Case IH A8000 and A8800: Competence in sugar cane harvesting, built on tradition and innovative engineering

23 Feb 2015

​Austoft being a renowned brand in sugar cane harvesting ever since 1941 and market leader in alcohol and sugar industries for more than 30 years now, Case IH A7000 series have built on this competence and tradition since 1996 – further enhancing and improving technologies, operational capabilities and reliability of these self-propelled harvesters. Launched in 2009, the Case IH Austoft A8000 as wheeled version and the A8800 series on tracks are high performance sugar cane harvesters designed for high productivity levels; they are auto guidance and telematics ready, offer Can Bus systems, intelligent engine rpm adjustment, and low centre of gravity which is perfect for hilly conditions. These machines are easy and comfortable to operate and maintain with the longest 600hrs engine oil change intervals and show the lowest levels of soil compaction. All in all, latest sugar cane harvesters of the Case IH A8000 and A8800 series offer reliable high-tech and productivity combined with lowest total cost of ownership.

Fuel efficient and powerful FPT Cursor 9 engine
The 9 litre FPT Cursor 9 engine, a water cooled 6 cylinder power pack with turbo charger and after cooler delivers 394 hp maximum power for harvesting. “1,800erpm during regular operation leave sufficient power reserve for demanding harvesting conditions whilst Smart Cruise technology reduces fuel consumption to a frugal 0.7 litre of fuel per tonne of cane billet. The engines of the A8000 and A8800 series are available with Tier III or Tier 0 and Tier 4B emission standards on demand. The engine compartment is pressurised, leaving the engine clean at all times to prevent the risk of fire in hot and dry harvesting conditions. With a logically directed and electronically reversible air flow, the highly efficient cooling package is designed for outside working temperatures of up to 55°C. The cooling system includes an efficient self-cleaning device, and the air flow is adapted to the prevailing cooling demand”, says Yoann Clarisse, Case IH Harvesters Product Specialist EMEA.

New high-throughput chopper
“The new chopper is at the core of the A8000 and A8800 series”, emphasises Clarisse. With a 40 US gallons/min oil flow increase and a chopper speed that was increased from 180 to 205 rpm compared to the A7000 models, the new A8000 series delivers markedly more chopping power and a 20% increase in throughput. For anyone growing sugar cane, that enhancement is good news indeed, as efficiency increases by one fifth really bring our customers’ businesses forward. In addition, using equally simple and reliable hydraulic components and improved throwers in the choppers helps to further reduce downtime and reduce maintenance requirements, thus further adding to the already excellent return on investment of this machine”, says Yoann Clarisse.
With 45º angle, without fixed shoes but the new rotating and removable toe, the crop divider is yet another Case IH exclusive feature. “Operators will experience better performance in lifting recumbent cane with less soil movement and thus less mineral impurities. The slip-on shoes which are available as DIA kit are shorter and lighter and offer easy maintenance. The optional rotating side knife with hydro adjustment helps to reduce downtime because it effectively avoids any blockage with trash and weeds. The A8000 and 8800 series are equipped with auxiliary or outer dividers as standard and provide markedly higher efficiency in entangled canes”, explains Clarisse. Toppers are either available in a standard version or as optional shredder topper. Whereas the standard version leaves top sections of the stalks in one long piece for slow decomposition, the shredder topper shreds the tops in small pieces for faster decomposition. Both toppers feature hydraulic height adjustment.
For higher capacity and throughput, the three blades heavy duty Case IH 15’’ rotors are powered by two hydraulic motors and two shafts through direct couplings, with the gears only ensuring the synchronisation. “That is just one of the decisive differences when comparing our harvesters with competing machinery – where just one motor is used”, highlights Yoann Clarisse.

Case IH exclusive Anti-vortex cleaning system: Efficient innovation in cane harvesting
Case IH designed and developed the Anti-vortex system, and tests have proven that this is the most modern and efficient cleaning system. In addition to reducing the amount of extraneous matter and cane loss, this system dramatically improves the load density for transport, thus achieving lower operating costs. Designed to improve airflow in the primary extractor chamber, the system was developed and tested in regions of Reunion and Mauritius with most productive cane varieties.
The extractor fan is driven hydraulically via a vertical shaft mounted in a two-piece, high-density plastic hood. The main purpose is the separation of trash from cane billets and the deposition of trash in a controlled flow behind the machine. The Austoft fan operates at 850rpm compared to 1,300rpm for traditional systems; that allows for a 22.4 kW reduction of power requirements and according increases in fuel efficiency. The Anti-vortex system reduces the percentage of trash (leaves and stems) by around 20% compared to other systems, at the same time reducing cane losses from 176 kg/ton to 4.8 kg/ton and net sugar losses accordingly (+/- 2% per ha). In addition, Case IH is the first manufacturer to offer yield monitoring capabilities. The system will be available for the model year 2015, enabling operators to monitor cane yield and trash ratio as well as net sugar production per square meter.

Comfortable cab, high precision
“Case IH A8000 and A8800 sugar cane harvesters offer operational comfort that is best in class”, says Yoann Clarisse. “In these cabs, operators enjoy optimum ergonomics, excellent visibility with a 180° angle vision from the seat, one interface display on the AFS 700 touch screen display and the intelligent Eco Power cruise system as standard. In addition, these machines comes auto guidance and telematics ready as standard and offer either joystick control for higher manoeuvrability or the optional steering wheel according to operators’ preferences. For high comfort during long working hours, the cabs also feature four point cab suspension which is known and appreciated from Steiger tractors’ cabs”, explains Clarisse.
As Case IH A8000 and A8800 series sugar cane harvesters come AFS Connect ready, they can easily be equipped with Telematics – so customers instantly see the current status of their machines. “Knowing at an instant if the machine is stopped, idling, or working will allow for efficiency gains. As owners are able to identify efficiency differences between two or more individual machines in the field in a very detailed way, they can react with advice, increase overall efficiency and thus gain valuable harvesting hours”, says Yoann Clarisse.

AutoTracker – the tool to effectively reduce cane losses Exclusive Case IH
“Whilst the efficiency of the base cutter is directly related to the field preparation, constantly spaced, parallel rows and well-executed, final field cultivation, the AutoTracker helps to minimise cane losses. Cane stalks are cut at ground level, and the base cutter height is either controlled by the operator or automatically by the AutoTracker that is factory fitted. It consists of two rotating discs with 5 blades each that laterally aim at the line of cane. The cutter angle can be adjusted from 12,5º to 17,5 º. As general average, AutoTracker reduces stool damage caused by the base cutter by 27.2%, it reduces roots ripped by the base cutter at the end of rows by 28.3%, and it reduces overall cane losses by a thrilling 62.9%”, emphasises Yoann Clarisse. “The loss of cane is reduced by leaving less stubble in the field. Independent trials have indicated a reduction of cane loss of approximately 720 kg/ha. By avoiding ground contact of the base cutter disc, the AutoTracker ensures excellent work quality on any type of terrain, including sandy and loose soils. That is particularly true in cane crops that are harvested for the first time – and that means clearly less stress and fatigue for the operator”, adds Clarisse.

Case IH A8000 and A8800 key features:
# Tracked and wheeled models available
# Radial Tires for wheeled version
# Efficient FPT Cursor 9 engine with Tier III or Tier 0 and Tier 4B emission standards on demand
# New chopper with 39% more chopping power
# Throughput increased by 20% – efficiency increased by one fifth
# Simple and reliable hydraulic components effectively reduce downtime
# Auxiliary or outer dividers as standard provide markedly higher efficiency in entangled canes
# 3 or 4 blades heavy duty Case IH 15’’ rotors powered by two hydraulic motors and two shafts
# Exclusive Case IH primary Anti-vortex extractor
# Comfortable cab with optimum ergonomics, excellent visibility
# Auto guidance and telematics ready as standard
# Overall cane losses reduced by 62.9%

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