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Mini Deere Combine Looks, Works Like The Real Thing
When Allen VanNahmen, Columbus, Ind., built his one-third scale mini combine he had both fun and work in mind.
    He and Charlie Meier turned a Deere F935 front deck riding mower into a 5-ft. tall, 10-ft. long replica of a Deere 9860 STS combine. It turned a lot of heads at the recent 3I show near Great Bend, Kansas.
    The mini combine is built with extremely realistic detail. The header simply pins on in place of the mower deck, and everything on the header works, including the sicklebar, auger, reel, and reel height adjustment. The header can even be used to cut light crops, although the drive system isn't set up to do continuous harvesting. The unloading auger swings in or out, and the chaff spreaders on back actually rotate.
    The driver remains seated in the riding mower's original seat, and all original controls remain useable. By pulling two pins, he can put the mower deck back on and use the combine to cut grass.
    VanNahmen used to work for Machinery Link and, at the 3I show, he displayed the mini combine at the company's booth next to a Deere 9650 STS combine. He has his own company called Farm Buddy and uses the combine in training and promotional events and also as a test model when developing new ideas. He has also used it in 4-H safety and operator training programs and driven it in parades.
    He's using the mini combine to help promote something called "header interface standardization". "I've worked for Deere, Claas, Caterpillar and MachineryLink during my career and have been involved with many new combine product development programs, including the revolutionary XBR2 Bi-Rotor combine during 1992-1995," says VanNamen.
    "One of my main projects now via my company is trying to push through a new ASABE proposal for header interface standardization between combine headers and feederhouse frames, including drives, hydraulics and electrical systems. There's a growing interest in this idea, as a wider variety of headers become available, including flex headers, Shelbourne Reynolds stripper header, MacDon and Honeybee draper headers, and corn heads from Geringhoff, Draco and Marion Calmers. A lot of farmers would like to try using some of these newer headers and see how they work. But because mounting brackets are not universal it's difficult to do."
    VanNahmen offers 1/4-scale kits for building your own mini combine that mounts directly on Deere F700 series front deck riding mowers. No permanent modifications are necessary to the original mower.
    The main component is a welded tubular frame that fits over the riding mower. Also included are pre-cut poly side panels for front, sides and rear; four headlights and four rear lights; power panel including five switches and wire harness; 4-piece poly flared grain tank extension; swingout unloading auger and rubber boot; and cab roof, steering column, steering wheel, seat, and SMV sign. Available in green, red, yellow or white poly colors.
    Several options are available, including pivoting ladder and front handrails; dual electric chaff spreaders; electric unloading auger swing cylinder; "Little Boy" operator; 4-way flashing hazard light kit; cab dome light to light up the operator; Lexan cab windows; and decal set with reflective tape. Other options include a bristle unloading auger to deliver candy out the end of the unloading auger, and a trough to deliver candy to the chaff spreaders.
    Sells for $4,000 plus tax and S&H.
    A 1/4-scale grain header is also available and sells for $3,000.        
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Allen VanNahmen, 1220 Countryside Lane, Columbus, Ind. 47201 (ph 812 342-0216 or 812 343-2370; fax 812 342-7608; farmbuddy@aol.com).

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2006 - Volume #30, Issue #4