With Peter O'Brien
AS the harvest takes a breather after an easy start, thanks to a dry spell of weather, it’s fitting that we turn to look at some combine harvesters.
New Holland combines have always enjoyed great success in Ireland, with 1970s ‘law of the lever’ combines to the latest touchscreen harvesters a common sight in golden fields at harvest time.
Released in 1986 to take over from the 8000 range of harvesters, the TX series of combines continue to enjoy high levels of employment with both contractors and farmers.
Manufactured at the famous Zedelgem combine and forage harvester plant in Belgium, the TX range comprises four models: TX30, TX32, TX34 and TX36, the TX34 proving to be quite a popular choice in Ireland. Keen-eyed enthusiasts will note the absence of any Clayson decals that were previously found above the previous range’s model number.
Powered by a 183hp 6cyclinder turbocharged Ford engine (a 205hp version was also available), the TX34 is a 5-walker combine with a grain tank capacity of 6000l and is most commonly fitted with a 17ft header.
The TX uses a multi-threshing system where the first separation of the grain occurs in the pre-threshing unit where much of the grain is removed from the head.
Next it passes through to the drum where further separation occurs. A key selling point of the TX34 is the lateral floating header, fitted as standard.
Controlled by a switch on the hydrostatic transmission lever, this allows the header to tilt, automatically adjusting to field contours.
The TX also saw the introduction of a self-levelling cleaner shoe as a factory option. Other useful features include electronically controlled reel speed as well as reversing of both the straw elevator and header on TX34 and TX36 models in the event of a blockage.
The cab boasts an improvement in work lights as well as a performance monitor to minimise grain losses. To the left of the seat, handbrake type clutch levers engage the thresher, header and unloading auger, while to the right, the hydrostatic lever falls easily to hand. Air conditioning on the TX34 and its larger sibling, the TX36, is fitted as standard.
Interestingly, the TX series saw the introduction of the black painted header on New Holland combines. Due to the advances in working lights, the reel is painted in matt black to reduce glare for the operator when working at night, which is still in practice with the firm’s latest combine, over 35 years on.
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New Holland TX34
Years of manufacture