The Combine Forum banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,966 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There is a bunch of these swathers coming up for sale at the Richie bros sale in Saskatoon. I was reading some old posts on these swathers in canola. If a guy removes the two shields to make the hole bigger will they swath canola as good as a Macdon M 150? Now that these have been out for several years can someone give me their thoughts whether they would buy one to do canola with or are they just a poor swather? Are they a reliable swather or prone to breakdowns? Are rotor shears needed to make these things work right? What are they like for fuel use? Is a guy better off looking at the older Deere swathers with a Honey Bee head instead of the D450? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks SouthernSK
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,156 Posts
Draper drives slipping was the problem with these swathers. When the dealer ordered the headers they were to have ordered the windrower header which came with heavier draper drives and better draper tension.

Unfortunately a lot of dealers did not know this and put on a header that they had ordered in for a combine. These headers have belt slip and wont cut canola.

If not putting the header on a combine there is a kit to relocate the draper drives to the center of the machine which helps a lot.

With the roto shears and reel flip over kit they cut great. Maybe not as good as a MacDon but not bad.

These dealers that did not order the right headers for the D450 are the ones with the unhappy customers.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,966 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks so much Bud for your comments. I was hoping you would reply. When looking at these used swathers is there any way I can tell if they have the windrower header?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,156 Posts
Only dealer looking up codes could tell. Problem I see is that they started with a bad reputation and future resale will be poorer. Right now they are not selling at enough discount to the MacDon.

One thing not mentioned much is the poor clearance between the drive tires and the frame in mud. I have the bias ply and they are poor. Not sure if metric tires are narrower.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,392 Posts
I think there a decent machine, hard to beat a Macdon which was designed & built for the praries vs the Deere that is a rebranded hay windrower. I demoed one a year ago and it needed the larger hole & the reel flip kit. I'm sure it would be a lot better machine with those options. My dealer mentioned that you can mod them and make an even bigger opening than factory. The one thing that drove me nuts is how slow it lifted on headlands to clear canola swaths. I wouldn't be afraid of it, it's decent in canola, very good in cereals. I would not touch a Deere windrower with a Honey bee head. The knife bearings will go out every 50hrs and the reel starts to fall apart after two seasons, & the draper drive is weak. I've owned/run three different versions with honey bee heads and it's always the same result. Couldn't be happier with my Macdon.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,966 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Jason for the info. Draww8 what modifications did you do to make it cut canola good and have you hit any lodged or real heavy canola crops that the D450 did not work good in? Is there any suspension for the cab other than the air seat?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
790 Posts
The A400 and D450 are good tractor units....in my opinion much better than Macdon. I however just traded in a A400 for a Macdon....same type of problems as Jason mentioned. Couldnt get it to cut properly and knife drive problems. My old worn old 1993 Macdon cut better than a 1yr old Honeybee!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
275 Posts
Thanks Jason for the info. Draww8 what modifications did you do to make it cut canola good and have you hit any lodged or real heavy canola crops that the D450 did not work good in? Is there any suspension for the cab other than the air seat?
We have cut lots of heavy canola with our D450's with 35ft heads. There is no cab suspension. Some conditions and directions can make steering column shake a bit. We have the 650 tire option as we'll.

Only changes we made, were to take out the inside and outside tin extensions. Then push the canvases as wide as possible. Which is another 6 inches wider than the combine setting on each canvas.

Another mod we have done, is add the outside finger option on the reels. (Bought from Case dealer). They use Hart Carter as well on some swathers. We do not have the flip over kit for the reels. Don't feel we need it. Have only wrapped material on the reel a hand full of times in 3 years. And we like the reel teeth down when going around tree edges.

We also have the cross augers on our headers. Mostly used when straight cutting canola with these headers. But they do help once in a while when swathing canola.

We do not have Roto shears. Don't have divider issues.

We are extremely fussy, and if they didn't cut good canola swaths, they would be down the road. Does never plugging a rotor or feed accelerator give any clues to swath quality? ( Feeder house reverser used less than 10 times/year)

We choose these machines for a few reasons. I believe they are the only machines with Auto Height.(which is different than "return to cut") It works awesome down the field and thru ditches. All we do, to "tweek" height, up and down the field, is to use the tilt a bit, while it remains in auto height mode.

Main Features

Auto -Height
Auto -Reel speed
Auto -Belt speed
Memory of tilt position
Memory of reel position( up/down and fore/aft )
200hp
22 mph roading forward


Button "3" on hydro handle used for short or lodged crop:
-lower height(auto)
-more tilt
-reel goes forward and down

Button "2" on hydro handle used for normal cutting:
-normal height(auto)
-normal tilt
-normal reel height
-normal fore/aft

Button "1" on hydro handle used at end of row:
-lifts head to max height
-tilts head back to help clear outside round swaths
-lowers reel down to sweep material off knife

Any of the settings saved within these 3 memory positions can be changed and then memorized by holding the button down for at least 2 seconds.

I wish the gauge ("auto height") wheels would lift up to clear swaths better when header is all the way up.

I have heard of some poor demos out there, caused by:
-not having the header calibrated
-not having the float pins removed
-not having inside & outside tins removed
-not having canvases pushed out to max width
-not using all the memory functions
-not using or aware of all the "auto" functions

Long winded reply, I am aware the Macdon is a good machine as we'll. We have owned them also. They just don't have quite as many of the auto functions, built into them that we now appreciate on all those long, never ending nights.

Reliability has been second to none, on our Deeres the last few years as we'll.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
I have to disagree with the statement that honeybee headers are poor. We have 3 a400s with over 3000 cutting hours and in that time we have only failed one knife and one knife drive bearing. We cut 24 hours a day and we grease every 12 hours. My main complaint with the headers are the u11 reels bolts that connect the aluminum " star" to the reel tube are breaking out of the reel tube. Not sure what the best remedy is for this yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,112 Posts
My main complaint with the headers are the u11 reels bolts that connect the aluminum " star" to the reel tube are breaking out of the reel tube. Not sure what the best remedy is for this yet.
94783
CLAMP ASSY-UII 5/6B-10" SERVICE
Eric , this kit was developed to repair and reinforce the reel ,well worth adding to any U11 in extreme conditions before damage occurs .It attaches to the centre shaft and bolts to the star. I believe it was standard on reels with 10" centre shaft in 2013 MY.

1 required at each end .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Draww8 pretty much summed the D450 up but I will add that no it doesn't have cab suspension but it does have a suspension on the rear axel...that combined with 620 radials does make for a smooth ride.
Have had a 40' for two years now and it cut some of the heaviest canola we have ever had last year. Only complaint was where the canola was heavy and lodged, it was hard to push through the hole. Otherwise it was swathing at 6mph.
Had an A400 before and as stated it was a nice tractor but didn't have all the auto features that the D450 has. Also had problems with the Honey Bee header plugging at the ends in lodged canola even with the end draper tins taken out...some kind of shear maybe would've helped there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
275 Posts
How is AUTO HEIGHT accomplished, what sort of ground sensing system is employed draww8?
It is accomplished with potentiometers in the gauge wheels. Not a perfect spot to measure height. Directly under the cutter bar, with instant reaction would be ideal.

The system works better on the D450 than on the combine. Tweeks to height, are easily done by using header tilt. Which is a sideways motion on the up/down button. On the combine, contour master(feeder twist) is used for sideways motion on the UP/DOWN button. (GRRRR) (Useless in field) Otherwise header tilt on combine is done by pressing an armrest button three times and turning a knob. ( so it is basically set and forget) Kind of frustrating on combine.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,681 Posts
It is accomplished with potentiometers in the gauge wheels. Not a perfect spot to measure height. Directly under the cutter bar, with instant reaction would be ideal.
True, but it's still way better than nothing.:)
So, let's say one is dumb enough to grow peas (me) and end up swathing, can the header be floated lightly on the ground without gauge wheels?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
275 Posts
I believe your Macdon springs can be kinda set for that? And the deere gauge wheels can be pinned up. Then I believe a float setting can be used and dialed in. But we have never done it. Some one else may know. I do know the float rams on the deere can be move up a lot to allow "twisting" thru a ditch run diagonally.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top