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Old Combine Converted Into Hybrid Windrower
"I've cut tangled up hay that other machines couldn't get through," says Iowa farmer Dean Ouverson, of ClearLake, about the 14 ft. wide hybrid windrower he made by mounting the reel and crimper from a self-propelled Owatonna 350 windrower on a stripped-down 1967 Massey Ferguson 510 combine.
Ouverson, who does custom cutting of hay and oats, says his Owatonna windrower, equipped with a 4-cyl. Ford engine, "never had enough power to cut down hay. When the engine blew up, I decided I didn't want to spend the money for a new windrower. By marrying up the old one with an old 510 Massey, I ended with a hybrid windrower that works as good or better than a $20,000 rig."
Ouverson widened the combine's chassis 8 in., allowing him to tuck the Owatonna crimper under the frame's center. He also installed canvas from the Owatonna reel. Otherwise, the revamped rig is all combine.
The combine's cab and engine were originally mounted side by side. Ouverson used a cutting torch to center the cab over the frame. He dismantled the combine, removing the cylinder, straw walkers, concaves and other internal parts. He then moved the engine to the rear, behind the cab, and salvaged a newer and sturdier reel from another combine, shortening it 2 ft.
"The combine's variable speed hydraulic transmission drives the reel. Reel speed is independent of ground speed and can be varied from the cab," says Ouverson. "When I get into down or tangled hay, I can slow ground speed and speed up the reel for faster cutting action," Ouverson points out. "The original windrower was pto-powered and everything shook to pieces. I had to replace wobble box drive ends on it every 50 acres. In contrast, I cut 450 acres with this hybrid rig this past year and never had to replace any of the drive parts."
Ouverson moves a lever in the cab to raise and lower the belt-powered crimper. When he switches from hay to oats, he can raise the crimper high enough so that oats go under it.
"Switching between oats and hay was a big job with the old windrower," says Ouverson. "I had to put the crimper on and take it off. To remove it, I had to block up the machine, remove bolts and belts, then set it down and drive away. Hooking it backup was even more of a job."
Thanks to the 105 hp Chevy V-8 engine, Ouverson can cut hay at 6 to 7 mph, and "up to 10 acres per hour in good going. This rig isn't quite as maneuverable as a self-propelled windrower, but plenty good. With a steering wheel, it's a lot easier to drive than stick steering.
"My new hybrid windrower uses about gal. of gas per acre. I don't run the engine as fast as I did on the combine because I don't need as much power," explains Ouverson. "If I were to build another rig like this, I'd use a Massey 410 combine with a Chevy 292 engine. It would probably get by on a gal of gas per acre."
Ouverson plans to add a few "finishing touches" to his hybrid windrower, including air conditioning and a metal hood over the engine "to dress it up."
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dean Ouverson, Rt. 3, Box 252, Clear Lake, Iowa 50428 (ph 515 797-2716).


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1988 - Volume #12, Issue #1