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test Strautmann Giga Vitesse CFS 360I

The accelerator

Words and images by Jaiden Drought

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Strautmann Giga Vitesse CFS 360I

test

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This month, Jaiden Drought

tested a loader wagon that can

eat an impressive amount of

grass, while requiring less power

– a win-win for any contractor.

This month in a rare show of compassion, the

Farm Trader slave drivers allowed me to test a

machine that actually resides in my region of

Taranaki. Avoiding a flight at this time of year was

a godsend with the shoddy weather conditions we’ve been

experiencing and Air New Zealand’s track record of

allowing planes to leave the airport whatever the weather.

Luckily, I had a silage job teed-up just down the road in

mighty Ohangai, just south of Hawera, where the main

attraction is a house that has always been painted purple

and is well-known among locals as the ‘Purple Palace.’

This house has been there since the 1940s and as one

newspaper article described it, it’s “as much of a land mark

as Mount Taranaki”. I think that may be pushing the

envelope a bit, although, like the new Strautmann loader

wagon I tested, it makes you sit up and take notice.

The Giga Vitesse CFS 360I wagon was recently

purchased by Greg Burnand from Andrew Hopkins of

Strautmann Hopkins.

After 30 years contracting, this is Burnand’s first season

of physically making pit silage. This change came about

when another local contractor was getting out of loader

wagons. Burnand saw this as an opportunity to up his

range of services offered to customers and pounced on it.

Burnand currently runs all New Holland tractors, nine in

total, ranging from modern T7’s through to three old, trusty

60-series. Burnand has built a strong client base within a

30km radius of his yard in Alton, with his main workload

being cultivation and baling services with his three Welger

balers doing around 15,000 bales per season.

Farm Trader has tested two Giga’s in the past and with

very little changing in terms of design from the rotor back, I

will focus on the revolutionary new pickup, known as the

Continuous Flow System (CFS), as well as focusing on

some of the structural changes, including the removal of

the top support rails allowing rigid open-top bins, which

double as high-capacity bin trailers.

The Giga Vitesse CFS 360I, with a capacity of 34m3,

strikes an imposing figure, almost dwarfing the 260hp

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tractor pulling it. But don’t let its overbearing

size fool you — the 360 sits in the middle of

the Strautmann range in terms of capacity. The

CFS design allows power requirements to be

reduced with anything from >150hp providing

ample drive depending on the terrain, and has

three main components — the pick-up; the

accelerator roller; and the rotor.

Cam-less pickup

When you first look at the pick-up, the cam

track appears twisted, but in actuality, the pickup

has six, helically-arranged rows of tines

which are camless and allow huge amounts of

grass to be gently passed onto the accelerator

roller. Another development, great for rough

terrain, is the support rollers underneath the

pickup that not only aid contour following but

reduce the risk of bottoming out, as it’s not

relying entirely on the outside guide wheels.

Accelerator roller

The most noticeable new feature is a large

steel roller in the pickup, which essentially

speeds up the flow of grass to the rotor. In

addition to this, like a rotor in a baler spreading

the crop across the chamber and producing

tight, well-shaped bales, the accelerator roller

does exactly the same, spreading the crop

across the width of the rotor, giving a more

even chop for fast efficient filling — all with

reduced drive requirements.

Rotor

The CFS system allows the rotor to be

mounted 100mm higher, meaning the tractor

doesn’t have to push the cut grass as far into

the bin. Along with the crop-spreading

characteristics of the speed roller, this reduces

power requirement by 10% and can increase

your average load tonnage by an additional

10% by evenly filling the wagon, increasing allround

efficiency. The helically-mounted, eight

tine rotor features Hardox tips to ensure longer

working life and aids in both consistent flow to

the bin and, due to the large teeth, allows for

consistent chopping through the knife bank.

Direct Drive

The accelerator roller and rotor are powered

by a low maintenance, right angle gearbox with

a standard slip clutch as the form of overload

protection. The CFS system reduces the peak

loading on the drive unit due to the spreading of

the grass across the width of the pickup. Due

to the even flow, you’re less likely to push

lumpy, uneven swaths through the middle of

the rotor, and in turn reduce stress across the

machine — another power-saving advantage.

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52 | farmtrader.co.nz


Knives

Whoever dreamed up double-sided knives

is a genius because, as most wagon drivers

will tell you, sharpening knives is the least fun

part of the job. Forty-five knives at one level

provide a theoretical chop length anywhere

from 35mm upwards. All knives are doublesided,

with serrated edges, which are easily

turned over to halve the grinding intervals.

Again, the CFS can reduce the amount of

grinding as the grass is spread across the

width of the rotor. This results in even wear

across the knife bank rather than the majority

of grass flow through the middle.

Although not market-leading in terms of

access, the Strautmann set-up more than

compensates for this in terms of chopping

ability. Let’s face it — that’s what it all comes

down to. The whole cutting unit drops down

with two rams, and the spring-loaded handles

allow the knives to be easily removed. In dry,

fluffy crops, the build-up between the knives

will need to be cleaned daily to ensure the

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Strautmann Giga Vitesse CFS 360I

test

Specifications

GV CFS 3601

Length 9.28m

Width (without/with

metering unit)

2.55m/2.76m

Height 3.86m

Loading capacity acc. To DIN

11741

34m3

with metering unit

32m3

Loading capacity, medium

compression

64.6m3

with metering unit 60.8m3

Own weigh, standard

equipment

9T

with metering unit 9.4T

Gross vehicle weight rating

Bogie tandem chassis standard

Working width of pick-up 2m

Conveying unit type

spiral rotor

Number of knives 45

Metering unit

3 rotors

(optional)

Power required

99kW

Power required

135hp

Others in class:

Bergmann Raptor 35S

Pottinger Torro 5700 L

Class Quantum 5800 S

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knives work to their full potential. Dropping the

knife back down while driving along the road at

about 50km/hr is an easy solution.

Knife Protection

Unfortunately, loader wagons are not

equipped with the luxury of metal detectors, so

undesirable objects get gobbled up. This makes

knife protection a very important area to

consider. Strautmann has a unique, and

welcome, system where the knives are springloaded

in such a way that the energy is nearly

identical at any point on the blade. No matter

where the blade gets hit – either at the base,

the tip or anywhere in-between, the knives will

kick-back to avoid expensive damage. A small

arrow diagram on the display monitor indicates

when knives get kicked out and two arrows

indicate the entire bank is out.

Body

Unlike the older Giga’s, the new models

have continuous side panels with reinforced

side posts that give high structural strength,

even without body brackets (although they are

still optional). The major benefit here is the bars

and ropes don’t obstruct the spout on the

chopper when being used as bin trailers.

Additionally, you can switch between this and

self-loading without having to get out of the

tractor, greatly increasing the wagon’s versatility.

The other major benefit is, without bars

obstructing the load space, the sky really is the

limit in terms of loading ability (providing you

farmtrader.co.nz | 53


test Strautmann Giga Vitesse CFS 360I

have a big enough donkey on the front).

All CFS models are equipped with doublesided,

two-speed floor drive units, which, in

conjunction with two rows of floor bars (4

chains), slash unloading time dramatically. The

rear driveshaft comes with a central bearing

and support to stop twisting. The greasing

points are easily reached without having to

open the door.

Tail door

The tail door is sturdy and well-built and

uses double acting rams that push up and then

out to unlock the door and then pull in and

straight down to lock it again, keeping the load

secure. A pressure switch, mounted half way

up the door, buzzes the driver to let them know

the machine is getting full. There’s a diagram on

the monitor for this purpose also. The tail door

indicates when the door is fully up and ready for

unloading. It also indicates when the door is

fully closed, although this indicator didn’t appear

to be working, so I was relying on the mirrors

to assess the situation.

Chassis

The term ‘well-built’ immediately springs to

mind when you look at the structural integrity of

this machine and the undercarriage is no

different. The large 710/50R26.5 rubbermounted

on the sprung bogie axles, in

conjunction with the active steering system, will

keep the farmers happy by not flattening their

posts or scuffing paddocks. The large rubber

makes it sit high above the ground, but will not

cause problems loading on slopes sensibly.

Monitor

The new touch pad monitor is not only easy

to use, but also combines a range of

automated functions which make life easier in

the driver’s seat.

A couple of examples of the automated

features carried out by pushing these three

buttons are:

A I (push before driving over or backing onto

stack)

• Locks steering axle

• Lifst hydraulic drawbar

• Turns off drawbar suspension

A II (Push once you want to start unloading)

• Opens tail door

• Turns the floor on (can also turn two-stage

floor on once enough material has been

unloaded)

Red lock button (is a safety feature used for

road travel)

• Locks all functions

• Lowers hydraulic drawbar

• Turns on drawbar suspension

Verdict

This really is a high-capacity machine with a

build-quality to match. The new CFS system is

brilliant and allows chopping in excess of 20km,

no worries at all. Not only does this help eat

more grass, it also lowers the power

• Camless pick-up

• Accelerator roller

• Automated features on

control panel

• Contour wheels under pickup

• Gear drive reduces

maintenance

• CFS reduces power

requirement while increasing

loading efficiency

• Steering axle and large wheels

reduce scuffing and

compaction while increasing

manoeuvrability

• Self-locking door

• Double-sided knives at half

grinding intervals

• Knife bank accessibility to

change knives is ok, although

swing out knife banks are

more user-friendly

requirement, reduces stress on the machine

and increases the tonnage carted per load. If

you are a contractor, this is a machine that

allows for a 10% decrease in power

requirement, while at the same time offering a

10% increase in tonnage per load – a win-win in

my books, and is the definition of ‘having your

cake and eating it too’.

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54 | farmtrader.co.nz

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