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Mini Combine Ideal For Small Fields
When Ron Boyd expanded his heritage grain operation, he needed to find a better way to harvest but couldn’t justify the combines available in North America. Previously, he cut his small grain crops by hand and threshed them with his foot-powered mini-thresher from The Back to the Land Store (Vol. 34, No. 2).
  So he went looking for an alternative that wouldn’t break the bank. After lots of online research and phone calls to China, he found Henan Machinery and Equipment and the mini combine model 4L-0.7B.
  “A million dollar Deere might do a better job, but my ‘combinita’ does really well,” says Boyd. “I used it for the first time last year, and it cut an acre in 30 to 40 min. I harvested about 90 to 100 lbs. of grain per hour, and it was about 90 percent clean.”
  The mini combine is self-propelled with a 3-ft. wide head and a double sicklebar. The double sicklebar gives him the option of cutting the grain heads and the straw separately. The lead sicklebar is on a hand-powered hydraulic lift that can raise as much as 3 ft. Cutting just the grain heads reduces the load going through the thresher. The second sicklebar can be used to lay the straw on the ground or leave it standing.
  The reverse tricycle wheel design uses 2 drive wheels forward and a castor-type tail wheel to the rear. “The drive wheels have individual brakes for primary steering,” explains Boyd. “The operator sits behind the tail wheel and steers it with his feet.”
  The combinita has 3 forward gears and 1 reverse gear. Instead of a hopper, grain is augured to a sack stand.
  While Boyd is very satisfied with the little combine, he did have a few frustrations early on. The engine that came with the combine didn’t meet domestic clean air standards and wasn’t allowed into the country. While cancelling the 12-hp. diesel engine saved him $200, replacing it with a 19 hp. Kohler gas engine added $2,000 to the cost and complications.
  “I asked the sales agent what direction the drive turned, and she swore it was clockwise,” recalls Boyd. “It wasn’t. We hooked it up and put it in forward gear and it went in reverse. It took some machining to match the counterclockwise drive.”
  Other than the engine, Boyd is satisfied overall. “I thought more of it would have been assembled,” he says. “While there were no instructions, it was straightforward and easy to assemble. It was sort of like putting a model car together.”
  Boyd estimates that he has around $10,000 invested in the combine. He paid the sales agent $6,000. The 30 percent import tariff charged by the U.S. government added another $2,000, bringing the total to around $8,000 before adding the $2,000 engine and some spare parts.
  “I was concerned the axial pressure to run sideways off the driveshaft was more than the engine could handle,” says Boyd. “With the help of a buddy who is an excellent machinist, we set up a jackshaft with pulleys from the driveshaft to power the combine.”
  If other readers are interested in his combinita, Boyd is willing to share what he knows.
  “I’m not interested in importing them to sell,” he says. “However, I think there is a market for anyone who is.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ron Boyd, P.O. Box 649, Alcalde, New Mexico 87566 (ph 505 927-0150; rjbinnm@gmail.com).

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #3