Brains and Brawn: The New Generation of Windrowers
The new Hesston by Massey Ferguson® WR9800 Series features increased torque and speed, and class-leading operator convenience.
By Tharran E. Gaines
With 3,000 acres of alfalfa, much of which is grown on hilly land, David and Janice Estes put their equipment to the test. That includes their new Hesston by Massey Ferguson WR9870 self-propelled windrower.
Having just purchased it this past August, they had, by the end of the year, already put 300 hours on the new machine. “I think it actually gets a little better fuel economy than the WR9770 that we had before,” says David, whose operation is near El Reno, Okla. “Yet, the WR9870 has even more horsepower to handle heavy crops and rolling terrain.”
The WR9870, which delivers up to 225 rated HP and 240 boost HP from its 6.6-liter AGCO POWER™ Tier IV engine, is one of three new models in the WR9800 Series.
With a 4-cylinder QuadBoost engine, the WR9860 features 195 rated HP and 208 boost HP, while the WR9840 offers 137 rated HP and 148 boost HP.
Complementing all that power, the WR9800 Series offers up to 17.5 mph working speed and 22 mph transport speed for improved efficiency.
Equally impressive is the intelligence built into this next-generation windrower. “Like the previous WR9700 Series, it operates all hydraulic, engine and drive functions by means of an onboard virtual computer terminal,” says Kyle Kitt, AGCO marketing manager for hay and forage equipment.
“The WR9800 Series allows components to communicate electronically and execute several functions automatically, which, in turn, improves efficiency and decreases operator fatigue,” Kitt continues. This allows the new Auto Load Control function to automatically adjust the windrower ground speed based on the engine load and the header drive pressure, to ensure maximum torque and efficient fuel usage, even in heavy crop conditions.
“I also like the new cruise control,” Estes adds, in reference to the OptiCruise™ function. “Using two buttons on the back of the hydro handle, you can increase or decrease speed in increments of [0.6] mph in the field and 2 mph on the road.”
Adds Kitt, “When combined with the new Auto-Guide™ 3000 GPS-guided steering system … these new automatic features allow the machine to be operated virtually hands-free, except for turning around at the end of the field.” The series also features a new hydro handle with up to 16 programmable functions that can be set for an operator’s specific needs. Those include, says Kitt, “the engagement or disengagement of functions like Auto Load Control, head speed and flotation, and reel speed on the fly.”
That’s not the end of the improvements, though. In addition to new power and intelligence, the WR9800 Series also includes a new remote center link switch for adjustment outside the cab for faster, easier header hookup.
Also, Estes says his wife really appreciates the extra ladder step, and he adds how much he likes the larger entry platform for easier entry and exit.