BISO CROPRANGER VX TRENDLINELIGHT (PART 1)
THE PULLING HORSE OF BISO COMPANY
Its full name is BISO CropRanger VX TrendLineLight (TLL). The production has started in 2011 but don’t confuse it with CropRanger VX HighLine which was produced from 2001. CropRanger VX TLL is the latest model line of the vario table range with all the features and improvements. This header is not as famous as CropRanger HighLine (HL) or Ultralight (or 3D now). But in reality, it is still one of the best VARIO headers on the market, durable, simple for service and really driver-friendly. Let’s look deeper at this BISO VARIO header which stands quietly behind, but in reality, it is the “pulling horse” of our brand.
The BISO CropRanger VX750 TrendLineLight (TLL) perfectly passes on the CX8070SL. In our region it is the bestselling working width (7.5m).
Typical for our region – 95% of our CropRangers is sold with the BISO ProfiTrailer. This model of trailers is a benchmark on the market and you can see copies from many other companies now. For many people, such a concept of trailer equals “the BISO trailer”.
CropRanger means steel frame. In the picture is the standard model sold by us in the Czech Republic and Slovakia in the period of 2012-2014. This means the steel auger, fully integrated electric side knives and “robalon” plastic floor.
This unit is not equipped with the typical feature for BISO headers – the angle adjustment. Above the feeder house, the black console with small hydraulic rams is missing. Anyone driving the header with angle adjustment will want it. The VX750TLL has a drive only on one side so the cardan shaft on the right side is missing (all connections are on the right side).
BISO CropRanger VX TrendLineLight (TLL)
The BISO CropRanger VX750 TrendLineLight (TLL) has been the “pulling horse” of the company for many years. It is very reliable, easy to maintain with a very good steel frame and lighter than the competition. Many of them have plastic floors (ROBALON) and have less angle adjustments with electric side knives. It is very popular among contractors thanks to the good ration between the price and the specifications. Usually, it is delivered with the BISO ProfiTrailer.
The CropRanger VX TrendLineLight (TLL) has a different vario system in comparison with the CropRanger HighLine. The vario table moves with the sidewalls (including dividers) and if you switch off the header drive, you can use all the header hydraulic functions.
After many years, the “best spec” requested by professional customers is the hardox floor with an angle adjustment. Officially, it is possible to order angle adjustments only with hydraulic side knives. The angle adjustment is also available as a kit for retrofitting the headers with electric side knives.
The CropRanger VX750 TLL in “standard” BISO spec is a perfect header for high performance combines, like the CX8070SL. The CX8080SL is able to match with the VX850 with very good results. The ProfiTrailer is a good solution for both headers.
Fully integrated electric side knives. Not as popular as the hydraulic version. But many of our fully professional contractors use this version thanks to price reasons. This BISO solution is very reliable and is easy to drive. The electric motor is on the top of the side knife (heavier than the hydraulic) and has a small undercover toothed belt.
This divider was not common in 2012 and 2013. It is fully adjustable just like the one on the Ultralight. On the trailer, it’s better to unlock and tilt down the divider (not done in the picture yet).
The connecting points are standard for New Holland and Case-IH combines. First, you lock the feeder house with the yellow lever, fit on the cardan shaft (in good position and long enough) and fit on the electric connector and hydraulic CNH quick coupler. On this header, we have to connect the two connectors of the electric side knives´ power lines (yellow cables).
Perfect arrangement for the driver. All is on the left side, including a small box for gloves, a clout for cleaning the quick coupler before connecting it, two small spanners for knife element exchange, and of course, some spare knife elements and screws. And already typical for BISO, a water canister and a soup dispenser. Every time you go back to the cab, you should wash the hands and put the gloves in the box.
CropRanger means the VARIO header with steel frame. Many people know the BISO headers as the VARIO header with a stainless auger and a plastic anti-wrap reel protection. After nearly 20 years, we can say that the steel frame on the CropRanger HighLine has been very good. No cracking, no fails. Very stable. We realised, that the limit of the steel frame is 8.5 to 9.0m. On bigger headers with steel frames, the “bending” effect is bigger than is acceptable by professional customers. You will not recognise it after the first season, but later you will face bigger wear of bearing and cracking on the frame.
On the VX750, the steel frame does a very good job. Combines like CX or Lexions have no problem lifting up the vario header and they have a strong enough hydraulic system to feed the reel hydraulic motor. The TrendLineLight (TLL) has the first significant changes on the header frame. On the HighLine, the vario table moved in the frame and sidewalls. The frame and the sidewalls were one piece. This means, the dividers were in the same position all the time. It was easy to see it when the VARIO was moved back and the dividers were in the front. In the field, it was not such a problem as it looks at the first sight.
After many years, we have very good responses from the customers to the steel frame´s lifetime with no cracks or troubles after 10.000ha. Above 7.5m, it is better to choose the hybrid frame.
On the “new” CropRanger of TrendLineLight (TLL), the sidewalls of the VARIO table move with it. So, the dividers move front and rear with the table. It is more natural. After many years in service, we can say that there is no difference between the frames from durability point of view.
As an option, you can order stainless auger. On our unit, there is a standard steel version. On the VX750TLL model, it is not so important to have the stainless version. The main advantage is the bigger strength and, of course, the lower friction and longer lifetime. On the TLL version, the safety clutch is integrated in the cardan shaft (on HighLine, there is a part of auger drive – a friction plate type). The auger has the fingers in whole and a standard system of height adjustment in the sidewalls. You can do the setup of the fingers´ kinematics on the right-side wall. A specific for BISO is the use of an openable plastic bearing of the auger fingers. Based on that, it is very easy to exchange the finger in the field including the bearing if it is damaged. There is no need to remove the finger shaft. The auger has two rows of striping blades. In the central area of the auger, you can fit one pair of removable auger wings in case of dry season and a very small volume of harvested material (the material flow is managed more in the center).
Looks perfect – the New Holland CX8070SL with BISO CropRanger VX750 TrendLineLiht was a typical bestseller. The second most requested CX model is CX8080SL with a bigger tank, planetary front axle, 900mm tyres and a more powerful software in the engine control model. The VX750 has most of these units, but you can fit them also on the VX850 model with very good results.
Many trailers on the market have only two header supports. If you buy a header with the ProfiTrailer, you will get 4 supports automatically. It’s very important for the lifetime of all header brands. Thanks to the BISO patent, the VARIO table floor is fully covered from the bottom. It is typical for the BISO brand.
Plastic ROBALON floor. It works well but not in stone fields. Actually, we only fit HARDOX floors, as on the HighLine models of the CropRanger line.
On the VX750 TrendLineLight we usually have the steel auger. Our production is on a very high level and the auger is perfectly balanced. The customers working in stone regions with high risk of damage of the auger or the feeder house chains of the combines usually prefer the standard steel version which is cheaper. The stainless auger is stronger, which is on the other hand important for the VX850 and bigger models.
Vario is a typical feature for BISO headers. For many people, the CropRanger comes in hand with the vario table and this point of view is correct. BISO is handling the key patent for the VARIO design and thanks to this our headers have the vario table under a vertical frame. The table moves back under the rear frame and thanks to this, the movement can be bigger (look at the product page). The maximum distance of the knife from the auger is 1050mm and the minimum is 350mm (VARIO fully retracted). Another important thing is that the hydraulic rams are fully covered and protected. On the first models we had 2 bolts on every side of the vario table, later we fitted 3 bolts to improve the reliability of this component. The VARIO system is simple, maintenance is free and after 20 years we can say that this is a technology which is requested as a standard from European customers. As was mentioned, there is a significant update on the VARIO table compared to older models in the HighLine line. On the new TrendLineLight, the header moves with the VARIO table, the front sidewalls with dividers and with the side knives of course. The hydraulic system is different. On the TLL you can move with the VARIO table when you need during the drive, just like on the HighLine, but you can also move with the VARIO in moments when the header drive is stopped (the system uses pressure oil from the combine). And this was not possible on the HighLine. It is an advantage for drivers who switch OFF the header drive at headlands or during repairs.
There is no position sensor on the VARIO table. The driver can generally see the internal sidewalls where the VARIO table actually is. In rapeseed, the VARIO is in the front (usually recommended to go front and a little back to minimise a tension in knife driveline) and the side knifes in vertical position. The dividers are removed and stored on the ProfiTrailer (console above the front axle). In the wheat or barley, in hard conditions with green weed and heavily changing conditions, many drivers systematically work with the VARIO table with a clear target: to achieve the fluent feeding of the combine with the harvested crop. The BISO CropRanger VX is a header which gives drivers the possibility of choice between more driving strategies when in hard conditions. If we simplify the information from many professional BISO drivers, we get two strategies in wheat and barley.
The first is to go back to the auger with the knife and based on the height of the stand, the driver adjusts the position of the knife. It’s very easy to do. The crop has to go fluently into the combine and the reel is only supporting the stalks in the moment of cut. We can say that it is a “conservative” approach, well known from the standard headers with the only advantage of possibility to adjust the position of the knife very precisely. For some drivers it is VERY important to go back with the knife and very near to the auger if the barley is very small during dry years.
The second strategy is to move the VARIO table more to the front (80% in normal wheat) and let the stalks fall down on the stainless VARIO table with the “ears front”. It is perfect when the ears fall just in front of the auger. The material flow is very fluent, the driver has better overview of what is going into the feeder house and some drivers say the trashing is easier if the ears go first into the combine.
One thing is sure. The VARIO table is not only for rapeseed. The VARIO table with the auger technology gives drivers the flexibility during the harvest. The VARIO table is able to follow the high performance combines and feed them fluently. This is the way how to achieve the high quality of harvest and get money home.
The locking/unlocking system of the ProfiTrailer with a cover plate against the dust. The issue was, that the trailer was facing to the torque load peaks during the transport and you never knew in which position would the support console be during the locking procedure. Sometimes it was not easy to move a pin in the eye. This is the reason why the actual trailers have an updated locking system.
The front axle of the ProfiTrailer and the new model of divider´s storage holder (during rapeseed harvest). You can fit the towing drawbar in vertical position and secure it to save up the place in the hall during winter storage. ProfiTrailer follows the combine and thanks to the pivot system of the front axle, you can move with the drawbar towing eye during connecting to combine easily with one hand.
You can adjust the position of the rear axle on the main frame beam. Behind the rear axle you can see the lifter holder. This is a quick coupler system and it takes about 5 minutes maximum to fit the lifters on the VX750. It is important for the quality of the harvest and for minimising the wear of the knife.
ROBALON plastic floor
In 2012 and 2013 when the header on the pictures was produced, it was the “ROBALON time”. At this time, many competitors were saying that the CropRanger is heavy. After some more years, we now know that the CropRanger has no frame failures such as many other header brands do and after many reinforcements from their side, our header is not heavy in comparison. Plus … the combines are stronger and their feeder house has no problem working with three-plus-ton VARIO headers as in case of the VX750 (e.g. CX from New Holland). And this is when the name “LIGHT” has been added to the TrendLineLight header name. With this “LIGHT”, the plastic ROBALON floor, plastic stars of the reel (not used on the unit in the picture) and other things were introduced. For the fields with no stones, you can use a plastic floor without problems. It is a high-quality plastic floor. You can survive the whole season without any damage of the plastic plates, but after one day in a heavy stone field with flat crops, you will suffer some damage for sure. And this is the reason, why our customers prefer expensive but top-quality solutions, one of them being the HARDOX floor plates. The bottom of the header has a completely flat and clean design. Some customers order the HARDOX KIT and they change the ROBALON plastic floor for this HARDOX (dark red colour). Many BISO customers say the CropRanger with the HARDOX floor is perfect (they already know it from CropRanger HighLine).
One driver is able to change crop during 5 minutes. Stand up the side knives, remove the safety knife covers and move the VARIO table to the front. Sometimes you can adjust the auger height.
From a factory, you will receive a knife like this. No protecting shoes. An advantage of this BISO solution is that you can touch the ground and the green weed has no space to stack. The side knife is very aggressive. Some drivers cut out the lowest elements.
You store the protecting covers on the rear side of the header frame during the work in the rapeseed. As you can see in the picture.
If you don´t have such an angle adjustment as this unit in the picture, you have to make a manual setup of the header against the combine before the season. You will adjust the position of the upper console mechanically where the header is hooked on the combine feeder house.
In such fields, you will have no problems with the ROBALON plastic floor. No need of an angle adjustment. But not all fields are like this (Slovakia 2013).
In such a nice wheat, the driver can follow two strategies: the standard one as in the picture (the VARIO table more in the back and the knife near to the auger) or the VARIO on 80% front and the wheat will come to the combine with ears first. At the driver trainings, we haven´t found the best strategy yet. However, it is important for you to have a choice. You can adjust the VARIO table during the drive when you want. And that’s it.
Knife and the knife drive
The drive line layout is standard. On the TrendLineLight, this means that the clutch is on the cardan shaft, the auger is driven by a chain and the knife gearbox by a belt. BISO uses high quality components. The driver has to check the chain and the belt tensioner. And grease the chain, of course. The left sidewall of the header with the drive components is covered by two laminate covers, well known from the Highline. Thanks to the safety rules, the covers are locked by screws which, however, is not the best way for daily morning checks. It’s good to grease the chain every day and grease the knife head, where the grease nipple is (it is easy to reach it from outside). Knives have a standard BISO setup. The knife elements are screwed for easier element exchange in the field. The cast iron double fingers are two times heat treated and have very long lifetime. The crop lifters have a quick fit system and it’s very easy to fit them on the header (5-10 minutes). The knife wear is a never-ending story for discussion for combine drivers. Every season is different. If the new knife works in an area with sandy soil, after heavy rains and with small abrasive particles on the stalks, the wear of the knife is much higher. If the knife drive is overloaded, the knife head screw breaks. It’s easy to change it without any problem, including a night repair. A professional driver should have a knife head, more knife head screws, a knife lever with bushing and a belt in his combine. In the original BISO knife lever, you can exchange only the screw bushing. It’s important to check 6 bolts of the knife head gearbox (and the temperature). If the gearbox is overloaded, the bolts start to loosen.
The reason is usually the crop (wet barley), a worn-out knife and in the most cases heavily worn-out double fingers (or something is wrong on the knife). The same issue is if the oil starts leaking from the gearbox. It’s good to think about the reason why and solve the problem in time. The spare knife is in the trailer (in ProfiTrailer, the new header is delivered with a spare knife).
It’s good to mention, that the angle adjustment is so perfect, that the drivers are able to harvest the flat crops very well. They even say “to shave clean” the flat crops area. This is true and BISO drivers know it well. Thanks to this, they don´t use the crop lifters too much. But don’t forget an important rule. If the knife goes very close to the ground, the wear is higher. It’s good to use the lifters (BISO lifters work quite well) and minimise the wear of the knife and double fingers.
Actually, BISO has a package called Schumacher kit in offer. This includes a Schumacher knife, double fingers and a special transition knife head from BISO. The knife gearbox is the same. Schumacher uses the same knife stroke as BISO. We have very good experience with the Schumacher kit from the 3D FLEX project. The first experience is, that the Schumacher kit is better for stone areas, because the steel and welded double fingers from Schumacher are more resistant against stones. It’s hard to say, but in standard conditions, we expect a longer lifetime from the BISO double fingers, but it is clear that they are more sensitive to cracking. For some customers (owners of Laverda, Deutz-Fahr or John Deere combines), the Schumacher kit is more familiar thanks to the knowledge of it from previous times.
The farmers on high quality soils push lower and lower to make a cut near the ground and chop as much material as it is possible. In the picture the chopper is off and the straw is put in swash. The CX straw walker combines with the BISO headers make perfect rows for baling.
The reel has a hydraulic drive directly from the combine. The hydraulic motor is integrated in the reel tube from the right side.
On the left side we have the reel kinematics and the reel fingers´ angle adjustment. On this header, there is the mechanical version. You have to open the black cover on the left reel arm and adjust the angle mechanically. The electric version is much more comfortable and useful in flat crops.
All the sensitive components, such as the drive lines, are on the left side on this VX750 model. If you do the first pass around the field, it’s better to go anti-clock wise and have the left side oriented to the field with minimum risk of damage.
The copy system (automatic levelling) in combination with the BISO header works perfectly. The hydraulic is strong, powerful and fast.
On the VX750, we use two copy shoes. This means two potentiometers for levelling.
The reel is as we know it from the CropRanger HighLine. Only with small changes. The most important are the plastic “stars” segments on some units. This feature comes from the Ultralight model line as a new feature but after many years the drivers appreciate the standard steel components of the reel stars more. On the other side, the plastic anti-wrap protection received very good response from the field and these black bars on the reel are typical for the BISO headers. It works quite well (… and looks good). The hydraulic drive is integrated in the main reel tube from the right side and the hydraulic houses are “organised” by a plastic “energetic chain”. Again, a good feature. On the left side, you can have an electric adjustment of the reel fingers angle as an option. You can leave this out but it is a very good feature if you work with flat crops.
You can synchronise the speed of the reel with the speed of the combine. Not every driver uses this. But if you need it, the speed sensor specific for every brand of combines (number of teeth is different) is in the right side of the tube in the area of the reel hydraulic motor. On the New Holland CX, you can arrange the pins in the main connector in such a way, that you can handle all standard functions on a multifunctional New Holland lever including the VARIO table movement. Only the angle adjustment and other specific functions will be controlled by the BISO control box.
Behind the drive multifunctional lever and besides the display is the control box for the BISO header. The box is different for headers with electric side knives from the box for hydraulic side knives (the same as for the HighLine VX range).
The reel has a plastic protection against wrapping the harvested material on the reel spring fingers. It looks good and it works. It´s optional, but it´s a typical feature of the BISO CropRanger headers and most of the ordered units have it.
And look at the left side from the cab platform. As a driver, you will not really recognise if you are driving a VX750 or a VX850 model.
During the turn at headlands, you can easily clean the table by moving the VARIO front/rear.
The volume of the combine grain tank is more than important for the contractors. The same is the ability to quickly change the crop.
The splash guard plate is not fitted on our units. From a practical point of view, you have a very good access to the front window during the cleaning of it in the field (you can stand on the header frame easily). With the splash guard, however, it is not so easy and comfortable.
Electric side knives (2ET) against the hydraulic ones (2HT)
Electric side knives are not as popular among the drivers as the hydraulic ones. The model line used on the mentioned CropRanger VX750TLL from 2012 has no real weak point and is a reliable solution. And cheaper. This version is used generally by contractors who calculate every euro invested in the machine. The knives are the same. Only the drive is different. In the upper area, there is a powerful electric motor fitted. Between the motor pulley and the connecting rod of the knife drive is a small toothed belt (under a yellow cover). If the electric side knives are fitted, the control box in the cab is different (the buttons). But the logic is the same. Every driver says that the main problem of the electric drive is the protection against overloading. Historically, different producers used some kind of fuses which were generating some troubles in case of the electric drive. On our system, we have the circuit breakers besides the batteries, one for the left knife and one for the right knife. No fuses. In case of overloading (usually blocking), the side knives and the electric supply is stopped by the circuit breaker. It is true, that you have to stop the machine, go out, open the side panel and switch on the circuit breaker. It will not happen in normal conditions in the field. Such a typical situation, when you have this problem, is the first drive around the field when some branch of a tree can block the side knife. And in this case, the drivers are completely right: With the hydraulic drive, the side knife will stop and nothing will happen (and the driver will switch off the pressure oil supply).
But there is a second incident when you can have this problem. If you touch the ground with the running side knives (and minimum one time per season it will happen). The BISO strategy is that we don´t have the lower part of the knife protected and our side knives go completely down to the ground and do a perfect job in hard crops. Of course, the angle adjustment can increase this risk, for example in soya. If the driver is not so gentle to the header, he can damage the side knives – the lower part. And this is the reason why some drivers cut the lowest knife element to minimise the risk. If you buy a second hand CropRanger, you can check it.
After ten years, we can confirm that it is a paradox but the contractors who harvest 800ha per year in cereals and rapeseed, buy the electric version thanks to the price. It is easy to understand how it works, easy to make service. And if you accept some “rules”, you have no problem with this variant. From the service point of view, it is good to check the yellow thick power supply cables, which are connected to the accumulators. In case of damage of isolation, there is a risk of fire as on all electric wirings on the combine. You don’t need these cables on the hydraulic version.
If you look at the BISO pricelist, you realise that it is not possible to order the electric side knives (ET) with the angle adjustment. Every professional BISO header should have an angle adjustment. The customer who has tried it one time, orders this feature as a standard in the future. That was the reason why many of our VX TrendLineLight 2ET were updated by the factory kit on the version with the angle adjustment. For update, it is important that your frame already has the connecting points welded in the main frame (above the feeder house) for hydraulic rams (99% of TLL should have it). In such a case it is easy to upgrade the header.
What’s more? The hydraulic side knives don´t have only positive things. For all combine brands, their own hydraulic circuit is used. No oil from the combine system as a reel drive. This means that we have the hydraulic pump with a solenoid valve and with a drive chain on the header (under the rear black cover on the left side). This chain must be greased and checked. This means that the hydraulic side knives only work if the drive of the header is ON. The electric ones work when you want.
It is typical for all the side knives that if you don´t use them for a week or longer, they get a little sticky and the first start is usually not so easy. There is bigger resistance. It’s good to spray them with oil to protect them against overloading the drive. And here is the bigger sensitivity of the electric version because the drivers don´t take care of them. In such a case they can damage the small belt on the electric motor (easy to change). The hydraulic system is much more resistant against such cases.
Actually, most of the customers order the angle adjustment with the hydraulic side knives.
In this picture, you can see well that the header has two big copy shoes. Before loading on the trailer, it is recommended to clean the space above them and lock them in the upper position. Not all drivers do this.
This unit has metal stars of the reel (from metal plates). Some units run with plastic modern stars (like on the Ultralight headers). In the front on the left side of the reel arm you can see the line of rollers. It’s typical for the CropRanger model lane. It protects the reel finer from moving to the knife area in a mechanical way. Easy and reliable.
Look at the small bump behind the knife bar. This works as an anti-stone protection. In the picture you can see the realistic situation from the field: You stop the combine and suddenly see that a stone lies in the space between the knife and this trap. The profile and height are the result of many years of experience. This is a compromise between protection and material flow.
This is the real life of a contractor. You never know ….
For such cases, you must have a HARDOX metal floor. It’s approved in the field that in the stone areas, it is better to move the VARIO table more to the front. You can see better what goes on in the combine but, generally, you can hear when the bigger stone knocks on the stainless VARIO table floor.
It’s time to go …
CropRanger is the VARIO header from BISO. For many years it was the benchmark for this class. And the TrendLineLight is the last version of this long story which has started in 2001 with the HighLine. A typical feature for this model line is the steel frame with the VARIO table 700mm stepless movable cutterbar with a stainless-steel bed. Hydraulic, fully integrated side knives, angle adjustment, stainless steel auger, a reel with an integrated hydraulic drive and wrapping protection for reel fine tubes …. Usually delivered with the BISO ProfiTrailer. Actually, we have the models from VX450TLL up to VX850TLL in production. If you are not looking for the FLEX technology, the CropRanger VX TLL is still a very good choice for you. It doesn’t matter if you are a small farmer and you want to enjoy the comfort and harvest quality with the VARIO headers or you are a contractor who is only looking for performance and calculates every euro of running costs.
We have delivered many CropRanger VX TrendLineLights as OEM deliveries to Deutz-Fahr with some specific changes. And not only to DF. But more about this in a future article.
The first straw chopper for Claas combines was from BISO. Later, BISO came to the market with a BISO INTEGRAL CX100 rapeseed extension and started with serial production. It was in 1985. But the customers requested more than an extension. The response was the CropRanger Highline VARIO header. Later, the TrendLine and in 2011 it was the TrendLineLight. In 2013 BISO made a big step forward with the Ultralight 800 header model line with a hybrid frame. And now, a completely new technology from the 3D FLEX project is in production.
The combine harvest is about big stress. The weather, different field conditions and nervous crop owners. Work during a long day and usually in night. For such a job you will appreciate every good detail.
And sometimes it can be a nice scenario.
Slovakia and the Czech Republic in 2013. The new Holland CX8070SL with the BISO CropRanger VX750 TrendLineLight with electric side knives (2ET) and with the BISO ProfiTrailer.
More about the VX CropRanger TrendLineLight headers: http://navigator.biso.eu/en/en-biso/harvesting-technics/biso-vx-crop-ranger-trendline-light/
Leaflet version in ENG for download: http://navigator.biso.eu/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/VX_Crop_Ranger_NH_eng.pdf
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