A new non-stop two-row bunker harvester has been launched by potato machinery specialist, Grimme.

Originally presented in 2018, its Evo 280 machine has been given a major upgrade, including being equipped with a completely redesigned version of Grimme’s ‘NonstopBunker’ design, which has a capacity of up to six tonnes – as well as the eight-tonne standard bunker.

The increase in bunker capacity also provides a significant increase in the transfer height and width so that greater distances can be bridged between the harvester and transport trailers.

Conventional bunkers are usually emptied in one step onto a transport vehicle, or into boxes when they are full. A continuous unloading process during harvesting means that the bunker is emptied on one side, while it is already being refilled on the other side.

If this process is interrupted because the transport vehicle is full, crop remains on the elevator of the bunker and so the available, theoretical bunker capacity cannot be used.

The ingenious NonstopBunker design allows the bunker floor to be reversed without additional damage to the crop for true non-stop action.

Further advantages include an unloading time of 45 seconds – half as long as that of conventional bunkers. Growers have confirmed an increase in performance of up to 30 % compared to harvesters with a standard bunker, said Grimme.

For added traction, increased ground protection and reduced energy consumption, a hydrostatic wheel drive can be fitted. For the first time on the market, both wheels can be permanently driven hydraulically and it all fits within a road-going transport width. As a power boost, the input power can even be increased for a short time.

The narrow transport width comes from a telescopic axle, which has a retraction of 500 mm. When extended, this axle also ensures exceptional stability in the field.

The ‘Turbo Clean’ feature helps the cleaning operation of certain webs and separators. The drives of the webs and separators are step by step driven with maximum speed so that self-cleaning is achieved. This can be manually activated by pressing a key or automatically activated at the field end.

Height-adjustable steps are available on the picking table, which provide the picking personnel with a comfortable working height. Also available are a waterproof storage box, paddings on the picking table, drink holders and a 15-litre hand wash tank.

And, thanks to the new lighting on the picking table, there’s a first class overview of the crop flow, even in the dark.

When fitted, the SmartView video system – which was awarded a silver medal by the German Agricultural Society (DLG) – gives the driver an overview of the entire machine.

For use on heavier soils, highly wear-resistant plastic share blades can be used, which helps reduces soil adhesion and keeps wear to a minimum. Clod breakers are also available on the first main web to prevent clod build-up in sticky soils without stones.

The hedgehog web of the third separator can also be equipped with plates of long, soft hedgehogs. Stones and clods can sink deeper and thus be separated more efficiently from the crop flow.