This month, potato machine constructor AVR is introducing its new and efficient Puma 3. The machine’s tight lines, which grant it a very modern look, are striking, but the real innovations for this self-propelled, four-row harvester are its more powerful Stage IV engine (Volvo), extra cleaning capacity, higher traction and a more spacious Claas cabin.
This year AVR is celebrating its 165th birthday, which makes this the perfect occasion for introducing the new Puma 3. The initial Puma model was first introduced in 2006, and was later on succeeded by the Puma +. Since then, this machine has become a real trendsetter as far as four-row potato harvesting is concerned. “There were already some four-row harvesters on the market, but with the introduction of the Puma, the popularity of four-row harvesting has risen dramatically”, explains Managing Director Stefan Top. “The steep incline in our sales figures were a clear indication of the concept’s success. Users highly appreciate the fact that economic and profitable harvesting is possible with the Puma.” This year, AVR sold 34 Puma’s, which makes it market leader in the four-row harvesting segment.
AVR is very motivated to continuously improve its products, which is one of the reasons why its R&D department is that elaborate. The Puma’s every facet is investigated and thoroughly tested in the field.
Smooth looks, smooth driving
Last September, the Puma 3 was subjected to its first field test at Jacob van den Borne, a loyal Puma fan from the very beginning: “I bought my first Puma in 2006 and am using my fourth one as we speak. The Puma 3 is even smarter than its predecessors: it consumes less fuel, exerts less pressure on the soil - thanks to a larger contact surface-, and offers numerous automatic functions. This machine really makes my life a lot easier”, explains Jacob.
Just like its predecessor, the Puma 3 can optionally be fitted with the patented Varioweb module. This cleaning module is a combination of a pintlebelt and an axial roller set. The cleaning intensity can be adjusted continuously, and what’s more, the axial roller set can even be removed from the potato flow if little cleaning is required. With the Varioweb, the user can adapt the cleaning level to suit the harvesting conditions.
AVR opted to install Stage IV Volvo engines in the Puma 3. This 12.8 liter engine with 469 hp is considerably more powerful than its predecessor, a fact that is clearly visible in the field.
With its 23.5 ton weight, the Puma 3’s power equals 1 hp per 50 kg. This makes the machine the best in its category.
The engine’s rpm is a mere 1,300, which ensures an even lower fuel consumption. The particulate matter exhaust for this engine is 10 to 15 times lower than that for other engines. The first tests have shown the engine to be a lot more silent.
The new Rafale haulm topper is equipped with a new type of flail for even better topping in long-haulm crops. The topper is an oscillating model, which assures a more precise topping.
More cleaning power, more efficiency
The digging web is 600 mm longer, which means the sieving surface has increased. A triangle agitator can optionally be mounted in the digging web. The three eccentric vibrators in the sieving webs have a higher deflection rate, which improves the vibrating potential, and the cleaning modules at the back have been widened. The Varioweb’s pintlebelt is also 200 mm wider, which means that the axial roller set now consists of 28 rollers instead of 26. Furthermore, the pintlebelt is now equipped with a U-profile with haulm fingers for a better haulm separation. The U-profile combines the advantages of the V-profile with those of the H-profile.
All these features result in a bigger cleaning surface, which means this model can harvest the same surface in less time. Also the traction has been increased considerably (30% at the front and 15% at the back), which makes the Puma 3 capable of going the extra mile.
Potato-friendly ring elevator
The ring elevator is a combination of the robust, heavy-duty rod elevator and active lateral fingers. The lateral fingers protect the potatoes from damage.
Protected soil structure
The extra large 900/60 R38 ‘increased flexibility’ rear tires have recently been specifically designed for harvesters with a cyclic load. This ensures an optimal tire pressure, both in case of a full and in case of an empty bunker. A lower tire pressure allows for a far better soil structure protection. This tire type also rolls far more smoothly.
With its 23,500 kg, the Puma 3 is still a lightweight in its class. This, in combination with the ‘increased flexibility’ tires, results in a minimum soil pressure. The even weight distribution (the engine serves as counterweight for the elevator) also contributes to this.
The new Claas cabin ensures an optimal feeling of comfort, even during long working days. To provide enough space for the necessary screens, the cabin’s size has increased compared to previous versions. The extra large windows give the operator an optimal view on the harvesting process.
Also the controls have been reviewed. A convenient touchscreen, the new AVR joystick (which is also featured on pulled harvesters) and a quick-dial rotating button result in an even more user-friendly operation.
The steering radius has been increased up to a 50° angle at the font and a 20° angle at the back, ensuring a higher maneuverability. For previous models, these values were 42.5° and 15° respectively.
During the developmental phase of this new harvester, all requirements (concerning length, weight etc.) for being able to legally drive the machine on public roads were taken into account.
Different models of the Puma 3 are available, for instance with cross rollers instead of a Varioweb module. The Puma 3 will be distributed exclusively via the international AVR dealer network, and will be introduced to the general public during Interpom in Kortrijk Xpo (23-25 November 2014 in Kortrijk, Belgiu