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Taking aim at growth in the potato market

The Keiler II Classic from Ropa is an addition to the company’s two-row potato harvesters, scheduled for series production in time for the 2020 harvest. An Isobus control unit is equipped.

The Keiler II Classic (Source: Ropa)

After several years of field testing, pilot models of the harvesters are already in operation in parts of Europe for the 2019 season. The machine is generally similar to the Keiler II. The main difference is in the separation units. The Classic has two pintle belts instead of four. The Classic instead has a very spacious sorting stand with room for up to eight persons at the sorting belt with haulm conveyor. With the extendable platform in addition to the haulm conveyor the machine makes a convenient workplace for the sorters. Paired with the height-adjustable platforms this allows every workstation to be separately adjusted.

Where cleaning requirements are minimal, the rotating finger comb (UFK) can be replaced with triple deflector rollers and the haulm conveyor can be left out. This can save money and weight, said the company. These options are available as modules for retrofit if required. The option of conversion is taken into account from the start of the design process. The same applies for the machine with four pintle belts. The previous machine can also be supplied for the 2020 season with optional deflector rollers instead of the UFK and without the haulm and discharge conveyors.

The Keiler II Classic again in action (Source: Ropa)

The Keiler II Classic, like all models, is fully hydraulically driven and comes with the Isobus control unit as standard equipment. The quick-change frame for the pickup is also integrated as standard equipment, enabling this machine to be used for harvesting onions and other specialized crops with the reduced cleaning units. The telescopic axle has also been integrated to allow extension by up to 3 m during harvesting and up 3,5 m to ensure high stability with lifting.

Like the current model, the Classic can be optionally fitted with drive wheel and truck loader bunker. The volume of the truck loader bunker on the Classic can be increased above 6 t. During last year's field tests, the overall design demonstrated very high output with maximum product protection in areas with low cleaning requirements (sandy or separated soils). According to the company, without the cleaning units (pintle 1 and pintle 2), the machine is more open, accessible, and easier to service than the previous Keiler II.

This model will be available for sale starting at Agritechnica 2019. It will be presented to an international professional audience at Potato Europe in Belgium for the first time. Ropa anticipates positive growth in world sales with this model with the population of Keilers increasing rapidly from the current more than 350 machines delivered. The outlook for this development in the potato market is positive, according to them.


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