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Hydraulic Repair kit for Deere flex planters
An Illinois specialty manufacturer is doing a booming after market business retrofitting Deere 7200 flex-fold planters with a hydraulic repair kit that replaces the manifold system that feeds oil to lift wheels.
"I've talked to Deere dealers in 22 states and they've all got the same complaint," says Joel Taylor of Danville Rubber Indus-trial Pipe & Supply (D.R.I.P.S.), Danville, Ill. The problem part is a hydqulic manifold inside the toolbar on 16-row front-fold planters and even on some 12-row. Hydraulic hoses connect to the manifold which then directs oil to cylinders on the lift wheels. Until 1986, all such manifolds on Max-Emerge planters were made out of seamless tubing with welded joints. In 1986, the company switched to a new multi-piece compression fitting that uses a variety of rubber, nylon and other compression-type parts. Since then, all new planters have the new system as do replacement kits for older model Max-Emerges built in 1985 and before.
"The joints generally don't start leaking until the second year when the rubber dries out and other fittings weaken. Then you start losing anywhere from 1 gal. of fluid a day up to 7 or 8 gal. of fluid, depending on how bad it gets. Many fanners don't even realize they have a problem - they just keep replacing the fluid - but if you look at the bottom of the toolbar you can usually spot the fluid leakage," says Taylor. "Deere doesn't acknowledge the problem because it generally shows up after the 1-year warranty period has expired, but if you talk to dealers, they'll tell you another story."
D.R.I.P:S. first got exposed to the problem when a Deere dealer asked the company to help one of his customers, who owned over a half million dollars of Deere equipment and was threatening to switch to Case/IH if the dealer couldn't solve the leakage problem on his 16-row 7200. D.R.I.P.S. took a look at the planter and put together a kit made out of seamless steel tubing with welded joints that's much like the system Deere itself had been using.
"Deere's manifold today has 199 separate pieces inside the box beam. Our manifold has just 8 pieces with socket weld fittings. Deere's replacement parts take about 6 hrs. to install. A farmer can install our kit in just 2 hrs., using a special wrench we supply with the kit. We guarantee the manifold for 2 full seasons," says Taylor.
"One dealer I talked to told me he'd sold six 16-row flex-fold planters but that none of them have a problem. I suggested he take a closer look. He called me back soon after and said he'd looked at four of the planters and they all had leakage. Nationwide, 80 to 85 percent of the dealers we've talked to have had flex-fold planter manifolds that have begun to fail after one year."
Deere's replacement parts - identical to the original parts - sell for $637 (approximately $800 installed). D.R.I.P.S. sells its Kit tor ZSO9 directly to farmers or dealers. Comes with complete do-it-yourself instructions. Although Taylor says the problem has been most severe on Deere 16-row flex planters, the company will custom-assemble manifold kits for other models`
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Danville Rubber Industrial Pipe & Supply, P.O. Box 0094, 703 E. Williams, Danville, Ill. 61834 (ph 217 443-0269).

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1991 - Volume #15, Issue #4