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Swing Angle Hitch For Pull-Type Combines
A new "swing angle" hitch that provides better pickup and practically eliminates side draft is a big hit with Canadian operators of pull-type combines who've had a chance to try it.
Developed by Manitoba farmer and engineer Alex McWilliams, the new hitch swings the entire combine body by up to 22? to approach the windrow at an angle rather than head-on. McWilliams says the idea will also work on self-propelled combines by angling the header out in front of the combine and extending the feederhouse.
"It simply makes the pickup more efficient. The pickup fingers cross the swath at an angle, picking up the crop crosswise. It lets the combine pick up any swath quickly and without hesitation so the crop isn't dragged or missed completely. The device is particularly good in thin or downed crops. Any pickup can handle a good swath but, when conditions are bad, there can be a tremendous amount of loss," explains McWilliams.
Installing the angle kit on a pull-type combine brings it in directly behind the tractor. This puts the pto shaft in a straight line which cuts down on vibration and, according to McWilliams, practically eliminates the side-draft problem with most pull-type combines. "It also lets operators get into corners and works great in shattering crops because it gets them onto the draper faster. When unloading, it's handy because, by swinging it around, it gets the auger out farther so there's less maneuvering by tractor and truck," says McWilliams.
The add-on kit consists of hydraulic cylinders that fit on either end of the pull-type combine axle. Acting as a sort of tie rod, it turns the wheels "on the go" to varying angles up to a maximum of 22?. In different fields, the inventor says, you can vary the angle for the best pickup to adapt to whatever shape the swath happens to be in.
"Farmers already do what this add-on kit does when they zig-zag their combine back and forth across the swath. This just makes it easier to do," says McWilliams.
The add-on hitch kit is currently available only from Coop Implements as an option on the company's pull-type combines that sells for $2,000 to $3,000. McWilliams is looking for other manufacturers to offer the kit as option on their machines and he says he plans to offer the angle kit as a do-it-yourself add-on for existing pull-type combines in the near future. He has also designed a kit for conventional self-propelled combines which will turn the header of an angle to the swath, extending the combine feederhouse.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Alex McWilliams, Box 168, Pilot Mound, Manitoba R0G 1P0 (ph 204 825-2861).

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1984 - Volume #8, Issue #2