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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have any experience with using a Harvestaire air reel in light crops?

I'm talking about 1 bag per acre or so.

Mine is bunching in front of the spiral, which causes a pile that blocks the knife and leaves a strip about 4 or 5 feet wide of uncut crop.

It works well enough to keep the cutterbar clear along the rest of the length each side, but not in the centre.

The floor under the spiral is smooth and shiny like it should be. Ground speed is 14.5 kmh.

It all works okay in thick patches where there is plenty of bulk to feed itself in properly, but it's the thin patches that are giving the trouble.

Any suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I have a short video if someone can tell me how to load it. It looks like it will only let me load photos?
 

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Does anyone have any experience with using a Harvestaire air reel in light crops?

I'm talking about 1 bag per acre or so.

Mine is bunching in front of the spiral, which causes a pile that blocks the knife and leaves a strip about 4 or 5 feet wide of uncut crop.

It works well enough to keep the cutterbar clear along the rest of the length each side, but not in the centre.

The floor under the spiral is smooth and shiny like it should be. Ground speed is 14.5 kmh.

It all works okay in thick patches where there is plenty of bulk to feed itself in properly, but it's the thin patches that are giving the trouble.

Any suggestions?

The problem is in such light crops there is not enough material flowing to keep it flowing. Get your elevator chain as close to the retracts as you can without actually hitting. That will mean adding links. Also lower the table auger as much as you can without it scraping and make sure the stripper plates at the rear are as close as possible to the auger to prevent any repeating around the auger. We have also bolted 8'wide angles to the auger tube with rubber flaps cut from conveyor belt to help the retracts keep what little material there is flowing. Its a bit of an experiment with the length of the flaps as too long will make them carry the material right around and too short they do nothing. Just space them around the tube in between the retracts.
 

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My experience was with the earlier model with drop tubes, in the light patches it seemed to blow it right around the table auger. Worked great otherwise crop of about .2
 

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You can also move the table auger as far forward as possible, do this first then you will have to readjust the stripper plates and then lengthen the feeder chains.
I think the best idea is to put the reel back on and put the blower in front of that.
 

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When I used them I put a shield in between the feeder chain and table auger to stop the repeats which would then lead to the build up. Looks like it is to far forward. Has it got double down tubes in the centre, That is needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
When I used them I put a shield in between the feeder chain and table auger to stop the repeats which would then lead to the build up. Looks like it is to far forward. Has it got double down tubes in the centre, That is needed.
This one doesn't have any down tubes, it is the newer style with a fan that runs the full width of the front. I know what you are talking about though, we had an older style Harvestaire on a previous header which had the double tubes in the centre. From memory, it worked quite a bit better than this thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I contacted Harvestaire for suggestions, and they told me that they "developed a platform sweep that sits in the centre only (similar to a bale packer) & “sweeps” the material in."

They went on to say that they have ceased production of the air reels and the platform sweep.

I asked if they could send me a picture of their platform sweep, but they said that they don't have any. Difficult to believe, but not much I can do.

I've never seen a bale packer, so I'm not really sure what they developed. Anyone seen a Harvestaire "platform sweep"?
 

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Yeup on the rubber flaps idea from Ozzie. We put them on three decades ago (different header and combine but similar problem in thin crop) and have kept them on ever since. Flaps have been made from the sidewall of a light truck tire, this makes them flexible and long lasting. The best shape was a D kind of shape, about 10 inches wide with the wider flatter side to the outside. They were originally put on with an air reel but have been helpful with bat and pickup reels with no issues when the crop was heavy. From the pictures of your header it looks like you will have to weld up some L braces to bolt them to. Low tech, may look a bit goofy and low budget but it works. Two flaps was all it took to completely change the headers performance in thin crops.
 

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I contacted Harvestaire for suggestions, and they told me that they "developed a platform sweep that sits in the centre only (similar to a bale packer) & “sweeps” the material in."

They went on to say that they have ceased production of the air reels and the platform sweep.

I asked if they could send me a picture of their platform sweep, but they said that they don't have any. Difficult to believe, but not much I can do.

I've never seen a bale packer, so I'm not really sure what they developed. Anyone seen a Harvestaire "platform sweep"?

I remember them being advertised in the annual catalogue. Looked like a goofy Heath Robinson contraption that I doubt was much use. If it was any good people would still be using them and Harvestaire would still sell new ones. Reminded me of my fathers old baler and they dont make them like that any more either!
 

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Don't know if vibramat is still available but it might help keep things moving in the centre section. From memory that was a Harvestaire product.
 

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Don't know if vibramat is still available but it might help keep things moving in the centre section. From memory that was a Harvestaire product.
I was going to suggest that also but I think I can see it in the photo.
 
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