With the 2016 harvest season now a distant memory, your thoughts may now be turning to next season. And a new combine might be on the agenda. To see how Case IH’s latest machine fares, James Rickard gets behind the wheel.
Case IH's updated 140 Series is definitely one to consider.
Following on from some heavy revisions to its larger 240 Series combines, Case IH’s recent attentions have turned to its smaller series, the 140.
Up until now, and particularly with the three-model 140 Series (5140, 6140 and 7140), the Axial Flow platform has changed little since its introduction in 1976, still using the same single rotor concept.
Driven by customer feedback, the latest updates include increased capacity, more operator convenience and improved access and set-up.
To see what impact these changes have on the 140 Series, we caught up with the largest model in the series, a 7140, for a test drive during the 2016 harvest. The location; Warwickshire. The crop; oil seed rape.
By tidying up drivelines including the unloading gearbox and moving the clean grains and returns elevators backwards, access to the threshing rotor is greatly improved. Particularly from the left hand side there is almost no obstruction, which makes swapping concaves much easier.
Tidying up drivelines has improved threshing rotor access.
In addition, the first half of the concave, which was originally made up of three pieces, is now split into six segments. As well as being easier to handle, you can mix and match them better to suit changing crop conditions. From the cab, the first half of the concave can be electrically adjusted.
As standard, the combine is supplied with a set of ‘small’ and ‘large’ wire concaves.
For increased capacity, a sixth auger has been added to the grain collection area underneath the threshing rotor and speed of the augers increased from 270rpm to 320rpm, increasing capacity by 20 per cent.
An extra auger also means grain is ‘held’ better across the width of the collection area, reducing the amount of lateral grain movement on hills. This in turn presents the grain more evenly to the sieves. All drivelines to these augers are ‘dry,’ meaning no maintenance is required.
Derived from the 240 Series, the clean grains elevator capacity has also been increased to 140t/hour.
One of the most significant updates to the 140 Series is the addition of the firm’s Cross Flow cleaning system, designed to compensate for sideways gradients of up to 12 degrees.
The firm's Cross Flow cleaning system uses an electric actuator and linkage to better distribute crop onto the sieves.
By including a lateral throwing action, as well as a longitudinal throwing action to the top sieve, crop can be more evenly distributed over the sieve area. This is achieved via a linkage mechanism connected to an electric actuator, which alters the amount of throw based on information sent from an inclinometer; as the gradient increase, so too does the throwing action.
As the system is electronically controlled, information is sent to the cab allowing the operator to see how much movement is happening. You can also offset the throwing action to one side, compensating for ‘sticky’ crops which can run through the combine biased to one side – a trait of single rotor combines. Left and right loss sensors give an indication of build-up of grain on one side.
It would be great if the loss sensor information could be combined with the inclinometer information, to provide a fully automatic solution to keep grain evenly distributed across the sieves.
At the rear, things have got a lot simpler and less labour intensive, thanks to a completely re-designed residue management system.
Now hydraulically driven, straw/chaff spreader can be swung out of the way for easier access.
For chopping, an internal rotor is still used, which can now have its speed more easily adjusted via a push/pull gear engager (from 950 to 3,500rpm), rather than have to wrestle with belts and pulleys.
Drive to spreading discs is now hydraulic, which sees a reduction in driveline components and facilitates the ability to alter spread pattern by altering disc speed from 300 to 700rpm. It also makes access to the rear of the combine much better, as the whole spreading unit can be swung out of the way.
Switching from chopping to swathing can also be done from the cab or externally via buttons, which sees a swath plate drop into position and a horizontal deflector door allows straw to flow out of the back. Chaff is still directed onto the spreading discs.
Designed to reduce compaction and transport width, and improve header stability, Case IH now offers an approved track option from Zuidberg.
The F-type track option is supplied in the UK through importer Lynx Engineering, with fitment of tracks done by a Case IH dealer.
Optional Zuidberg 610mm and 760mm track are now available for fitment through Case IH dealers.
Each track comprises a drive wheel, two idlers and three sets of mid rollers. Mid rollers sit slightly lower than the idlers to prevent scuffing on hard surfaces, and via rubber mounting, do provide some dampening, but expect to feel potholes on the road. Road speed is also reduced to 22kph due to the reduced gearing. Fitted with 30 inch tracks, overall transport width is 3.4m.
In field, especially when using a large header, 7.62m (25 feet) in our case, the travel quality is much better compared to wheels. However, you do lose some turning circle.
Track option price is also quite eye watering, but at least you can keep hold of the track units when it comes to combine trade-in.
For maintenance, track tension can be applied using a tractor’s spool; recommended doing every 12 months.
Transmission-wise, it is out with the old three-speed mechanical range selector and in with a new hydrostatic transmission offering two electro-selectable ranges, with the addition of two further ranges within each range. Apart from being much easier to select, it gives a lot better control over speed.
Return and grain auger trays can be removed for easier cleaning.
Along with better access to get airlines in, cleaning is also improved thanks to slide-out return and clean grain auger trays. Both trays run the full width of the combine and, with a stop removed, pull out fairly easily.
To help, an automated cleaning cycle can also be activated from the cab which maxes out fan speed and fully opens up the sieves. Once finished, prior combine settings can be recalled.
Taken from the 240 Series is the addition of a pivoting spout on the end of the unloading auger. This can be controlled from the joystick and allows more accurate filling of trailers.
Often overshadowed by the flagship 240 series, the 140 is definitely one of Case IH’s unsung heroes and is a more than capable machine, especially now.
And its substantial revisions should go a long way to making it a much more attractive prospect for potential buyers.
While it is hard to judge capacity improvements, the updates should help squeeze a bit more performance out of the 140. Based on what we have seen, it is a good sized combine for the lion’s share of UK arable farms, and a respectable competitor to the likes of John Deere’s S650/660 and Claas’ Lexion 750 combines, for example.
Lift the panels and this is not a combine which will shock you with excessive complexity - it is a very ‘clean’ layout to look at, and therefore a good combine to maintain and set-up.
Overall, the new 140 Series is definitely one to consider.