Customer case

HOLMER beet harvester gets lightweight design with Strenx® structural steel

August 30, 2023 6 min read

Sugar beet harvester made in Strenx high-strength structural steel working the fields.

Case details

Country Germany
Company HOLMER
Industry Agriculture, forestry and fishing

This German manufacturer uses Strenx® structural steel tube to slash the weight of its sugar beet harvesters by 20% – minimizing soil compaction, consuming less fuel and harvesting higher productivity.

Beet harvester part made in the high-strength steel tube Strenx 700 MLH

Case details

Country Germany
Company HOLMER
Industry Agriculture, forestry and fishing

In use all over the world

Located in Schierling, Germany, HOLMER Maschinenbau manufactures sugar beet harvesters for a global customer base. Like many agricultural equipment producers, the company needed to adapt to some extreme conditions: from drought to waterlogging, from dried-up leaves to weed-infested crops, and soil that can be sandy, loamy or rocky. That’s why they turned to Strenx® Tube 700 MLH when they wanted to reduce the weight of their harvester frames and improve performance.

"There's always a harvest underway somewhere in the world, so many of our machines are in use around the clock for up to 3 months. Maximum reliability and availability are therefore a top priority for our products."

Dr. Michael Gallmeier, Head of Development at HOLMER

3 good reasons to lightweight heavy-duty beet harvesters

Lightweight design is a key requirement at HOLMER. For one, a lighter harvester reduces pressure on the ground and the associated risk of soil compaction. Second, such a design allows the company to comply with strict maximum weight requirements, which are particularly important in Germany. There, tri-axle, self-propelled agricultural machines have a weight limit of 32 metric tons, and special approval is needed for driving on public roads. Finally, the lightweight design that HOLMER uses also reduces the beet harvester’s fuel consumption.

The central tubular frame of the new Terra Dos 5 series is now made from high-strength Strenx® structural steel. The switch to this higher steel quality has enabled HOLMER to reduce material thickness by 2 mm while maintaining the same machine stability. On the tri-axle Terra Dos 5, this has reduced the weight of the assembly by about 20 percent. 

Subassemblies for a sugar beet harvester made in Strenx® structural steel.

Cut to length for maximum reach and efficiency

SSAB was able to deliver a semi-finished product measuring 300 x 300 x 10 mm and in the desired length ex works. This brings a clear cost advantage, since waste is minimized. The sub-assembly is mounted on the central tubular frame, from the axles to the attachments. With an engine power of 652 HP (480 kW), enormous forces are applied on this section of the Terra Dos 5, particularly in difficult harvesting conditions.

A square tube in 160 x 160 x 6 mm made from Strenx® structural steel was also used for the lifting unit. Other components, such as the sugar beet defoliator, the Dynacut header, the beet cutter and the rolling table for the first beet cleaning stage, were then mounted. Depending on the design, the lifting unit can harvest 6–12 rows of plants in one pass. And the more rows the harvester covers, the lower the distance traveled per hectare.


Maximum yields, minimum downtime

Sugar beet harvesting is one of the most energy- and labor-consuming processes in the agricultural industry, with much potential for crop damage. That’s why HOLMER uses the optimal technologies and techniques to lift as many sugar beets as possible while preventing losses before the beets are transferred to the harvester tank. Like the company’s previous model, the Terra Dos 5 series has been consistently developed according to the principles of modular, lightweight design. This means that operators can get spare parts or wear parts quickly after three to four harvest runs, depending on soil conditions.
Cut-to-length Strenx steel tubes ready to be shipped ex works and used in a beet harvesting machine.


HOLMER Maschinenbau GmbH is a market leader in self-propelled sugar beet harvesting technology. Founded in 1969, HOLMER developed the first self-propelled six-row sugar-beet harvester in 1974. Since that time, the HOLMER machines have been in successful operation in over 40 countries worldwide. Visit


Customer benefits 

  • Beet harvesters weigh 20 percent less than before 
  • Service life extended for the various components, more reliable operation
  • Wear part costs reduced
  • Lightweight design for a stronger and more durable harvester 
  • Lighter ground pressure and reduced soil compaction

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