1989 - Volume #13, Issue #2, Page #33[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Add on feeder paddles for Deere combines"It's unbelievable how this simple modification improved the feeding and cleaning ability of my combine. I haven't used the header reverser since I installed the paddles more than 2 years ago," says Leonard Juhnke, Sedgwick, Kan., who solved feeding probelms with his Deere combine by removing auger flighting from the center of the feeder auger and replacing it with 24-in. wide "paddles" that help push material into the feederhouse.
Juhnke says that when he first bought his Deere combine, it had a "severe feeding problem in wheat and milo. "We broke the main header driveline due to vibration and lack of proper feeding. The drive belt on the primary countershaft kept wearing out - we'd go through 5 or 6 belts a season. Material would back-feed from the cylinder and the raddle chain continually jumped off the sprockets in the feederhouse. And in general the lack of smooth-feeding caused vibration and problems throughout the en-tire machine."
Juhnke says Deere and company was aware of the problems and worked closely with owners of 8820's and 7720's to come up with modifications to solve the problems. One of their first suggestions was to remove the fighting on the feeder auger in front of the feederhouse. "That prevented some of the bunching up at the center of the feederhouse but it didn't solve the entire problem. Then the company advised owners to speed up the beater 50% but that caused the beaters to break down - the bearings wore out - and they had to be replaced. So they told us to slow the beater down again and stepped up the speed of the sieves and straw walkers. But still there was too much vibration. At the end of the rust two years, Deere brought the combines in and, repaired them. They really tried to solve the problem but they couldn't seem to do it."
When all of Deere's efforts failed to solve the feeding problem to his satisfaction, Juhnke decided to try to come up with his own solution. He observed that Deere's cornhead had two paddles on the feeder auger and thought they might work just as well on the grain platform. He attached two 24 by 4-in. paddles on the feeder auger directly in front of the feederhouse and directly opposite the pickup fingers. The paddles, made out of 1/8-in. thick steel plate, weld to the auger at a 45? angle and are covered with 6-in. wide pieces of heavy-duty rubber belting that "sweep" the floor of the platform.
"I mounted the paddles on the auger three times before I got them right. The 45? angle is critical because it keeps material from wrapping around the paddles. This modification works better than I ever thought it would. The combine now works to perfection, feeding so smoothly and evenly you almost can' t believe it. The best thing about it is that this is such a cheap and inexpensive way to solve a problem that has been bothering Deere for years," says Juhnke.
The paddles are positioned on either side of the feederhouse opening, 4 in. in from either side of the opening. The rubber belting that's bolted to the paddles was salvaged from used bucket elevator. Juhnke says the belting is probably not needed but he likes the flexibility it provides and the way it sweeps the floor of the platform. The 6-in. wide belting overlaps the 4-in. wide paddles by 2 in. He says the 3/8-in. thick belting must be replaced periodically.
Although Juhnke has no plans to develop the feeder paddles commercially, he says he's willing to visit by phone with farmers who want to try the idea. You can reach him at 316 772-5638.
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