1981 - Volume #5, Issue #4, Page #01[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
First Folding 40-Ft. Header
Last fall, FARM SHOW reported on the first-anywhere folding header from Fisher-Humphries in England. Unlike that header, which folded in the middle, Greg’s header folds up 10 ft. wings at the ends of a 20 ft. center section. Even with the wings up, his header still works, a feature which could make giant-sized headers practical in hilly areas.
Greg farms several thousand acres of wheat, milo, and corn on partnership with his father Harry, and brother Steve. They use 40-ft. planting and tillage equipment, most of which they build in their farm shop. For harvesting milo, for example, Greg built a second 40-ft. header outfitted with Hesston row crop units. Mounted on the Deere 8820, it replaces two Deere 6600’s with 20-ft. headers.
“We often have to go slow to pick up downed crops because of our strong Kansas winds. Consequently, we need lots of header capacity,” he told FARM SHOW. “In grain that’s not lodged, we’ve traveled up to 5 mph in wheat with the 40-ft. header, and up to 6 mph in 60 bu. milo, and 4.5 mph in 100 bu. milo.”
To build the folding 40-ft. grain head, which costs just $5,000, Greg cut up three Deere headers that had been junked for one reason or another. “I cut a 24-ft. header down to 20-ft. for the center section and cut up two others for the 10-ft. wins. On the finished header, the reels are driven by one drive with 90 degree joints. One of the toughest jobs was overlapping the sickles so there would be no gaps between sections in the field.”
The key to the header is in the hinges. With just two 4-in. hydraulic cylinders, they fold the header in such a way that the sections do not kink, even while running. The operator can fold and unfold the header from the cab.
Greg says that in 3,700 acres harvested last fall, the added weight of the 40-ft. header did not put undue stress on the 8820. “They seemed to be built for each other. There are still improvements to be made, however,” he told FARM SHOW. “I’ll probably put separate drives on the reels. Also, this model doesn’t fold to 90 degrees because we didn’t need that much fold for our operation. But the basic design will easily adapt to folding the wings to right angles.”
Greg says both John Deere and International Harvester have expressed an interest in his folding header design, which he would like to sell. Several neighbors, who originally challenged him to build the folding header, are now building their own. Although he hasn’t done it, Morris is confident the folding design will work even better on a corn head.
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