from the serviceability side of it, i find the STS to be quite a bit easier to work on than the walkers, there are a few areas that are tough, but there will always be those.
one downside of the STS is the fact they do wear faster and take some good $$$ to fix up. also, they don't like foreign objects such as rocks, i've got one in the shop now that has a $13,500 repair bill for rock damage
A good crop is 50+ durum, 50+ field peas. The durum straw can get pretty rank but the newer varieties are shorter strawed. I have one 36ft and 2 30ft headers. We typically have about 2000 acres of pulses, mostly lentils, so cutting is are limiting factor not capacity. Looking at 2 cts's or 1 lexion and 1 8820, or 1 sts and an 8820. Am leaning toward the 2 cts's, mostly because of the cost of these and the reliability plus the increase in capacity in small grains. I could run these 3 titans forever, I've come quite attached to them, but manpower is becoming a factor.
I have worked on all these combines you have described. I am a John Deere Mechanic here in Illinois so we dont have the crops as some of you may but to suggest a type of seperator that may be benificial in your operation I have found that the STS is better at taking in rocks and such better than say a conventional machine. The parts may be more expesive but the down time is less. Thats my opinion so Im sure it varies with where youre from.
Having owned a 9600, a cts, cts2 and a 9860 sts, I have some experience with the different machines in a variety of crops. I did not harvest peas with a 9600, so I am limited on experience there.
The cts combines are great, but unless, you buy the special slow down kit for the tine separators you will crack peas ( not sure if lentils crack easy or not). In a good crop and steady forward movement, the cracking is not very much on the cts, but if you have lots of stops and starts with header feeding problems you will crack lots of peas if they are 11-13% moisture. This is with 500 rpm tine separator speed. You can slow the tines down even more with a bean kit. Overall, the cts is a very reliable combine with tremendous capacity, especially if the straw and grain are dry. About equal to a 9600 in very tough straw.
The sts combines are a hit and miss machine. Very gentle on the crop, but the sts has lots of trouble getting a clean bin sample. Way more white caps in wheat than almost any other combine on the market. Shoe overload can be a problem is very dry straw (10-11% wheat). When the straw is very dry the cts will easily run with the 9860 all afternoon. In the early morning and evening the 9860 will perform at its best, and will be 30% larger than the cts.
Doing my combine inspections this week, and I would have to say that if owning them for a lot of hours, the sts design will be easier to maintain and inspect than the 9600 or the cts. The sts is also easier to change settings from one crop to the next.
If money is the object, the cts combine is the best bang for your buck. If ease of use and serviceability for a lot of years are of importance buy the sts design.
Thanks for the responses guys. Guess both your responses surprised me a little. But that's great. deere98 thanks for the response about the rocks. About 80% of my land is stone free but that other 20% can get you, I try and keep the lentils off of that, but have 600 acres of peas on that stuff this year. We have never had serious rock damage ever on our 20 series combines.
Bud, we have quite a few sts's around here and lots of 9600's. The guys who have switched or demoed, say that when it's the driest the sts shines. Nobody here is running the 9860 so am wondering if its because you have more power you can overload the shoe. When the straw is tough with the cts is power the issue? Would the cts be cheaper to maintain than a 9600? And am also curious about fuel consumption comparing the cts to the sts.
All of the JD combines have rock traps, and I find that they all seem to work well. I would not be more afraid of one design than the other in rocks.
Sts combines take more fuel per day than a cts, but depending on the harvest weather, they may do the same or more amount of acres per gallon.
A CTS is going to take more dollars per hour of parts than a 9600, but it is also going to do more acres per hour, so will have more wear. An STS would be similar.
A 9860 has no more capacity than a 9760.
The sts design works best in the heat of the day, but the cts also works best then in wheat and peas. The cts is lacking in power when the straw gets tough and it really slows down. Concaves can be quite wide open when the straw is dry as the tine separators will thresh a lot of grain. When the straw is damp, the cts concaves have to be shut, which takes way more power to thresh. The sts seems to be less affected in these conditions.
Overall, the 9600 was a good combine, but there is no way I would purchase a used 9600 over a cts or sts.
The cts combines are very cleaning shoe limited. You have to adjust the precleaner and/or install blanking plates under the tine separators to try to reduce shoe load in high yielding, brittle straw conditions. The sts also uses blanking plates under the separator, but they are easier to install.
I do not know much about the 50 series sts combines, but the 60 series seem to be a very operator friendly and easy to service and adjust combine. It would be my first choice for the crops you have listed, but way more $$$ than a cts.
i find that walker machines can take some rocks and keep on going, a bent bar, bent beater wing, and a dinged concave not a big deal, but you take out a threshing element or a separator tine on a STS and you might consider putting on your seat belt, cause its gonna shake you outa there
Thanks Bud great explanation. I was under the impression there was little or no adjustment of the (concaves?) under the back rotors on a cts. Did you ever have plugging of the rotors?
The guys here I was told when they ran cts against 9600, the cts was 1 to 1.5 mph faster in good durum.
Not to concerned about the rocks.
You do not have to do any adjustment to a cts combine if you do not want to, it just has the potential to go faster if you do. On a 9600 combine the straw walkers are the limiting factor, you have lots of cleaning shoe capacity. Being as there are only a few adjustments to keep grain off the walkers, you just drive the machine to straw walker capacity and then live with it.
In a cts combine the tine separator has unbelievable separating capacity. Often in the first couple of feet the grain is all separated out of the tine separator and everything that falls out after that is just chaff and small straw, which tends to oveload the cleaning shoe. You can just live with it at this point and be happy with the ground speed you have or you can do some adjusting.
If you install plates under the back end of the tine separator you can try and have the straw and chaff go out the back of the tine separtator instead of falling down onto the cleaning shoe. The reduction in material will often let you go 1-3 mph faster in crops that have the straw breaking up badly. It takes 15-20 minutes to install these cover plates and often the next day if the straw is not breaking up you will have to remove them.
The cts is quite easy to set, but it must be set like a rotary, and not like a conventional combine. Take everything you know about a 9600 and forget it and you will be happy with a cts or sts combine. The cts and sts combines like the concaves open a bit and let the separator do some of the threshing. You will have slightly higher unthreshed loss in wheat with the cts or sts designs than a 9600. If you try and eliminate it you end up with more cracks and reduced ground speed, which is a poor trade off.
You can PM me if you have any other questions that I might be able to answer. I think that cts combines are a great buy right now, but they require an Operator, not a Driver.
No one has mentioned that he cts has the limiting shoe capacity because it is a 9500 shell, 55 inch seperator compared to a 9600 at 66 inches. Cant see how a cts can outperform a 96 in anything but rice.
8820 has wider seperator than 9500. Usually the shoes are not the problem but yes the walkers.
My walkers have all the capacity they need but they cant seperate the grain the way Id like them to.
I can feed the machine and walkers in 4 ft tall wheat as fast as the head can convey and they can deliver all the material out the back but push then too hard and yes a little grain will go with the straw.
Ive tried Kuchar riser kits, some risers were good some bad, some in the 3rd steps of the risers were designed too tall and would cause plugging all the way up to the beater, I took the tall risers, which were twice the height of OEM risers and made razor backs to run the length of the walkers instead, problem solved and they convey the straw out faster.
There are 2 places the CTS has over the 9600, first is the walkers which has been hashed over enough but the second is that it has the same number of fans as the 9600 so it has more air flow per square inch of seives than the 9600.
We have 2 9600's and one CTS, the CTS is the favorite to run, smoother and better sample. And more agile, turns shorter.
A CTS is not set the same as a 9600 which includes the shoe. You open the precleaner up a little on the CTS. For 8 years we ran a CTS II along with a 8820 and a 9760 STS that we rented the last 3 years. A CTS II or newer model will keep up with a 9600 in wheat and out cut a 9600 in barley despite the smaller shoe.