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Just noticed you can't build a Versatile combine online from the website anymore, and they've omitted the combine from their brochure. Could this be the beginning of the end for the Versatile (aka Rostselmash) combine in North America?
 

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I wouldn't be surprised. The market is already pretty well covered by the incumbent brands. And the Rostelmash never did perform all that well. Which is a bit puzzling as this machine has been running for years in eastern Europe, Russia, and Asia and Rostelmash is one of the largest manufacturers in the world. It's not like it's a brand new machine with bugs to work out. Maybe with less competition in those markets there wasn't the pressure on the company to improve the machine.
 

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I wouldn't be surprised. The market is already pretty well covered by the incumbent brands. And the Rostelmash never did perform all that well. Which is a bit puzzling as this machine has been running for years in eastern Europe, Russia, and Asia and Rostelmash is one of the largest manufacturers in the world. It's not like it's a brand new machine with bugs to work out. Maybe with less competition in those markets there wasn't the pressure on the company to improve the machine.
This is a "Guess" on my part, but russian machinery places more emphasis on ease of repair like in field repair than on performance being that they are sooo far away from dealers and service shops.
 

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I wouldn't be surprised if Versatile quietly removed their combine from the North American market. In all my travels across Western Canada I have yet to see one machine in the field. Not sure if its because Versatile isn't trying to push them out there or are they that bad?
 

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In europe they actively try to sell them as Rostelmash. A friend of mine recently joined the company and does Demos with the Torum.
But tbh, I only know of a single farm (500km away) who uses one.
So withdrawing from the Marketing wouldnt suprise me.
 

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I know of one person that had 2 of them for a season when they first came to NA. Retired now. He still says he was impressed with them. Just talked with him about them a week or so ago. I have seen the line of them still sitting in Havre. His complaint was they were pressure washed after being demoed and sat through a winter before he had them. Changed to many bearing because of that. They need some refinement to really make it.
NA wants a luxury cab and stupid easy operation so we can sit on twitter while running, or sitting in the operator seat of the combine. Oh that is just not far enough away from the truth.

Hope they make it a go. Wonder if farm hand mike could answer this question better?
 

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What, no leather massage seat with a beer fridge? It has more than 1 mechanical lever which never fails instead of an electric button which will eventually give grief? Hard to find an operator to run such caveman equipment these days. It used to be A/C was the turning point for some whether they took the job lol. Now they want comfort to the hilt and can't exert the force to run a lever. 90 MF special with no cab was my first combine I was operating. Plug it and you had to use a fence post on the cylinder from above to unplug it. My dad got a Gleaner CII with a cab after that and had a fan blowing on the side of my head with dust precleaner on it. I thought I went to heaven with that thing. No heat from the engine as it was rear mounted. Could hear the grain threshing under your feet and knew exactly when something was wrong from the ratcheting hubs that would slip if something stopped turning. My right arm, running the gas boy push pull pump everyday filling it, got big for a reason. Comfort is nice but I am not willing to pay for extreme comfort for 20 days a yr. I will take reliability any day. Reliability to some is having a dealer close by as many don't know what a wrench is or ever want to pick one up. Buy new with an auto greaser and a year after it runs out of grease buy a new one lol. Lots of newer low hr junk out there that amazes me. I was told the auto greaser didn't work on my combine when I purchased it so they manually greased it. The thing was just out of grease lol and worked fine., After changing many failed bearing and shafts from abuse and the lack of grease etc the combine is great. Some people just shouldn't own equipment.
 

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What, no leather massage seat with a beer fridge? It has more than 1 mechanical lever which never fails instead of an electric button which will eventually give grief? Hard to find an operator to run such caveman equipment these days. It used to be A/C was the turning point for some whether they took the job lol. Now they want comfort to the hilt and can't exert the force to run a lever. 90 MF special with no cab was my first combine I was operating. Plug it and you had to use a fence post on the cylinder from above to unplug it. My dad got a Gleaner CII with a cab after that and had a fan blowing on the side of my head with dust precleaner on it. I thought I went to heaven with that thing. No heat from the engine as it was rear mounted. Could hear the grain threshing under your feet and knew exactly when something was wrong from the ratcheting hubs that would slip if something stopped turning. My right arm, running the gas boy push pull pump everyday filling it, got big for a reason. Comfort is nice but I am not willing to pay for extreme comfort for 20 days a yr. I will take reliability any day. Reliability to some is having a dealer close by as many don't know what a wrench is or ever want to pick one up. Buy new with an auto greaser and a year after it runs out of grease buy a new one lol. Lots of newer low hr junk out there that amazes me. I was told the auto greaser didn't work on my combine when I purchased it so they manually greased it. The thing was just out of grease lol and worked fine., After changing many failed bearing and shafts from abuse and the lack of grease etc the combine is great. Some people just shouldn't own equipment.
We had more trouble with the mechanical levers not engaging cause of a failed cable on our TR96 combines then we ever had on any electric Operated clutch from the TR98 to present.
If the versatile would have had dealer support and parts in stock it might have got a few more machines out there. But who wants to buy a machine when there are no parts in stock. Harvest shut down for a couple of days or weeks cause you can’t find what you need.
Too many people are stuck in their ways and don’t want to try something new. I was talking to the sales rep at a show about them and he said they were about a 9600 deere sized machine. Guys who run that size of combine likely aren’t buying new and could find a used machine of any color for less then the versatile. And they would have dealer support and no fear of them dropping the combine at anytime. Those were the biggest hurdle the versatile combine had in my mind.
Within 20 minutes I can drive to any of the colours of combine dealers. But nobody close to us has ever had a versatile on their lot to sell.
 

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I can't blame dealers for not wanting to pick up and sell the combines. Given how entrenched the big colors are, it would be an uphill sell unless the machine was miles ahead. It would be a lot of work for the dealer to support one or two combines and stock parts compared to their bread and butter tractors. This is the same reason our local Agco dealer never really pushed the Massey rotary no matter how good the machine was and they most likely will not sell the Fendt combine unless a loyal customer ordered one. They would rather sell fleets of row-crop tractors.
 

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Neighbour demoed the 490 one time. The Russian guru was over as well. I was combing along the highway and seen it go by nice and shiny, only to see it come back a day later plugged eyeball to *******. Apparently the thing had not much more capacity than a 9600. Slip clutches weren’t set too tight to save things I guess. Apparently when some clutches were tightened up to see what the thing could do they plugged her tight. Selling feature was there was an easily accessible cubbyhole for a 26 of vodka. It’s a shame the Russians did such a lousy job introducing this machine. There was potential but they took for granted or simply were that ignorant as to the needs of western Canadian and USA farmers.
 

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Some guys demoing stuff want to plug the crap out of it. Push it beyond its limits. I am sure my A85 lived that life far to long. Bent beater shaft and wore out keyways from full throttle engagements and reversing over and over. I was told it finished harvest on oats in the rain just to finish the yr. That should have been my warning sign. A planetary, 3 new shafts, and folded flighting on the end of the unload auger and some metal straightening and some new bearings hopefully I can use this unit this yr. Abuse from people doing things the machine wasn't intended for. My R62 and 9790 did my harvesting last yr and will keep the R62 on stand by again.
 

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Neighbour demoed the 490 one time. The Russian guru was over as well. I was combing along the highway and seen it go by nice and shiny, only to see it come back a day later plugged eyeball to ***. Apparently the thing had not much more capacity than a 9600. Slip clutches weren’t set too tight to save things I guess. Apparently when some clutches were tightened up to see what the thing could do they plugged her tight. Selling feature was there was an easily accessible cubbyhole for a 26 of vodka. It’s a shame the Russians did such a lousy job introducing this machine. There was potential but they took for granted or simply were that ignorant as to the needs of western Canadian and USA farmers.
Well the show Dirt Farmers has a Versatile 520 and a JD 9600 and from what I seen that thing ran circles around the JD.
 
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