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Air Systems Replace Combine Reels
Using forced air instead of a reel to feed small grains, alfalfa seed lentils, and other crops into the header an Australian concept first featured in FARM SHOW's Vol. 7, No. 1 issue is catching on fast.
Joe Crary, vice president of Crary Co., Fargo, N. Dak., manufacturer of the Air Reel, says "Sales have been fabulous. More than 3,000 combine users have switched to the Air Reel."
There's also been a great deal of interest in the Airway system from Keho Products, Barons, Alb., according to Barbara Gullickson, promotions manager. This is the first year on the market for the Airway system.
Manufacturers of both systems cite the following key advantages: less crop waste, faster combine speeds, better visibility, less driver fatigue, elimination of rocks being fed into the header, no reel wrapping problems, and ground speed isn't limited by reel speed.
The systems are quite similar in that they use air from a fan powered off the sickle drive shaft. This air goes through a flex-tube into a manifold mounted on the reel arms and out nozzles spaced 10-in. apart. The curtain of air pushes the crop and kernals into the header.
On Crary's Air Reel system, the fan is mechanically driven with a two-stage pulley. The fan runs between4400 and 5800 rpms, depending on manifold size and the crop. Crary says some farmers use an optional second fan for added performance in heavier yielding crops, and for combines with wider platforms.
Options to the Air Reel are electric actuators (to adjust tube angle to the sickle) and on-the-go air flow control.
Keho's Airway system runs at 4,700 to 5,500 rpms. The manifold mounts to the reel and air is provided by a backward curve centrifugal blower. Gullickson says this provides more airflow with less energy. The manifold and nozzles are made of aluminium while Crary's are steel.
Crary Air Reels are available for 10-30 ft. headers. A kit for a 20-ft. unit sells for $2,354.
Keho's Airway system is available for 18-30 ft. headers. A kit for a 20-ft. head sells for $2,600 (Canadian dollars).
Both kits take about five hours to install. Once installed, they take just minutes to remove.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Crary Co., Box 1779, Fargo, N. Dak. 58107 (ph toll free 800 362-3145; in N. Dak. 800 732-2422, ext. 151).
Or, FARM SHOW Followup, Keho Products, Box 70, Barons, Alb., Can. T0L 0G0 (ph 403 757-2444).

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1985 - Volume #9, Issue #4