Macdon vs HoneyBee - The Combine Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Macdon vs HoneyBee

Looking for a 35-36ft draper for a Case 8230. Have ran HoneyBees before. Is a Macdon worth the premium compared to a HB? Looking at non flex drapers 2007 and newer. Cutting mostly cereals. Will a Macdon out cut a HB and in what conditions?

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 12:11 AM
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Both of those brands have their own good and bad points but I think it would be very hard to discern any difference in performance doing cereals.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by 9520deere View Post
Will a Macdon out cut a HB and in what conditions?
Yes a macdon will out cut a honey bee and in my experience it will in all conditions.

Only reason to get the HB would be price. 36' HB are a lot cheaper then a 35' macdon.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 12:23 AM
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Yes a macdon will out cut a honey bee and in my experience it will in all conditions.
Even when the knife is broke, center drum grenades and hydraulic lines fail?

I've run that era Honeybee headers and Macdon and we usually have some tough straw and I can't say there is a difference in feeding. Not sure where the difference is except Macdon has a nicer transport as long as it isn't bent and hard to put the pins in.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 12:46 AM
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MacDon will run circles around the honeybee in wet and lodged crop. Nothing picks crop like a MacDon reel or lasts like a MacDon reel. And no way in the world do I want that stupid HoneyBee knife drive on my farm again. Have never broken a MacDon knife yet!!!
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 02:00 AM
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Cut with a HoneyBee probably 15 yrs, 2 units newer one a 2008 then ran D65 and 75. Think in standing wheat all cut good. The Macdon running circles around HoneyBee in flat lodged crops (that’s the old HoneyBee, don’t know anything about there new air unit). The UII real can’t take any abuse compared to the Macdon, it’s much tougher and works better IMO. Your talking 2007 and newer, don’t think the D60 Macdon came out unit later than that? The series before was 973? Can’t speak to those but the 960 on old swather still works good. Spent way less time fixing it than the mid 90 HoneyBee we had.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 08:14 AM
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Cut with a HoneyBee probably 15 yrs, 2 units newer one a 2008 then ran D65 and 75. Think in standing wheat all cut good. The Macdon running circles around HoneyBee in flat lodged crops (thatís the old HoneyBee, donít know anything about there new air unit). The UII real canít take any abuse compared to the Macdon, itís much tougher and works better IMO. Your talking 2007 and newer, donít think the D60 Macdon came out unit later than that? The series before was 973? Canít speak to those but the 960 on old swather still works good. Spent way less time fixing it than the mid 90 HoneyBee we had.
The auto-height is light years ahead on an Airflex compared to Macdon but that's not the header 9520deere is asking about here from what I gather. There must be an issue with how the honeybee is interfacing with the combine in lodged crop because I know that header can shave too. Need poly skid plates on it though.

The knife drive on the honeybee(Shumacher) needs the bushings replaced on the end periodically as maintenance and some people change out the two bolts that hold knife head too and use loctite. This maintenance is more important on a single knife drive HB, a single knife drive Macdon will just slip the belt or give out on the hydraulics. The knife breakage on Macdon I reference is sickles/guards and especially the lousy bolts that hold sickles on, wobble box is solid IMO.

For reels the U2 had some issues on the drive ends in some cases but the Macdon reel bats will bend if you push any lumps. I called that a wash myself as I never in probably 10 years of running U2 reels had an issue but I didn't run them full bore for speed.

To me the only major difference is the transport if you want to tow this thing and don't have a trailer for it. My opinion though and it's only based on my experience and what I have seen locally. Both headers can turn into a dumpster fire if you don't learn their issues...

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 01:34 PM
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Used to run a 35' macdon in caseih colors. 2152 which is the d60? I think.
Carried lots of knives and guards. Multiple times a day get out and replace. Sickle splices too. It was single knife drive. Wouldn't be that bad in wheat but sniff a rock seems like and a knife goes.

Have been running a 40' double knife honeybee for 5 years now. I think it's a 2008-9. I thought the knives on it were shot when I bought it but it just keeps cutting. Can count how many knives and guards I've replaced while I've had it on one hand. Need to watch the reel tines when working around it. They wear to sharp points. The tines are better on the macdon.

Lost the bottom sickle bearing cover on one of the drives. The sickle head was shot before the bearing bound up. Unbolt the sickle and 2 bolts and the head is off. Super easy to work on.

In wheat both worked good. For the money I think you would be happy with a HB. Watching auctions it seems like 40' in decent shape go for 8-9000. US $. 36' depends on who's there but about same price. Not gonna find a macdon for that money.
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