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Rebuilt Cutterheads Boost Capacity Of Forage Harvester
When Orvil Klassen, Mountain Lake, Minn., needed more capacity from his Deere 5400 forage harvester about 10 years ago, he decided to replace its J-knife cutterhead with a 64-knife drum.
"It was our design, but similar to the one Deere began using in the 1980's with 40 knives," Klassen says. His objective was to run the cutter without a screen and maintain the same size cut, while increasing capacity. Once he made the conversion, he found capacity had increased by up to 50 percent.
Other farmers who heard about his new cutterhead wanted one like it, so Klassen began manufacturing drums with 40, 56 and 64 knives for the older 5000 series Deere harvesters. "The 40-knife drums are mostly used for dairies, the 56 for beef finishing operations, and the 64 for feedlots feeding earlage, which is chopped-up ears - cobs and all," he says.
Klassen is now experimenting with a 28-knife replacement drum for dairy farmers who operate 5000 series harvesters with kernel processors. "It results in a longer cut for silage," he says. "We're also building a 40-knife drum to replace the 48-knife drum in the Deere 6000 series cutters."
Klassen also buys used Deere 5000 and 6000 series forage harvesters to rebuild and sell. "It has been a good sideline business, complimenting our farming and cattle feeding operation," he says. "We run the machines in our operation, so we have a good idea of what needs to be modified or improved."
In addition to cutting drums and rebuilding choppers, he also rebuilds sharpeners, shear bars and kernel processors.
The 40-knife drum with replaceable shaft sells for $3,500. Klassen keeps a variety of drums available in a range of prices.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Orvil Klassen, O.K. Enterprises, 55617 County Road 13, Mountain Lake, Minn. 56159 (ph 507 427-3520 or 507 427-2050; fax: 507 427-2055; Website: www.ok-enterprises.com).

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2001 - Volume #25, Issue #3