TRIBINE Prototype Concept
TRIBINE is a combine with the articulated rigid frame, which can carry grain in bulk. Leaving the field empty, it returns with a ready-to-eat grain. This is a breakthrough in the harvesting technology. If it is a corn harvesting, TRIBINE will firstly cut cobs, as a conventional harvester. Then, it will separate cobs and grains and pour pure grain into a custom-made grain tank, which is mounted behind the combine.
There is a line of engines for combine the power output of which varies from 375 to 400 hp. It is a Class 7 combine in terms of threshing. There are three additional hydraulic pumps, four-wheel drive, unloading auger and cylinder steering-wheel drive.
TRIBINE consists of two modules. The front module S77 is produced by Agco Gleaner, and the rear module is a grain tank by Crust Buster with 35.2 m2 capacity (1,000 bushels). The machine is equipped with 6.9-meter unloading auger with the diameter in 55.8 cm. It’s capacity is 17.6 m2/min or 13.5 t / min (author – it takes 2 minutes to load the 27-tonne semi).
Unloading auger consists of two sections - the bottom, which is mounted at an angle of 45 degrees, and the upper, which fits tightly to the bottom. The 45 degrees slope increases the grain flow rate and sections tightness prevents grain loss. For even loading of grain the upper section can turn sideways and upward / downward.
From the threshing unit the refined grain falls into the rear module through th 30-cm unloader. Chain unloader is not standing still in the middle of the bunker, as in the conventional grain trucks. It moves sideward. The pile is getting out from the front module and is spread by two hydraulic fans, mounted on the rear module.
TRIBINE’s weight is comparable to the weight of Class 8 combine, but the first one is shorter. If the length of the conventional combine is about 12 m, TRIBINE’s length is 10.6 m.
Rear independent suspension with oscillating axle of the articulated TRIBINE reduces outer turning radius and allows turn of all four wheels (crab steering). This means that the front module can move straight, while the grain tank can be moved closer to the semi at 1.5 meters from the axis of the combine (30 degrees). The outreach of the unloading auger is 7 meters.
Articulated frame of the combine allows you to install big tires that leave less soil sealing. The wheels of the front and rear modules are mounted on the same latitude, and therefore there is only two tracks, instead of four.
The TRIBINE was developed by the American farmer Ben Dillon. As he says, the combine can cope with all the difficulties - higher yields, machinery costs going up, qualified labor costs going up, bigger fields. Ben Dillon grows corn and soybeans in North Central Indiana. He holds a degree in agricultural economics. 15 years ago he returned from big business to his fields, and since 1997 has registered 28 patents in the field of grain technology.
TRIBINE current version is the fourth generation that built Dillon.
At first there was just a semi behind a combine. The model was not effective. Ben then began working at the project with his son, electronics engineer, and son-in-law, a mechanical engineer. As a result, the grain tank is a continuation of the front chassis module and its wheels are steerable too. TRIBINE’s third generation was a big crawler combine, carrying 1000 bushels of grain in its womb. Ben worked on it on his farm for four years, until he began thinking about the next generation.
Dillon says, if a farmer has a large field and high yield, he needs to move around the field as quickly as possible, leaving a small soil compaction. TRIBINE can do that, since it has a 12-row header and can move for 1 mile without stopping. For comparison, the conventional combine with 16-row header can’t pass half the way without unloading. Moreover, it will need a support vehicle that will carry grain. TRIBINE will do all the work alone. It will twice reduce fuel consumption, labor, and fleet.
The TRIBINE testing took place on the Dillon’s farm in mid-December last year. Harvester showed a master class in performance. Although the inventor does not preclude the work at the chaff spreaders throw improvement.
At the moment, Ben Dillon talks about the serial production of TRIBINE. We`ll keep you posted.