Under the hood: Tullamore, and combines
Ireland's smallest combine, mid-season check-ups fro combines and Tullamore Show all feature in this week's machinery section.

In this week’s machinery section we look at what will be on display for the machinery person at Tullamore Show. Peter Thomas Keaveney looks at the essentials for doing a mid-season check on your combine before embarking on the main harvest.

I went to see the smallest new combine purchased in Ireland this year, a on a Kildare mixed farm and chatted to its owner about why he bought it and the advantages of owning your own combine.

Tillage farmer Aidan Hand from Co Louth was forced to harvest early
Storm Ali blew down large swathes of Aidan Hand's crop, losing about 40% of his yield.

The world’s most powerful forager
Krone recently unveiled the new Big X 1180 self-propelled forage harvester.

The Big X1180 from Krone is powered by a Liebherr V12 engine, capable of churning out a massive 1,165hp. The V12 Liebherr engine has an oil, filter and valve service interval of 1,000 hours.

The nearest competitor machine in terms of power is the John Deere 9900, with an output of 970hp.

Krone has once again raised the bar in terms of horsepower, replacing the 1100 model that was rated at 1,100hp.

Krone claims the new machine has the biggest-diameter rollers on the market, increasing in size to 305mm in diameter. These rollers have slanted teeth at an angle of 50° which have a shearing effect on the material, according to Krone. The number of teeth on each roller is optional depending on the desired chop length.

The new forager is capable of measuring the temperature inside the bearings and displaying it on the terminal inside the cab. The Big X 1180 is also available with the Krone lift cab.

Sensors

The new self-propelled machine will have the option of installing AgriNIR online sensors. These sensors will supply accurate data on the crop’s moisture and nutrient levels, including dry matter, starch, crude protein, crude ash, crude fat, ADF (acid detergence fibres), and NDF (neutral detergence fibres). This data will then be stored in the machine’s terminal and can be assigned to the individual field.

JCB turnover hits a record £3.35bn
JCB recently announced that it set new records for turnover and machine sales.

British machinery manufacturer JCB has revealed that its sales turnover in 2017 rose by almost 28% to a record £3.35bn (£2.62bn in 2016), while machine sales increased to 75,693 (66,011 in 2016).

The company’s earnings on an EBITDA basis rose by almost 19% to £341m (£287m in 2016). Since 1975, JCB’s average return on investment has been over 30%.

The market rebound has continued strongly in 2018, which has pushed JCB global production levels to more than 500 machines per day.

JCB chair Lord Bamford said: “The continued growth in global markets in 2018 has seen JCB production rates reach their highest in our history. Employment levels across our plants are also at record highs and we now employ more than 15,000 people.

“In the UK alone we have recruited almost 1,100 people this year, which is superb news for JCB and great news for British manufacturing”.

JCB has 22 factories around the world, including 11 in the UK and JCB’s UK plants now employ a record 7,600 people.

In June, JCB revealed it was investing £50m in a new British plant to manufacture cabs for its machines in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire. The factory is set to open in 2019.