What would you do? - The Combine Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-04-2016, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
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What would you do?

Ok, so I've been wanting to ask this of everyone for a while now....

We run a 300+cow dairy, have over 700 animals on farm when all the heifers and calves get added in. We mix a lot of feed, have our own tub grinder, stuff just has to work, every day.

Our tub grinder is pto powered, a haybuster h1100 tilt. Works fantastic, can also grind grain with the right screens and hopper. Grain grinding is a very static task, set the intake auger and walk away. Grinding hay or straw can be a much more dynamic challenge, heavy wet spots can give the unit a real slug to work through. It does have an electric control to govern how much of a drop in pto rpms are supposed to happen while the tub slows down to work through the load, but it's not perfect and some of us set it with more forgiveness than others

So, we have been doing ok with our tried and true Jd 4640. Has just enough horsepower to get things done timely, pto and clutch packs have been very reliable, rads aren't perfect, but can be cleaned out simply and quickly.

We have also used a newish to us, case 9230 (kinda a red Steiger from what I understand?) the higher hp has been nice, but have had to redo the clutch pack twice in 4 (?) years, sounds a jd feels like it wants to give up again soon, I think the Jd hasn't been worked on in ten years, similar amount of hours on the grinder..

Are we imagining that the Deere pto is a little more reliable? Are we crazy for thinking about adding a small/mid sized 4wd Deere from the 40/50/60 series? Price would be right and we would be familiar with how to service and work with tractors of that vintage...

So, basically, I'd love to hear anybody's input on what they'd do in that situation: you need reliable pto horsepower in the 200-300 range, doesn't need to be fancy, having enough hydraulic flow to handle our Morris 7180 air tank would be a nice bonus too....

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-04-2016, 01:50 AM
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Don't buy a 30/40/50 series 4wd tractor. They are a money pit. About 6 or 7 years ago we bought a JD 8430. Paid good money for it as it had a 50 series motor in it plus a bunch of transmission, clutch and other work done to it. The previous owner probably spent 20 grand on repairs over the last few years he owned it without the motor job. Think we paid 21 grand for it. First thing we had to do was to roll the front diff out to change the pinion seals. That was actually easy. Then the PTO quit. Never did fix that. Had the head off twice, last time we put a new head on. Turbo also went south on it. Done the hi-lo in the transmission to. Done some other transmission work to it also. Think we put close to twenty grand in parts over 3 years. Sold it for 14 grand to our neighbour. Now it's sitting in the shop at the JD dealership again. Heard the hyd filters had a bunch of brass in them from the rivets on the brakes. Nothing another $4500 won't fix. I wouldn't buy another one unless it was to add to a collection and on parade duty. Spend a little bit more and get into a 60 or 70 series that are way more reliable and easier to fix.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-04-2016, 08:35 AM
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I'd say you would be happy with 23/2590 Case tractor, that's what we use and they work good. I recommend sticking with two wheel drive or fwa for pto work, four wheel drives don't have an efficient driveline to the pto so it's kind of a waste plus there's ujoints and stuff that can fail when you're not looking.


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Why is there never time and money to do it correctly but there's always plenty to do it again
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-04-2016, 09:38 AM
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I'd agree to stay away from the 30 and most 40 series JD 4x4s, but the 50 series was actually a well put together rig IMO, and that of many locals to my area anyway.
Kinda like the first few years of the Case "flagship" combines. Nothing but update after update to combat the never ending failures and issues. Then once that was all caught up, they produce a reasonably reliable machine.

But still, IMO, on a livestock operation like a dairy, a backup rig is a necessity. Never rely on one machine to not break down.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-04-2016, 09:57 AM
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We have a 8640 and a 8440. Both do lots of pto work. 40series are better than 30 series. Only time we have had a pto problem is when running a 540 implement on a 1000 rpm tractor the clutch pack pressure was to low and burned out the pto clutch. I wouldn't call them money pits just like anything you can buy good and bad. Problem is these tractors are 30+ years old
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 10:31 AM
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Not saying your 9230 is no good , having to do the clutch packs is reason for concern , I had a 9130 & 9230 yrs ago and ran them on a 1482 pull-type combine , never had an issue ?? Maybe there is a weak spot there somewhere , but if you want maybe a better unit for the pto work maybe consider a 7250 or 8950 Magnum ?? They are higher hp 230ish pto I believe and although I,ve never owned 1 I think they are very reliable !! For example I was looking for some parts one time and searched all over Canada, nothing, so then called a couple wreckers in the states and thought this particular piece would maybe work coming from a Magnum , the wrecker says "We hardly get them in and when we do we don't sell hardly anything off them cause they don't break down ", pretty sure a tractor wrecker is fairly unbiased !!FWIW
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for everyone's input so far, I really value this site for this exact reason!

On the Jd 4wd side of things: is there a general range when they started getting substantially better? This isn't the first time I've heard the 30s and 40s left quite a bit to be desired. Is the 50 series worth looking at or maybe just the 60 and 70?
@IHC560. That is a very good point, there may be something out of balance or causing some other kind of trouble in there somewhere beyond just the clutch packs, definitely worth looking into more. And I have definitely heard that the magnum series was great.

Or maybe offroadnt is on the right track: no matter how we look at it, there are less linkages and interruption in a straight frame tractor than an articulated. Unfortunate that they seem to be the same price from this era these days! But no reason why a big straight frame can't do some decent field work...

Lots to think about in the weeks and months ahead, thanks again everyone and I'd still love to hear from anyone else with similar experiences
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 08:47 PM
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Personally we have 2 old Cases( a 1270 and a 2390) for PTO work. They are good on fuel, reliable for what they do, have big rads, and have great power. They work good here( dairy farm as well) as the main tractors for stationary PTO work like manure pump, roller mill, etc. We have been thinking about converting the forage blower to 1000 rpm and buying a grain vac as well. Just too keep those old girls busy so the dont spend so much time sitting around collecting depreciation. They get used like that to keep some of the pounding PTO hours off our main tractors.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 09:08 PM
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Good thing this thread is titled what would you do. I'd haul the case to the sale and use the money to refresh the 4640. A more reliable tractor hasn't been made yet.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-06-2016, 10:35 AM
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We run a.4850 on our tmr wagon. 2500 hrs a year. In 2wd the 50 series are nicer because you can get the 15spd pwr shift. In the 4wd there isn't enough differences between 40 and 50 series to justify price. 60&70 series are nicer but have a long hood of access is tight. Around here a big frame 2wd is 5-10k more than a 8640 or 8650

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