counter knives are automatically adjusted. If conditions change during the day, the chopping length remains the same.
The grain tank on top of the machine has a capacity of 20,000 liters. The tank has a door at the back so that you can enter the bunker from the engine compartment without climbing. According to New Holland, the unloading speed is 210 liters per second. For reference: during a test in the United Kingdom in barley, the 20,000-liter full bunker unloaded in 80 seconds.
The CR11 combine harvester is on display at the Agritechnica trade fair on VF900/65 R46 tires. This makes the machine about 4 meters wide. The CR11 is also offered on tracks. It is possible to mount a 66-centimeter-wide track under it, keeping the machine within a width of 3.5 meters. Notably, the machine is larger than the current flagship model CR10.90, but with that machine, the track width was limited to 61 cm (at a machine width of 3.5 meters). The combine harvester weighs about 26 tons, which is about 2 tons more than the CR10.90.
The CR11 combine harvester – which is a single model – can be equipped with a cutter bar ranging in width from 12.5 to 18.3 meters. The new technology featured on this combine harvester is currently only available on this model. The smaller CR combine harvesters remain unchanged in terms of threshing technology. However, they are also equipped with the new look and the new MY2025 cabin. Inside the cabin are two 12-inch screens, familiar from the current generation of New Holland tractors.