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Built-From-Scratch Combines Designed For Stripper Headers
Shelbourne Reynolds stripper headers do such a great job of stripping wheat and rice off stalks that there's no need for most of the grain-cleaning components found in conventional combines. So say a group of California farmers who designed and built their own combines geared for stripper-headers.
John Kalfsbeek, with the help of his partners and farm employees, built the combines from the ground up. The result was lower cost machines that get the job done faster. They reduced the time needed to harvest their 3,000-acre rice crop from 45 days to 24. The time needed to harvest their 800-acre wheat crop has also been cut in half.
It all started in 1993 when the Sacramento Valley farmers decided commercial combines were just "too much" machine for their super efficient 18 and 22-ft. Shelbourne headers, which strip rice, wheat, canola and peas from the stalks. So they built four combines of their own design that cost about half as much as the Case-IH and Deere harvesters they used before.
John Kalfsbeek, who passed away recently, felt that elevators and straw walkers and other grain cleaning components were "excess bag-gage", since "stripped" crops are mostly threshed before they reach the feederhouse.
"We wanted a machine that would handle the large volume of relatively clean grain that can be stripped at high speeds with the Shelbourne header," says Derek Scofield, John Kalfsbeek's grandson. He and his brother Bart now work for their uncle Jake Kalfsbeek in the family partnership.
"Three of the combines were built in our shop and one was built by Sweco (2455 Palm St., P.O. Box 259, Sutter, Calif. 95982; ph 530 755-0521; fax 1321). Each was built for about $150,000. Commercial machines sell for about $250,000," says Derek. "And we've been able to cut our harvest time in half."
The combines feature a 60-in. rasp bar cylinder and concave from a Deere 9600 and a Caterpillar 3208 turbocharged 250 hp engine.
The wide bodied combines measure 144 in. from center of tire to center of tire. They're equipped with Sweco-built twin 12-in. dia., 15-ft. long augers. They'll unload the 275 bu. grain in 45 seconds on-the-go. Unlike other combines, grain tanks on the company's ma-chines are located at the bottom of the units. This lowers the center of gravity and eliminates the need for elevators.
Once grain is stripped from stalks, it passes up the feederhouse into the cylinder. From there, it's deposited on an elevator belt that elevates it and drops it onto a 60-in. by 10-ft. screen. Air blows away chaff.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Derek Scofield, 610 7th St., Colusa, Calif. 95932 (ph 530 458-5294).

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1998 - Volume #22, Issue #5