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1990 - Volume #14, Issue #5, Page #02
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Tire Header Reduces crop Shatter Loss

A Kansas farmer who didn't like the crop loss caused by sickle and reel shatter on his combine header built his own header from scratch using old rubber tires to gather the crop in.
David Sauder, of LeRoy, built the "tire header" for his 1983 Gleaner F2 6-row combine. A series of 12 horizontally-mounted lawn mower wheels are used in place of the reel to gather plants in. The 16-in. tires are mounted horizontally just above the sicklebar. They're supported by a steel frame that mounts on the reel arms. The orbit motor and hydraulic system that normally drives the reel is used to rotate the center tire which in turn drives all of the other tires, with each pair of tires turning inward.
"It's a simple, economical way to reduce crop shatter loss and requires very little maintenance," says Sauder, who has tested the system on soybeans and milo for two years. "I built it because my reel tended to batter the crop, especially when it was dry. My rotating tires gently hold plant stems without shaking them while the sicklebar cuts them. I haven't checked for an in-crease in yield, but I know there is one. I can vary the tires' speed of rotation ac-cording to crop conditions simply by adjusting the speed of the orbit motor. It eliminates all of the shafts, sprockets, belts, gears, and chains found on most headers. The only moving parts are bearings inside each wheel hub. As far as I know there's nothing else like it on the market."
Sauder removed the reel and bolted a length of 4 by 4-in. sq. tubing onto the reel arms. The tubing runs horizontally above the full width of the header and supports a series of 2 by 2 in. sq. tubes spaced 30 in. apart that extend downward at an angle, with each tube supporting a pair of wheels, each of which is bolted to a hub. Plastic shields above each pair of tires prevent plant stems wedged between the treads from being thrown off by the tires.
"Since the photo was taken I've switched from tread tires to smooth tires to prevent plant stems from wedging," notes Sauder. "I also plan to design a tire header that'll pick up down soybeans. I'll mount the tires on a flex bar so they can float with the cutterbar."
Sauder spent $1,200 to build the tire header.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, David Sauder, Rt. 1, LeRoy, Kan. 66857 (ph 316 964-2330).
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1990 - Volume #14, Issue #5