As anyone that has operated a combine will know, the worst part of the job is the daily cleaning to prevent pockets of chaff building up around the engine bay and eventually getting too hot.
It’s a dusty and time-consuming job to get all the hard-to-reach areas where chaff can accumulate. However, an innovative AirSense cooling system on Fendt’s latest Ideal models has significantly reduced a large proportion of the daily cleaning required around the engine bay and exhaust system.
The AirSense system removes the need for a thorough daily clean near the engine thanks to an eight blade, 950mm reversible fan that engages based on engine temperature and time parameters. The total ventilated area is 2.7m2, and the regularity of fan engagement means that dust and chaff don’t have the chance to build up around the engine, offering extra piece of mind to operators during dusty conditions.
Ant Risdon, combine specialist at Fendt, says the AirSense system has multiple benefits for both operator and machine. “The reduced cleaning times can allow users to get cutting earlier in the day in good conditions, which is helpful in a catchy harvest. A shorter cleaning procedure each day will soon add up over a harvest period, and, for farms with large acreages to cut, could see a considerable time saving at the end.”
Inverted air flow
The system enables the fan to invert the air flow, changing it from sucking in air to cool the engine, to blowing air back through the radiators at selected times, to clear any debris build up. It also keeps the intake screen on top of the radiator free from dust and chaff build up and there is no rotary dust screen required.
It inverts by changing the pitch of the fan’s paddles. This is activated by engine temperature or time since the last inversion, and a visible plume of dust is seen rising from the engine bay when engaged. Manual activation is also possible if the operator feels it is required.
“By keeping the engine bay free of debris, combine performance is never restricted as maximum air intake through the radiator is always possible. Coupled to this, the AirSense system significantly extends the life of the air filter, which requires no cleaning during the season from the operator,” comments Ant.
The AirSense cooling system is available on all models of Fendt Ideal from the Ideal 7 with its 9.8-litre AGCO Power engine to the largest Ideal 10T, powered by a 16.2-litre six-cylinder engine offering 790hp.
Fendt has also introduced a new over pressurised exhaust box to prevent dust accumulation around the exhaust, to help reduce cleaning times and chaff build up in the hottest areas of the machine. The new AirBox is available on Ideal 8, 9 and 10 combines.
Ben Linington – Flichity Estates
Covering 1,300ha of combinable crops in north Shropshire used to mean regular cleaning of the combine each evening for Ben Linington, estate manager at Flichity Estates. However, after changing his Case Axial Flow 9250 for a Fendt Ideal 10T for this harvest, the time saved through running the AirSense system has allowed him more options at the end of each day as the lengthy cleaning period is no longer required.
The Fendt Ideal 10T runs a 40ft Geringhof header and the AirSense cooling was one of the main attractions to changing brands, especially after the hot summer last year, as Ben describes. “During the heatwave, I was stopping to blow dust off the exhaust system every few hours to prevent any fires. It also took me an hour and a half at the end of each day to blow down the combine and engine bay ready for the next day. The AirSense system was one of the reasons I bought the Ideal, to reduce the time spent with a compressor.”
Although this is the Ideal’s first season at Flichity, the benefits to running it have been obvious as blowing down now takes 15 minutes with a leaf blower to give the combine a once over, as opposed to 90 minutes before. “It also allows me more time to check over the rest of the machine, a job that ate into the start of each day with the previous machine. The engine bay and exhaust are spotless and I have been surprised at how clean the fan keeps it.”
Along with AirSense, another reason for the Ideal purchase was grain quality. “I have never seen such a clean grain sample from a combine, and the cleaning capacity and rotors play a big role in this. Our dealer back-up from Chandlers is also very good,” concluded Ben.