OPERATORS are the winners in the new self-propelled windrower range released by Massey Ferguson.
The WR9700 Series, built in the home of hay, Hesston, in the US state of Kansas, delivers improvements in operator comfort, including a new semi-active suspension seat and rear axle suspension system that combine for a smoother ride.
Each of the three models is designed for specific applications - from large-scale hay production to grain swathing.
The WR Series has an exclusive, easy-to-use C1000 Monitor system that controls nearly every aspect of the windrower, for operating precision and efficiency.
Other new features include an exclusive V-Cool System, which will maintain optimal engine temperature.
Massey Ferguson hay tools product manager John Russell said the WR9700 Series represented a breakthrough in self-propelled windrower technology.
"Hesston is the first manufacturer in the industry to develop a machine that operates all hydraulic, engine and drive functions via an on-board computer terminal," he said.
"These new windrowers allow hay producers to develop quality hay faster and more efficiently, with an enhanced level of precision."
John said the WR Series was the most important advancement to come out of the Hesston factory in 30 years.
The GlideRider suspension has a solid, oscillating rear-axle beam attached to both sides of the frame by parallel link arms, with a lateral support arm underneath.
Comprised of two gas shocks and a spring at the centre of the axle, this design provides optimal travel while still being strong enough to handle pivot tracks and irrigation borders without compromising the frame's structural integrity.
This approach means the shock load is transferred to the machine's main frame, rather than the rear axle taking the entire load. This reduces bounce and improves the ride for the operator, even at higher speeds.
The semi-active seat measures movement and automatically adjusts the suspension to further add to the operator's comfort.
Because of the horizontal jarring forces associated with windrowing, the seat moves fore and aft and side-to-side and can also be heated or cooled.
Three models, from 102kW (137hp) up to 164kW (220hp), are designed to meet the needs of specific operation.
THE WR9770 has disc headers and offers 164kW and the muscle to operate in heavy crop conditions such as winter forage, wet silage hay, and hilly or rough terrain.
THE WR9760, with the new Agco Power 4.9L four-cylinder QuadBoost engine, producing 140kW (188hp), is designed to "perform toe-to-toe with any competitive six-cylinder windrower with the same power output".
AT 102kW (137hp), the WR9740 is equipped to operate any of Massey Ferguson's sickle and draper headers, even in adverse conditions. It is powered by a 4.9L Agco Power engine.
The WR9700 Series' greatest technical improvement is the use of computer-controlled hydraulics.
Massey Ferguson says they are the industry's first windrowers to operate all hydraulic, engines and drive functions through an onboard computer.
The C1000 Monitor system controls almost every function of the windrower and helps achieve in-field precision and performance.
The electro-hydraulic steering system provides enhanced windrower steering precision, with quicker response times.
By controlling hydraulic pump displacement electronically, the windrower is easier to drive and capable of faster operating speeds - up to 34 km/h - without affecting steering control and stability.
All models in the range have AGCO's GPS autosteering as standard. It communicates directly with the electro-hydraulic steering system.
The autosteer offers a higher degree of steering accuracy, allowing field speeds up to 26 km/h.
The machines also have an automatic header speed control, which co-ordinates the functions of the disc header and the windrower engine to maximise productivity.
If the engine speed decreases, the automatic header speed control increases hydraulic flow to the header. This keeps the disc header's cutting revolutions per minute consistent, for uniform cutting and conditioning.
MF's proprietary V-Cool cooling system has the radiator, airconditioner, hydraulic and air-to-air intercooler cooling units in a cube behind a hydraulic, variable-speed fan, rather than stacking them one in front of the other. This unusual design draws cool air directly through the radiators without bringing in warmer air from another radiator.
The system has a self-cleaning "purge" cycle to clear the air intake of chaff and debris and is triggered automatically or manually.
John said the V-Cool cooling system had many advantages over a stacked radiator design.
"The fan speed can be reduced when extra air for cooling is not needed, which can conserve horsepower and increase fuel savings," he said.
"Likewise, the risk of a water pump failure is reduced since the pump doesn't power the engine fan. And, because the system is self-cleaning, it's virtually maintenance free."
- For more details see masseyferguson.com.au or your local dealer.