Tuesday, November 16, 2010

And end to life as we know it ?

No, I haven't changed religions.  No, I haven't become a Vulcan.
 I did agree to buy a combine.  Yes, a green combine. This isn't the actual combine, but it's just like it.
I hope Adam understands.

I didn't want a green combine.  It's kind of like speaking a foreign language.  But I survived the switch from Massey to IH.  It's not quite that big a change.  (Remember what they told us?  Just think about what you would do on the MF and do the opposite.  It usually worked!)

We traded our 2166 with a 20 ft platform and 6 row corn head for a 9660 with a 30 ft platform and 8 row corn head.  I said when I started looking I had 3 requirements.  It had to be 4WD, under a certain number of hours, and a specific maximum annual payment.  I didn't go to every dealer in the country searching for the absolute bottom dollar.  I did go to my local dealers (one in particular I bent over backwards trying to work with) as well as contacting others.  I told them what I had and what I wanted (4WD, hours, payment) and would consider most any suggestion. two dealerships have not gotten back to me at all.  One did send me an email with one combine late Monday after promising to email me several options the previous Wednesday.

It's obvious these guys never sold copiers.

OK, so what is this big green thing?  I won't give specs because they would just be numbers to you. Here is the bottom line: This machine will cut as much in one two rounds as the old combine did in 3.  In corn I don't know it will be 50% bigger but it will be at least 30%.

We've watched folks around here with red combines and 30 ft heads.  I don't know if it is the combine, the heads, or the operator, but unless you get to a BIG red combine they just don't seem to get a jump in productivity over the 2166.  We demo's a 9660 (not this one but one just like it) in double crop beans with green stems and it just walked through them.  It doesn't spread straw quite as perfect at the 2166 with a 20 ft head, but then again I haven't seen anything that was as even as it was.
Another thing it will allow us to do is switch back and forth quicker between corn and beans.  The head has a ... I forget JD's term for it but most folks call it single point hookup.  Instead of unplugging several hoses and an electrical connection then unlocking the header, you plug in one connection and latch it and the header is ready to go.

The other feature that really appealed to us is setting everything from in the cab.  With the 2166 to switch from beans to corn you disconnect 4 hoses, unplug the electrical connection, unhook the driveshafts, drop the safety latch, unhook the header locks, raise the safety latch, remove the platform, put on the cornhead, drop the safety latch, crawl under the header and lock it on, hook up the driveshafts, change the concave, sieve and shoe settings, change the chopper belt, move the chopper knives, adjust the fan speed, get back out of the cab and raise the safety latch you forgot, and if you were practiced up you could be going in half hour to 45 minutes.

I've not actually done this yet, but I've watched the neighbor do it on his Deere.  Unlatch the single point, drop the platform, pick up the cornhead, latch the single point, change one belt (from the ground, no crawling up inside the combine), touch the corn setting on the screen in the cab, and go.  He says "Yes, it is that easy".

One change that we asked for was the tires.  This one has rice tires and we asked they switch them for regular tread.  Neighbors had a lot of wheat a couple years ago and rented a combine identical to theirs with rice tires.  On wet sand they are too aggressive and dig a hole too quickly.  The rig with rice tires was stuck (more than once as I recall) and the regular tire combine just went around it.

I have a new black John Deere hat in the display cabinet.  I did wear it home, but decided to put it on display for now.  Boy ... 2 green planters, a green lawn mower, a green combine ... I'm not sure my heart can take this.

1 comment:

  1. We switched from red to green last year, because of lack of service from the red dealer. It was not hard to adjust. The one difficulty was the yield monitor, going from ag leader to greenstar. I am still figuring it out. As soon as I think I am catching on, harvest ends. Then I need to learn it all over again. But wanted to say nice blog. We farm just north of Spfld, IL.

    I started to blog last year when we switched.