Krone ‘rolls’ out tracks and joystick-steering for the BiG X

Krone had a significant presence at last week’s Agritechnica show in Germany.

Among its more eye-catching exhibits was a BiG X (pictured above) that was equipped with Zuidberg track-drive systems in place of its front wheels.

This approach is claimed to result in an overall (machine) width of less than 3m.

Krone also exhibited a stand-alone driver’s seat and associated controls (from a BiG X), with a joystick/paddle on the left-side armrest for steering (instead of a conventional steering wheel).

Elsewhere on the stand, Krone availed of the opportunity to show off its flagship forager – the 1,156hp BiG X 1180 (pictured below).

The machine on display was equipped with Krone’s cab-lift system – designed to improve visibility when harvesting tall crops of maize (and when side-filling into especially high trailers).

At the touch of a button (from the driver’s seat), the operator can raise the entire cab by 70cm on a hydraulic ‘scissor’ lift.

Russian muscle

Of course, other brands of forage harvester were present at Agritechnica 2019 too. Among these was Rostselmash (one of its machines is pictured below).

Rostselmash is a Russian manufacturer of some considerable scale. The company produces large numbers of combines – and also self-propelled foragers – for its native market and the surrounding regions.

Its origins go back to the late 1920s; its first products were basic implements, including ploughs.

By 1930, the decision had been made to embark on the manufacture of grain harvesters; the first being dubbed the ‘Kolkhoz’. This machine was quickly followed by newer and better harvesters – called the ‘Stalinets’. These machines not only tackled wheat but also sunflower seeds and other crops.

By 1932, thanks to the efforts of Rostselmash, Russia had become a net exporter, rather than an importer, of such machines.

Purchase of Versatile

2007 saw Rostselmash purchase iconic tractor brand Versatile – based in Canada.

Versatile, a division of Buhler Industries at the time of the Rostselmash deal, launched its first tractor in 1966. The D100 was the first in a long line of articulated models. The brand was synonymous with high-horsepower, pivot-steer machines, which were most at home on the vast prairies of North America.