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Combine Planter Still Going Strong
Last spring, Dennis Carney pulled his 1990 New Holland TR86 combine out of the shed and started planting corn, just as he has for the past 16 years. First covered in FARM SHOW back in 1991 (Vol. 15, No. 4), Carney's unique double duty combine is still going strong spring and fall.
"It has worked out real well and lasted longer than I expected," says Carney. "I guess I over-built it. I proved that it really doesn't make any difference to the planter whether it is pushed or pulled through the field".
The key to the concept was the big steel axle found on that particular New Holland machine. Carney needed somewhere heavy-duty to hang his semi-mounted planter. The 12-row Case IH Cyclo no-till air planter weighs in at about 12,000 lbs. In the field, most of that weight is carried by the planter units and four gauge wheels. In transport, however, it is carried by the 10-ft. long, 7 by 7-in. toolbar mounted to the front axle and feederhouse mounting brackets.
To hang the toolbar, Carney first removed the header and feederhouse. Then he cut the rear lift assist wheels from the planter and bolted the lift arms to the new toolbar. A new pair of lift assist wheels attached to the front of the planter provides lift.
The idea to use his combine as a power source was a reaction to his need for a larger planter. Trading up from a 6-row to the 12-row unit was going to require buying a larger tractor. One large enough at the time would have cost him at least $50,000. Meanwhile he had his new $130,000, 185 hp, 6-cylinder diesel powered combine sitting in the shed.
"It had twice as much power as I needed," said Carney. "I turned the governor down so it would run smoother at lower rpms. The combine actually carries less weight up front than it was designed to handle."
An added benefit is clear visibility of the planter and the row units day or night. Trash buildup is easy to watch for, although no-till coulters and trash whippers mounted in front of each row unit reduce that problem. Liquid fertilizer tanks are mounted under the combine cab, and spoke injection wheels are mounted in front of the row units.
Carney moved the hydraulic pump and oil reservoir used to power the air planter blower motors from the planter to the combine. He switched it from pto power to combine power by adding a shaft and sprocket and connecting them to the combine's grain unloading auger drive.
"To activate the pump, I pull the lever that normally runs the grain unloading auger," explains Carney.
The switch that normally controls header height operates the planter's rear hydraulic lift. The reel height control switch operates the planter's front lift cylinders and brings the planter wings to a five-degree float position needed to keep the planter wings rigid. With the planter mounted ahead of the combine, Carney can do away with markers.
Once planting is finished, Carney drops the planter in the shed, remounts the cornhead and feederhouse, and he is ready for harvest.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dennis Carney, 3091 Greene Rd., Greene, Iowa 50636 (ph 641 816-4734).

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2006 - Volume #30, Issue #4