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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are looking at getting a newer swather this year, at least if we get enough rain that it looks like there will something to swath. We will have to stay with an older MacDon with high hours to stay in our price range, so would we be just as good off to go with the Massey or Case/Heston and get several years newer and possibly half of the hours? We'd be swathing mainly canola. Probably staying with 25'. I have done some searching on here and can find info on the MacDon and Massey, but very little on that age of Case. Thanks.
 

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Mostly canola. Possibly some barley if it starts to break down before we can straight cut it.
Massey 220 XL.
For that era best canola swather by far, both higher and wider swath exit hole.
MacDons were terrible by comparison for swath exit hole and the Case swathers were terrible in general.
 

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Or you could go with a Massey or Hesston that is a bit newer than a 220xl.
You really need to go to a 5200 header or newer but the down side is the later tractors and tables are heavier than a 220xl.
The 220xl is a fairly light machine which has its good and bad points, the good being in extreme wet ground they will go where others are stuck.
There were some 220xl around with the newer 5200 heads on the problem with the older heads the main tube can bow.
 

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We are looking at getting a newer swather this year, at least if we get enough rain that it looks like there will something to swath. We will have to stay with an older MacDon with high hours to stay in our price range, so would we be just as good off to go with the Massey or Case/Heston and get several years newer and possibly half of the hours? We'd be swathing mainly canola. Probably staying with 25'. I have done some searching on here and can find info on the MacDon and Massey, but very little on that age of Case. Thanks.
The 98 to 03 Case-IH 8860/70/80 swathers were same units as the Heston of that age and other that the switch to planetary wheel drives from the Case-IH chain drive leg they are almost identical to Heston/Massey/Challenger swathers up to 2012.
Try and find a Case-IH 8860 or 70 that is the HP model (8860HP or 8870HP) more Horsepower and larger hyd pumps, the 8880HP with 6cyl Cummins would be overkill unless you running a discbine head as well, .
With only running a 25ft header the tractor unit will last a long time.
For sure get a 5200 Agco header.
I would AVOID the smaller 8820/25/30/35 Case-IH and Heston equivalent machines mostly because they will have the poor earlier headers
 

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Not sure how you came up with your stage name but I have to laugh at 972 answering a swather question.
972 was the first MacDon header that had their “C” shaped trademark cutterbar introduced in 1998 and used to this day.
Not sure you knew that?

Or…you are 49 in September?
 

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Not sure how you came up with your stage name but I have to laugh at 972 answering a swather question.
972 was the first MacDon header that had their “C” shaped trademark cutterbar introduced in 1998 and used to this day.
Not sure you knew that?

Or…you are 49 in September?
I had a 960 macdon head on a Premier 2930. a good head but built too light.
The 972 headers around here were much better but lots of trouble breaking the knife and canvas roller bearings.
I had switched to Honey Bee headers by then and far better headers. Very heavy but tough and could run on the ground all day in flat canary with minimal repairs compared to the 960.
 

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Still don’t how the 972 came about?!

The 7 degree steeper knife angle on the 972 made it rock prone, cut low sure, but too low for knife preservation.
They simply were not a great header for a combine as result, back then combines headers didn’t go as flat as swathers, they actually go flatter now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the replies. Would a lighter built header (960 or pre 5200 Massey) be less of a problem since we are staying with 25' ? I wouldn't be super worried about widening the opening on a 960 as some have done.
 

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don't be scared of the older 5000 agco heads. Imo they will scrape the ground closer then a 5200. Since a 5200 was built for 15 years there were lots of changes. Early black 5200's are the least desirable. Mid grey 5200's have the rubber rollers. Interim 5200's (CH serial numbers if i remember right) have v guide rollers, better canvas tensioners, better reel drive etc.
 

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Have had a macdon 972 21' swather for 12 years and really think if it cannot cut something, nothing will. Maybe I pick more rocks, but touch wood have had no issues putting rocks into swath and/or breaking knife. Those canvas roller bearings are not very fun to grease, but as long as you do that they do not cause much problem. Did replace all these couple years back. Also, did put one of Verns custom agro canola rollers on a few years back and that seems to fix any of issues of smaller hole. When you look at the resale on those macdon 972 swathers it looks to me like they pretty popular.

Did have a 30' honeybee NH header for combine for a few years and should have never let that thing on the farm as it really was useless in all, but the best cutting/crop conditions. Switched to 2012 macdon header last yr for combine and it was the difference between night and day.
 
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