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I am in the process of getting a combine for my custom harvesting business, and I have found two Gleaners that I'm interested in. The question that I have is that is it better to get an older machine with less hours on it, or a newer machine with more hours on it?

The two combines that I am looking at are a 2000 R72 with 2500 engine hours and 1700 separator hours or a 2003 R75 with 2900 engine hours and 2300 separator hours. Both seem to be in pretty good condition.

I will be cutting mostly wheat, safflower, and a little barley.
 

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I wouldn't look at hours so much as wear items for that style of combine. Combines always have things wear out, check the things that wear out on those combines. A well maintained machine with things updated like feeder house chains, or liners, or augers would probably be a better buy. What wears depends on what crop was combined Soybeans are hard on combines.
 

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From what I understand the only difference between the later 2 series and an early 5 series is just the cab. Those two machines are pretty close in hours, I'd go for the R75, as long as the internals have been checked over, make sure the main drive bearings on both sides have been changed. If not its an expensive fix at the dealer and at those hours they both are due(1500 hours is the window), in my opinion the cab alone is worth the upgrade. One big change between the two models besides the cab is the location of the hydro motor, it was moved to the engine bay instead of being down behind the driver side tire where it collects chaff and debris.
 

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Watch auctions, prices should be cheaper than that. I know the r75 you are looking at and am waiting to see how low they'll go. I saw r72 sell for mid 20's on auction, I believe it was 2001, had lateral tilt and sing,e point hookup.... I should have bought it.
 

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From what I understand the only difference between the later 2 series and an early 5 series is just the cab. Those two machines are pretty close in hours, I'd go for the R75, as long as the internals have been checked over, make sure the main drive bearings on both sides have been changed. If not its an expensive fix at the dealer and at those hours they both are due(1500 hours is the window), in my opinion the cab alone is worth the upgrade. One big change between the two models besides the cab is the location of the hydro motor, it was moved to the engine bay instead of being down behind the driver side tire where it collects chaff and debris.
+1. The cab update of the 5 series is generally overall a nice upgrade over the 2 series. I still think the visibility was better in the 2 series though.
 

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There's absolutely nothing wrong with an older gleaner. One thing you might have to consider which I absolutely disagree with personally is the perception factor of a newer machine. I've never custom harvested but I would think that some potential customers look for shiny paint and bells and whistles.

Hopefully if you and whatever machine you choose do a good job for a reasonable price they won't care how fancy you look while doing it!

Not too sure what auction sites are good for your neck of the woods. The ones I look at around here would cost you mightily for freight to get it to Idaho, and would probably eat whatever bargain you get for distance.
 
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