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Owners Report On Best, Worst Combines
Are you satisfied with the performance of your combine? How could it be made better? Are you satisfied with the corn and grain heads available for your combine? Have you modified your combine in any way to improve it in terms of grain damage, field loss, plugging, handling, cab, controls, etc.?
These are some of the questions we asked randomly-selected owners in an effort to highlight those combines that perform with flying colors, and to pinpoint the "lemons" that fail because of poor performance, or failure of the dealer or company to provide service.
Here's how the survey shaped up.
"I can't depend on it at all. There's always something going wrong. In 1,800 hrs., I've spent over $10,000 on parts and labor. When it's running, it does a good job under most conditions," says Dave Jones, Butler, Ill., about his 1979 International 1460 rotary.
"We mounted a Hurricane chaff spreader, developed by Clarke Industries, Rosetown, Sask., Canada, on our 1982 Allis Chalmers Gleaner N-6 combine. We also installed a grain return system made by Allis Chalmers that returns grain back to the rotor instead of the accelerator rolls. Without this modification a Gleaner N-series combine doesn't thresh very well in our part of the country. The cab control for the cleaning fan should be totally redesigned," says Jerry Eliason, Outlook, Sask. Canada.
"It's got the best design in the combine business," says Lin H. Johnson, Idaho Falls, Idaho, about his Allis Chalmers N-6 Gleaner. "The galvanized maintenance-free body is a big plus but the portions of the body not galvanized could benefit from a better paint job. We added flasher and turn lights to the outer ends of our 20-ft. header because we have to drive on roads with heavy traffic. They're wired to function with those on the combine and are visible from front and rear."
Steve Heater, Urbana, Ill., has had trouble with his 1972 Deere 6600. "The 329 cu. in. engine is undersized for handling six rows of corn. After about 1,000 hrs., just about every bearing went out, resulting in tremendous amount of downtime. Deere changed the length of the cleaning fan belts so grain cleaning is now very good. Also, the straw chopper failed. Numerous dealers said it was irreparable but, after some machine shop work, we fixed it. Repairs on this machine are extremely difficult and time-consuming."
"I'm generally satisfied with our 1981 Allis Chalmers F2 Gleaner. Does a clean, efficient job. Although ground speed in corn is slow it does pick up down corn well. I cut back stripper plates on the corn head to allow stalks to enter easier. I also added fluid to the steering wheels for ballast," says Brymer Humphreys, New Hartford, N.Y.
"In our hillside farming operation we need a combine that'll work on up to 50% slopes. We need this cornbine's 2-way leveling device, large traction tires, beefed-up frame, strong drive train and hydraulic system. In addition to it's simple design, it's easy to work on and has good power," says Cecil Martin, Culdesac, Idaho, about his 1980 Allis Chalmers Gleaner MH-2.
"It has a grain loss problem. They should increase the cleaning area by half and reverse the outside straw walker augers. Needs more sieve space for rolling ground," says Alan Talmage, LaGrange, Ind., about his 1982 Deere 6620.
Brady Wheatley, Rich Hill, Mo., is pleased with his 1983 Deere 7720 with 4-WD. "We're satisfied but our older, lighter Deere 55 and 45 performed just as well or better in muddy fields. The 7720 is heavy and hard to maneuver even though it's equipped with 30.5 by 32 rice tires in front and 16.9 by 26 rice tires on the rear. It has plenty of power, good capacity and we like the fast unloading. Both the corn head and flex head are fine."
"It needs a better hydraulic system. I can't raise the platform or swing the auger out when turning and it doesn't steer easily enough. It needs a bigger clean grain elevator because its threshing capacity is bigger than the elevator. The straw chopper should be mounted at the very rear to eliminate spreaders because they throw cobs and heads onto belts and knock

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1985 - Volume #9, Issue #1