Lexion combine passes tests with flying colors
The results are in--the Lexion combine, from Caterpillar, proved to have excellent performance and grain quality in tests conducted by Agri-Growth Inc., an independent research firm, based in Hollandale, MN.
The tests, conducted in October, 2000, ran the Lexion 470 and Lexion 480 combines alongside John Deere's 9750 STS and Case's 2388 combines. The 200-acre test plot, located near Hayward, MN, was planted with Pioneer 36R10 hybrid field corn. The yields from the combines averaged 161 bushels per acre. The average test weight was 56 pounds per bushel and average grain moisture was approximately 20%.
Prior to beginning the tests, factory-trained dealer technicians, from John Deere and Case, adjusted their respective combines for maximum performance. Caterpillar personnel adjusted the Lexion 470 and Lexion 480 combines. To determine losses, grain quality and throughput capacity, each combine was operated separately at several flow rates. Distance traveled was recorded and, after reaching capacity, a grain sample was taken.
The sample was evaluated for broken seed and foreign material. A Fast Green test also was performed. A Fast Green test measures how much of the seed's outer covering, called the pericarp, is cracked or damaged. Stress-cracked seed and seed with damage to the pericarp is considered poor quality. Seed with these types of damages can adversely affect food processing and may be more prone to fungal infestation. Damaged seed also increases the deterioration speed of stored grain, thus reducing its shelf-life.
Finally, by comparing the number of bushels of grain that passed through the combines per hour against the percentage of grain lost, performance curves for the combines were determined.
"The overall results of this test show the Lexion combines produced better results in every category than the competition," says Norm Goldsmith, product development manager for Lexion combines. "The Lexion 470 and 480 averaged 0.1% of foreign material in the tank, compared to John Deere and Case's 0.3% of foreign material. The Lexion 470 and 480 averaged only 1.2 and 1.6% broken seed, respectively, while John Deere's 9750 STS averaged 2.6% broken seed and Case's 2388 averaged 2.2% broken seed.
"The Lexion combines also produced better Fast Green results. When it came to the amount of severe damage present, the Lexion 470 averaged 1.96% and the 480 averaged 2.18%. The 2388's severe damage average was 3.33% and the 9750's was 3.53% severe damage.
"Which combine a farmer uses in the field to harvest the crop does affect grain quality. Farmers strive for the least amount of foreign material and damaged seed in the tank, in order to ensure the highest returns on their hard work," continues Goldsmith. "A combine is a large investment, so getting maximum capacity and grain quality is extremely important. Lexion combines are designed for exceptional productivity and grain quality and these results back that up."
In fact, the Lexion combine has several distinguishing features that contribute to its ability to be a high performance machine that produces excellent grain quality. Among them:
--The exclusive Accelerated Pre-Separation (APS) system, which increases capacity and is at the heart of the Lexion combine's outstanding grain quality. The APS feeds the crop to the main threshing cylinder at a constant speed, angle, width and thickness, so the main cylinder always is operating at maximum efficiency. The APS feeds the crop to the main threshing cylinder at a constant speed, angle, width and thickness, so the main cylinder always is operating at maximum efficiency. The APS system separates up to 30% of the grain before the crop even reaches the threshing area, ensuring only grain that needs to be threshed is threshed.
--The optional 3-D sieve system works to eliminate grain loss and improve cleanliness by automatically adjusting lateral sieve movement whenever the combine works across a slope. One hundred percent capacity is maintained even on slopes as steep as 20%. 3-D cleaning is achieved by using a simple low-pressure hydraulic control unit consisting of an oil-dampened gravity pendulum and a control valve. The 3-D sieve system of the Lexion combines is a simple, efficient design that is fully automatic, requires no maintenance and does not depend on any electronic circuits.
--Owners have the option of equipping their combine with Auto Contour, a system that uses ground contact sensors to constantly adjust header position, thus maintaining the desired cutting height characteristics. Auto Contour is not confused by false ground situations and makes work at night, in down crops, across slopes and even in rocky fields nearly effortless. The operator can concentrate on adjusting the combine for the best performance with less worry about changing ground contours.
--Another popular option is Auto Pilot. Auto Pilot is the automatic steering system available for Lexion combines working in corn. Whisker-like electronic sensors are positioned on the center snouts of a corn head. These sensors guide the combine through the rows of corn by traveling along the sides of the corn stalks and sending signals to the combine's steering module. Because Auto Pilot is directing the combine's path of travel through the rows of corn, the operator can focus on adjusting the combine for maximum performance and highest grain quality.
--The industry-exclusive Laser Pilot option is available for Lexion combines in 2001. Recommended for grain headers, Laser Pilot functions in much the same way as Auto Pilot. Laser Pilot utilizes a laser scanner to detect the change in height between the stubble and standing crop in the combine's path accurate even in dusty conditions. Laser Pilot reduces stress for the operator and ensures utilization of the entire width of the cutter bar, giving the operator time to optimize machine settings and time to find the best forward speed for his/her field.
--The Lexion combines are equipped with two-piece preparation pans. While moving all the material toward the back of the combine, the two-piece preparation pan shakes back and fourth, stratifying the heavy grain from the lighter "material other than grain" (MOG). The front section of the two-piece preparation pan is easily removable from the front of the combine. This easy-access cleaning is particularly useful after harvesting and especially when harvesting certified seed or identity-preserved crops. Competitive machines use auger systems which involve a more labor-intensive cleaning process. The Lexion combine's preparation pan provides gentle grain conveyance while the competitors' systems, which use up to seven augers, are more likely to crack grain.
--Lexion 465, 475 and 485 combines feature the Caterpillar exclusive Mobil-trac system undercarriage. Combines with tracks experience improved flotation, traction and sidehill stability. Tracks reduce soil compaction, which, if not managed, can ultimately reduce crop yield. The Mobil-trac system enables the farmer to work in the field even in wet conditions, ensuring a timely harvest at optimum maturities.
Lexion 450, 460, 470 and 480 are wheeled models. Caterpillar offers a variety of tire sizes and treads to meet every farmer's needs.
Additional features include powerful Cat diesel engines and on-board control systems, which enable the operator to optimize settings on-the-go from inside the cab.
"The Lexion combine is capable of increasing a farmer's productivity and, ultimately, his or her bottom line," says Goldsmith. "These test results show that the Lexion combine is a smart, sound investment."
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