Austoft Cane Harvesters Solve Labour Shortage Issues in Indonesia

PT Perkebunan Nusantara (PTPN II) is an Indonesian Government-owned enterprise. Their site in North Sumatra covers 90,000 hectares with 8,000 hectares under sugarcane production. Recently, PTPN II took delivery of four special edition Case IH Austoft 8810 sugarcane harvesters, which will make a significant improvement to the efficiency and consistency of their harvesting operations.

North Sumatra, Indonesia

Sugarcane harvest labour shortages have been a perennial challenge for leading Indonesian sugarcane, palm oil and tobacco producer, PT Perkebunan Nusantara II (PTPN II), however the enterprise’s latest investment in four Austoft® 8810 sugarcane harvesters from Case IH is set to dramatically increase productivity and harvest quality during their next harvest.

PTPN II is an enterprise owned by the Government of Indonesia, with more than 10 plantation sites across Indonesia, including 90,000 hectares at their site in North Sumatra, of which 8000 hectares are dedicated to sugarcane.

One of the largest challenges for PTPN II is finding enough labour to harvest the crop between January and April, before the monsoon season begins.

Another consequence of manual sugarcane harvesting is the inconsistent cutting height which can have a drastic effect on the regrowth and yield of subsequent crops.

To mitigate the risks of continuing to rely on manual labour, and to increase total productivity and profitability, PTPN II turned to their local Case IH distributor, PT Altrak 1978, who recommended the Austoft 8810 sugarcane harvester as a solution.

PT Altrak 1978 has a longstanding association with the agricultural brands of Case IH’s parent company, CNH Industrial, and initially forged its relationship with PTPN II back in the 1980s.

The excellent service and support offered by PT Altrak 1978 was one of the main factors behind PTPN II’s decision to purchase Case IH machinery.

Mr. Guntur Girsang, Central Workshop Manager of PTPN II, said the ease of operation of the Austoft 8810 sugarcane harvesters is a big benefit to their farming operations.

With features such as AccuTurn, which automates up to 10 harvester functions at the end of the row, the Austoft 8810 is an easy-to-operate machine designed to maximise productivity and minimise costs.

The Austoft 8810 is fitted with high-strength steel tracks that deliver both excellent flotation and traction, allowing it to traverse damp or soft ground and minimise compaction. The powerful 353 hp FPT Cursor 9 engine gives the Austoft 8810 enough power for even the densest cane, while the SmartCruise system automatically reduces the engine speed when the power demand drops, ensuring maximum fuel efficiency.

“The biggest benefits of the Austoft sugarcane harvesters are solving our lack of sugarcane labour, and cutting the cane lower and more cleanly, which makes the next cane shoots grow better,” Mr Girsang said.

An unusual feature of the four units delivered to PTPN II is the special black paint scheme designed to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Austoft in 2019, when the units were ordered.

From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, CNH Industrial and its brands such as Case IH have found innovative solutions to overcome unprecedented challenges in order to deliver mission critical equipment the world over, including delivering these four Austoft machines in Indonesia.

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