Any description of the new Challenger Model 680B Class VIII combine, which is slated to hit the market in time for the 2006 harvest, is bound to contain a few adjectives… the most frequently used being “first,” “largest” and “biggest.”

“Customers will find a number of industry-leading features on this innovative machine,” says Bruce Hart, general marketing manager for Challenger combines. “Among them is the ‘largest rotor in the industry.’ Measuring 31.5 inches in diameter and 140 inches in length, it allows the 680B to operate at higher ground speeds for maximum productivity in a wide variety of crops.”

However, this is just the beginning of the 680B's impressive feature list, which also includes a massive 350-bushel grain tank; a 425-horsepower Caterpillar engine, and a generous 230-gallon fuel tank.

The 680B additionally boasts the fastest unloading rate in the industry at 4.5 bushels per second. That's quick enough to shave up to 45 minutes off the daily unloading time compared to similar-sized competitive models.

“One of the best features of the 680B, though, is its simplicity,” Hart adds. “Like the smaller 660 and 670 models, it uses only 11 belts and three drive chains to operate the entire machine. That translates into fewer adjustments, less grain loss and decreased downtime and maintenance.”

The Advanced Harvesting System rotor (AHS) for example, performs four major functions-intake, threshing, separation and discharge-without the extra augers, drives, gears and discharge rotors found on other machines.

Powered by a dedicated hydrostatic drive system and an electronic control system that regulates oil flow, it maintains a selected rotor speed regardless of changes in the engine speed or field conditions. A three-speed gearbox allows the operator to select the ultimate torque and speed range up to 1,040 rpm.

Should a plug occur, the operator can also reverse the rotor without leaving the cab, using full hydrostatic power.

Power to operate the new Model 680B comes from a 12.5-liter (766 cu. in.) Caterpillar C13 engine. Featuring the latest ACERT technology and ADEM 4 electronics, it meets all mandated engine emissions requirements without sacrificing performance, durability or reliability. It also offers a power boost of 459 horsepower at 1,900 rpm to handle the tough challenges that occur during harvest.

The 680B has its soft side, too, particularly when it comes to the operator. It starts with 121.4 cubic feet of space inside the cab for total comfort and room to stretch out. Naturally, a fully adjustable, cloth-covered seat is standard.

The 680B cab amenities also include a 14-inch leather covered steering wheel; a companion seat with its own seat belt, back rest, under-seat storage, and power adjustable mirrors.

“Another unique feature that is standard on the 680B is the new GTA Console II system,” says Hart. “Featuring CAN Bus electronics and a microprocessor-based monitor, it offers system diagnostics, interlock, environmental control and flex logging of combine functions via CAN Bus interface.”

To learn more about the Model 680B combine, or any of the other 600 Series models, visit your nearest Challenger dealer or go to the Challenger Web site at www.challengerag.com.