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Harvest crop and data with the John Deere S700 combine series

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John Deere’s innovations and new products seem to have no end. The S700 series is the latest in their harvester combine division and the knife-edge technology incorporated in the machines leaves one open-mouthed . . . until the next more advanced model leaves the factory!

The John Deere marketing team simultaneously go out of their way to assist farmers with advice and practical help. Before NAMPO 2019 John Deere brought an S780 harvester combine with caterpillar tracks to South Africa. This S700 greenhorn was taken on a demonstration tour all over the country – from Winterton in Natal through the Eastern maize region, to the NAMPO show, and then to the Western region to introduce it to the mielieboere.

 “The data capturing of the S700 series is very accurate,” says Werner Prinsloo, product specialist on harvester combines. “We have reached the point where a farmer need not consult his maps any longer to find discrepancies. The fact that the combine continuously calibrates itself, ensures that the farmer’s harvesting data will be very accurate.”

Wessel Oosthuizen, project manager, gave an extensive lecture on all the functions of the S700 harvester combine series. The new caterpillar tracks ensure less soil compaction and the two cameras (top, left), which continuously monitor the grain quality, gives the farmer an eye-view inside his cab. The cameras form part of the combine’s artificial intelligence system, which can make adjustments depending on what images appear on the camera screens.

The S700 series comprises of the S760 (249 kW), S770 (278 kW), S780 (353 kW) and the S790 (405 kW). The first two models each have a grain tank of 10 600 litres, and the tanks of the two biggest models hold an unbelievable 14 100 litres!

The caterpillar tracks are virtually maintenance-free. The oil has to be checked after every 500 hours, but it is necessary to check the belt tension every day. The caterpillar tracks can run at a road-speed of 40 km/h; thus the combine is also fitted with a 40 km/h gearbox. The caterpillar tracks are available in widths of 24 inches (610 mm), 30 inches (762 mm) and 36 inches (914 mm), and are moulded from a single piece of rubber.

The Vereeniging leg of the demonstration run was presented on Vlakplaas, farm of Casper Willemse and his son Herklaas, in cooperation with Senwes Equipment. ProAgri attended this pleasant, informal farmer’s day. Farmers were able to listen to the technical information of the S780 presented and explained by Wessel Oosthuizen, project manager, as he toured the boggling eyes around the machine. Farmers were also allowed to go on a trip in the combine and could afterwards question the many John Deere experts who were willing and able to reply.

“The basic cabin configuration of the S600 to then S700 series has remained unaltered,” says Wessel, “but new improvements made will ensure that you complete the harvesting task easier, quicker and in greater convenience. A number of changes have been made to the spacious cab, now dubbed a ‘Premium Cabin’ by John Deere. Visibility and illumination have been improved; there is more room and stashing space, a true passenger seat and also a small fridge.”

“The seat can now swivel 15 degrees to the right and 7 degrees left to enable the operator to see the big tables and picker heads that are used nowadays – it is no longer necessary for him to swing his whole body,” says Wessel.

The Vereeniging demonstration of the S700 combine harvester tour was presented on Vlakplaas, the farm of Casper Willemse, and his son Herklaas. They bought S770’s for their own use to harvest their maize quicker, easier and more efficiently.

“The CommandArm™ (the armrest) and the push buttons on it have been re-designed to enable easier setting changes. The control stick, Hydro Handle, used to enable forward and backward movement, has been re-designed to fit better and easier in the operator’s hand,” says Wessel. “The 4600 Command Center™ screen is bigger and a second screen enables even better management watching and controlling the images transmitted by the cameras. The farmers asked for a footrest on which they can relax their feet, and John Deere listened, of course!”

Some of the speakers and members of the John Deere overseas senior management who made the day a huge success, are Ferdie Marx, regional alliance manager – John Deere Finance; Philip du Plessis, regional manager, John Deere; Ferdie Pieterse, CEO of Senwes Equipment; Matt Arnold, manager, USA John Deere product development ; Ramakant Garg, director: product planning, John Deere India; Gordon Culp, director World-wide Harvesting Equipment and Alliances, John Deere USA; Matthias Berger, manager product line planning, John Deere Germany; and Werner Prinsloo, product specialist, combine harvesters.

Technological innovations

John Deere has added a number of new functions to the S700 combine series to ensure that a continuous quality product is delivered:

  • Combine Advisor™ adjusts the performance of the combine in accordance with changing conditions with the aid of several functions and technologies such as the ActiveVision™, Active-Yield™, Active Terrain Adjustment™ and HarvestSmart™;
  • ActiveVision™ employs two cameras – one in the clean grain elevator and one in the tail elevator, to monitor the grain continuously and calibrate the threshing mechanism so that it looks exactly like the sample fed to the machine initially. Combine Adviser™ adjusts the drum speed and blowers, opens or closes the concaves, and sets the ground speed to ensure that the grain sample will be exactly what you desire;
  • ActiveYield™ is an automatic system measuring yield and moisture content continuously with the aid of censors and weighing cells as the grain hold fills gradually. Consequently it is not necessary to calibrate the combine when moving to a new land or even when changing to harvest a different crop;
  • Active Terrain Adjustment™ helps to lower grain loss by adjusting the sieves automatically when the machine moves on inclines; and
  • HarvestSmart™ adjusts the ground speed when the combine moves over patches which deliver lower or higher yield, ensuring constant grain delivery to ensure lower losses.

Farmers were also reminded during the Farmer’s Day of the excellent options and advantages of the new and packages offered by JD-Link, Expert Alert, John Deere Financial en John Deere’s spare parts division.

There are now two computer screens in the cab of the S700 combine series to display all the statistics and camera images; and to enable control of all the functions.

Die S700 series has been designed and built to lighten the demanding job of harvesting at the most opportune time, and to enable the operator to complete it quickly, neatly and without loss of grain.

Contact Werner Prinsloo on 011-437-2600 or alternatively send an email message to to find out more about the John Deere S700 series.

Farmers were given the opportunity to go for a spin in the cab of the combine during the John Deere S700 combine harvester tour and be amazed by the unloading rate of 125 litre/second.

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