“The Tribine, as a part of a harvesting system, will reduce overall compaction”

For many people looking at the Tribine in the field at the Farm Progress Show in Boone the question was ‘how does it reduce compaction?’ You first see a Tribine harvester on four large tires, harvesting and then carrying up to 1000 bushels of grain through a field. How can such a vehicle reduce compaction and help yields?

What is sometimes overlooked is that each vehicle in the field is part of a harvesting system.

A farming system is unique to each farmer, that may involve multiple combines, tractors, and grain carts. Each of these vehicles when moving across the field contributes to compaction and negatively impacts yields.

The beauty of the Tribine in a system, is it provides the farmer flexibility to decide how, and when, to unload.

This flexibility potentially eliminates the need for at least one grain cart and tractor in most farm operations. Instead of forcing a farmer to rely on traditional harvesting and unloading systems such as chaser carts and tractors, the Tribine allows each individual farming operation to choose the method of harvesting best for them. When you customize the process of harvesting based on your specific system through these decisions you reduce compaction.

Compaction occurs in different ways, in different systems

  • In smaller farm operations, there may be a single traditional combine. When full, the small grain bin forces the combine to return to the wagon and unload, then return empty to resume harvesting. All this additional distance and combine weight compacts the field without even harvesting.  In simulations over half the total compaction is from having to move in the field when not harvesting.
  • In other operations, a tractor is pulling a grain cart in the field next to the combine, unloading from the combine until the grain cart itself is full. Three vehicles and the accumulated grain in the combine and/or the grain cart now cause compaction. The total weight, distance, and number of tracks in the field from all vehicles are considerable. A tractor and grain cart with grain can weigh over 50 Tons.

What is often overlooked is the grain in the field must travel off the field in some system or method. Whether in the combine bin or traveling along side in a cart, the compaction impact from the weight of the grain is the same. But in the grain cart example you have doubled or tripled the vehicle weight in the field.

The Tribine provides flexibility to the farmer and reduces compaction in the following ways

  • Ability to make field rounds – Tribine can carry grain for a considerable distance before the 1000-bushel grain bin is full; 1.4 miles in 200 bushel per acre corn, 2.4 miles in 80-bushel wheat or beans, using a 12 row head. This allows a farmer to make complete field rounds before unloading quickly into the wagon at the end of the field, or wherever you have placed one or more wagons. The Tribine enables a decision of when to unload, potentially at 700 or 800 bushels at the end of the field. The Tribine does not force the farmer to use a tractor and grain cart in the middle of the field. >95% of in-field motion is harvesting time.
  • Reduce at least one tractor and grain cart in multiple tractor-grain cart operations – Some farms use multiple tractors and grain carts so that the harvester does not have to stop. In higher yield fields the 300-400 bushels in a traditional combine quickly fills, and the grain cart will fill to 1000-2000 bushels and it then moves to unload off the field. The Tribine with 3X the carry of many combines, allows much better planning for unloading on the go, giving significantly more time for a reduced number of tractors and grain carts to be in the field. An operation using a single tractor and grain cart can completely fill from the Tribine’s bin. If you are currently using two tractors/grain carts, the Tribine will eliminate at least one set and several miles of compacting alongside the harvester.
  • Single pair of tracks – The Tribine has full time 4WD with aligned low ground pressure tires. Using these Goodyear LSW flotation tires there are always just two tracks per field pass. Compare this to alternative systems where eight or more non-aligned pairs of tracks, from three vehicles, traveling side by side and in different directions in a field.

We often see a vehicle like the Tribine as larger than other combines; it actually weighs about the same and has the same length as a Deere or Case combine. The weight of grain is only more in the Tribine vs other combines when the bin fills more than a traditional combine. Again, that grain would either be in the Tribine, or multiple other vehicles in the field. It is what the Tribine enables you to remove from the compaction equation that is not seen.

We encourage you to review three simulations of typical farm operations and view the Tribine as part of a system to reduce total compaction.

The measure of compaction we use counts how far in the field the weight travels for all vehicles in the whole system of harvesting. We call this “Ton Miles” – it shows that regardless of field size, yields, header size, the Tribine as part of the system will reduce Ton Miles and therefore compaction.

A reduction in compaction increases yields. The Tribine provides money back to the farmer that is lost in operations due to yield impacts from inefficient combine movements, multiple grain carts, and tractors. Making no-till farming profitable due to the compaction issues affecting yields can be difficult. Tribine can make farms more profitable through reducing capital and operating costs and improving yields. This makes a significant difference in no-till farming and the majority of farming systems.