2019 - Volume #43, Issue #3, Page #28[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Bean Head Reel Hay Fluffer
The 12-ft. wide fluffer picks up a wet, matted alfalfa windrow and gently lays it back down in the same place. “It doesn’t knock leaves off and, by fluffing the windrow, reduces hay drying time by a day,” says McCarty. “My 86-year-old dad helped me build it. We used parts off International Harvester and John Deere machines, so we call it our InterJohn.”
McCarty says he grows 3 acres of alfalfa and couldn’t justify a commercial fluffer. “I sell most of the hay I grow to horse owners. They don’t want moldy hay, so I have to put it up right. A tedder would scatter the hay and knock too many leaves off.”
He got the Deere bean head free from a local farmer who had parked the combine in a pasture years ago. “The hydraulic pump and control valve came off an old IH 715 combine owned by another farmer, and I bought the IH culti-mulcher as scrap metal,” says McCarty
The windrow fluffer doesn’t have a pto or gearbox. Instead, it relies on the hydraulic pump that drove the reel on an IH bean head. “The pump chain-drives a big 50-tooth sprocket that controls the speed of the tines. As the tines lift the hay up, it falls off gently onto the ground,” says McCarty.
He started with a 12-ft. Deere bean head reel and cut 4 ft. off it to make the reel 8 ft. wide. He turned the reel around to face backward, since the reel is now being pulled instead of pushed. Then he replaced all the reel boards and turned the teeth to face in the same direction as they did on the combine. He also removed a 50-tooth chain-drive sprocket from one end of the reel and welded it onto the opposite end so that it would rotate in the right direction to keep the crop moving backward.
McCarty cut the frame and tongue off the culti-mulcher and welded it along with the wheels and axle to metal riser tubes on both sides of the reel. He mounted the pump and a control valve on the frame just ahead of the reel, and mounted a control valve on front of the frame that’s used to control reel speed.
The reel is raised up or down by cranking a handle on back of the reel. “To make the handle, I drilled a hole through the multi-culcher frame and then ran an Acme all-thread rod down through it and into a nut I welded to the riser. The Acme rod has a coarser thread, so it takes fewer cranks to raise the reel up or down,” says McCarty. “I can’t raise or lower the reel hydraulically because my Deere 3010 tractor has only one set of remotes, and I needed them to operate the pump.”
He removed the wheels and axle from the culti-mulcher frame, then turned the frame upside down, remounted the wheels and axle, and welded their upright supports to the frame.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Brad McCarty, 4241 Vermundy Rd., Kinmundy, Ill. 62854 (ph 618 780-3552; firstname.lastname@example.org).
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