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50 YEARS OF SELF-PROPELLED HARVESTING TECHNOLOGY

In 1969, GRIMME came up with the idea of developing self-propelled harvesting machines.

In 1969, GRIMME came up with the idea of developing self-propelled harvesting machines. Franz Grimme senior, father of the current owner Franz Grimme, combined the front part of a Deutz tractor with a single-row potato harvester of the Europa-Standard series. The rear wheels of the tractor were dismantled and fitted to the modified axle of the harvester. The transmission was driven by a simple chain drive. With the first prototype, a very agile, clear and at the same time soil-protecting self-propelled harvester was created. This prototype was presented at the exhibition of the DLG (German agricultural association) and in Great Britain in the same year. But we had bad luck with the machine repeatedly. It was not a market success and fell into a harbour basin when it was returned due to incorrect fastenings on the crane. It still lies there today. A second prototype was combined with a Massey Ferguson tractor.

Due to the very positive response, another self-propelled vehicle followed. The "DS series" was introduced to the market, the first two-row self-propelled potato harvester, completely developed by GRIMME. The DS 100 had a 3.5 ton bunker with a 100 hp Deutz engine. The version of an elevator harvester, called DS 80, had an engine of 80 hp of Deutz. By 1985, more than 250 GRIMME DS 80 units had been built. To mark the 150th anniversary of the company in 2011, the staff presented Franz Grimme with a completely refurbished DS 100, which is now on display on the Damme factory premises.

In 1988, the third generation followed with the two-row DLS 1700 with an overloading elevator. This machine was built until 1994. Since the demand for self-propelled harvesting technology dropped in the mid-90s, there was no immediate successor to the DLS 1700.

In 1997, the type SE 150-60, a trailed two row bunker harvester with the patented SE principle (inclined elevator with haulm separation), came onto the market. The customer's request for a self-propelled version of this machine was immediately triggered.

Already in 1998 a new powerful prototype with an engine of 280 hp, based on this SE technology, the SF 150-60, was developed. Only one year later, a four-row self propelled harvester with an engine of 326 hp, called the SF 3000, appeared. Due to its sliding cab, the machine allowed a unique view of the digging unit and the intake. The digging technology was based on the four-row trailed version, which is still built today - the GRIMME GV 3000. 

In 2001, GRIMME presented the two-row versions SF 1700 DLS and SF 1700 GBS, which were built until 2008 and 2009 respectively.

Also in 2001, GRIMME presented a milestone in self-propelled potato harvesting technology. The strong TECTRON 415 with an engine of 490 hp, a large 15 tons bunker and rubber tracks for soil protective harvest included the unique feature of "inline harvesting" without wheels in front of the digging unit. The machine and its revolutionary harvesting concept were awarded the Gold Medal of the German Agricultural Society (DLG) and was voted to be "Machine of the Year 2002". The TECTRON 410 with 10 ton bunker was developed in 2009 for even more sieving capacity.

In 2003 GRIMME entered the field of beet harvesting technology. With the so-called MAXTRON 620, a six-row beet harvester with 20-ton bunker, the company succeeded in establishing a completely new machinery concept in the market. A crop protecting digging unit without large wheels in front of the shares, a full-width roller table for beet cleaning, rubber tracks and unmatched manoeuvrability are unique features of the machine concept to this day. Beet technology was supplemented in 2009 by the six, eight and nine-row REXOR series.

The success story of the VARITRON series began in 2007 with a basic two-row machine. No less than three different versions have been developed for the most varied requirements and are still available today. The customer can choose between an overloading version without bunker, a version with a 2-tonne intermediate bunker or a larger 7-tonne overloading bunker. Unique to this day, this is the large range of different combinations of various separators within one machine, which makes the VARITRON an absolute all-rounder under all conditions. At the international agricultural machinery fair "Agritechnica 2011", the four-row version with a 7-ton bunker was presented. To this day, the customer can choose between soil-protecting rubber tracks or large-volume wheels for the chassis concepts. Both the VARITRON series and the REXOR series are available in the second generation in the equipment version "Platinum".

In 2017, the family company GRIMME presented the new flagship in potato harvesting: the self-propelled four-row harvester VENTOR 4150 with a large 15-tonne bunker. The potato harvester, which received the "Machine of the Year 2018" award, was also awarded the DLG Silver Medal for its innovative harvesting concept. For the first time, it has been possible to integrate the well known, market-leading separation principle, called "SE", from a two-row version into a four-row model. With track-offset driving, a unique soil protective system was integrated into a wheeled vehicle.

GRIMME has been developing and producing self-propelled harvesters for 50 years and has influenced the self-propelled technology with many milestones and still does today. These large machines are assembled in the new facilities which were erected in 2011 in the "Niedersachsenpark", an industrial area close to the A 1 between Bremen and Osnabrück. More than 100 highly qualified employees ensure that the right part always comes to the right place despite the high variety of variants and complexity. With the takeover of the Danish manufacturer ASA-LIFT, self-propelled harvesting machines for onions, carrots, chives, beetroot, leek, etc., have also been part of the GRIMME Group's product range since 2013.

 

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