Midwest Fabrication Unveil 18m Draper

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To get maximum combine harvester potential productivity and lowest cost per hectare, size really does matter.

Midwest Fabrication Unveil 18m Draper
Inspecting the progress of the first production build of the Midwest Fabrication 18.0m Durus Draper Platform at the Dalby factory are (right) Martin Schutt, Bernie Allport, Craig Schutt and Mark Eddison

Recent trends in harvester capacity is demonstrating that owners and operators are wanting more hectares per hour and tonnes per hour of grain harvested, whilst keeping harvest costs under control.  The Australian grain growing industry has been known for driving for lowest costs and highest efficiencies to sustain our market competitiveness on the global grain markets.

Large Class 9 harvesters are being sought after by farmers for efficiency and productivity.  They also want to leverage the technology and production gains that Controlled Traffic Farming (CTF) systems can offer. 

Many growers have adopted 12.0m (40ft) CTF systems and as they drive for higher efficiency and lower costs, and now growers are adopting 15.0m (50ft) and 18.0m (60ft) systems as they cover more area and drive for efficiencies and cost savings.  This has seen a huge demand for 40ft size draper platforms and now in recent years, 50ft. 

But the availability of a wide 60ft platform has been a glass ceiling for equipment manufacturers.

That has all changed now, as a family owned Australian manufacturing company, Midwest Fabrication, will this year bring to the market a production designed and built 18.0m (60ft) draper platform to match these extra wide CTF systems, and be able to better utilize the big harvesting capacity of the big Class 9 combines on the market today.

Over the next few months, a limited number of these extra wide 18.0m (60ft) draper platforms will roll off the production line at their Dalby manufacturing facility.  It has been the culmination of a number of years of development, and the experience of 12 years designing and manufacturing draper platforms suited to the demands of Australian harvesting conditions.  This extra wide platform is now a part of the new DURUS platform range from Midwest Fabrication.

Midwest Fabrication Director and Design Engineer, Craig Schutt said "In designing the new DURUS range, we wanted to be able to build in strength and capacity for extra wide 18.0m of harvest width, plus cater for farmers wanting more harvest area per hour, higher cutting speeds, and minimal maintenance for the big harvesters."

"To get maximum combine harvester productivity and lowest cost per hectare, size really does matter and it makes for a big difference." 

"Five years ago we bought to the market the first production made 50ft platform that could give up to 11% more productivity over our then widest 45ft model.  This new 60ft platform this year will give a massive 20% more productivity than our 50ft model.  That’s a huge lift in harvester performance."

"Part of the innovative design for this wide width is using high strength steels to keep the platform weight down without comprising the platform strength and stresses on the harvester’s feederhouse, and simplifying drives and reducing components without compromising in-crop performance and reliability."

"Keep an eye out for the new 18.0m (60ft) platform at the upcoming spring field days later this year, it is definitely the new future of grain harvesting in Australia and you will see why extra wide draper width size really does matters with these new high capacity combine harvesters today" he concluded.

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