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Hello Farmers.

My name is Franco Rotunno, I am a third generation farmers from Venezuela. Last year i got in charge of the shop where we maintain and repair the machines of our Family Owned business. We plant 4000 acres of rice, harvest is approaching, and we are getting combines ready.

We use Massey Ferguson MF 5650 a 175 hp combine with a 5000 liters grain tank widely used in South America because good in mud, we just bought a John Deere hydro 1175 same in size. People here used to use tracks on combines because most of them 4x2, but too much soil compaction, also combine on tracks have to sleep on the field and you need to hire a security to watch them at night, also the tracks are expensive and the combine gets a lot of vibration. in the last 15 years with the introduction of 4x4 combines people have been switching to tires.

The first Massey Fergunson we bought came with front 23.1-26 r2 tires that works good in mud but not the best, we bought the double tire front kit that consist of a wheel spacer and 18.4-30 tire, not too much space between wheels and it became a big mud tire, did not work. The last massey fergunson we bought came with some different the more important was the front tires, it came with front 18.4-34 duals. It works amazing on mud, better than tracks and way better than singles, so I decide to convert the old MF to 18-4-30 duals at front, also the john deere we bought I am putting 18.4-30 and try to make it 4wd but is another story. The MF have a big problem the rear axle shaft, the first causes i guess are operators because they usually broke in dry condition, so i explaining them why use only in wet condition, also the quality of parts, i contacted rcv for a custome 300m axle shaft, and another option I see is swapping a biffier rear axle with a shorter ratio that allows me to use bigger tire, and maybe duals, the adavtange i see is better flotation, with duals i can use lower tire pressure.
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Are you willing to discuss the political and social situation going on in Venezuala right now? Is there any law and order remaining? Any functional markets?
 

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Are you willing to discuss the political and social situation going on in Venezuala right now? Is there any law and order remaining? Any functional markets?
This is not a political forum but i just can say, never ever choose socialism ... please not
 

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Beautiful country, my aunt lived there for 20 years in the 70s & 80s in Merida. Visited her once as she moved shortly after. MF final drives have been notoriously weak when it comes to duals, mud, and brakes. But the last MF 750 & 760 combine we had was 30 years ago. Put a larger tire on the rear and duals up front and you should be fine. Operators are the same everywhere, always hitting the brakes at the wrong time. Stay safe.
 

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Beautiful country, my aunt lived there for 20 years in the 70s & 80s in Merida. Visited her once as she moved shortly after. MF final drives have been notoriously weak when it comes to duals, mud, and brakes. But the last MF 750 & 760 combine we had was 30 years ago. Put a larger tire on the rear and duals up front and you should be fine. Operators are the same everywhere, always hitting the brakes at the wrong time. Stay safe.
Thanks, yes this country has a lot to give, i went to merida last month I am always impressed how here in a short trip you go from flatland to the dessert, to snowy mountains.

As you can see this combine are belt driven so rear axle is connected by an axle shaft to the transfer case, I will have to change axle ratio, doing that I will use beffier axle.

Did you see any advantage using big tires at rear? yours was 4x4?
 

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Yes ours were 4X4 but they were hydraulic driven not belt so tire ratio never really came into play. The 4X4s were made by Mud Hog company. That may be an option for you as far as durability on rear axles. But when I say use bigger tire I should have said wider. Those tires look very aggressive like R-2 cleats which is what we use in the rice fields here. Maybe you could clamp two of your rear tires together and see what happens. It would be cheap to do and wouldn't overload your axle too much. Don't know if this is feasible though.
We used 18.4-38 duals on the inside dual rim was cupped in and the outside dual was cupped out distributing the weight very well on the JD CTS combines and 8820 that we used to replace MF combines. Also creating about a 1.5 foot gap between duals to let mud clean out and not ball up as you mentioned. If nothing else try swapping the left and right tires thus making the rear wider by changing the cup of the rims to different sides and the rear tires won't follow the front tracks. When we have that here the rear starts to sink and then drags the rest of the combine down.
 

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Yes ours were 4X4 but they were hydraulic driven not belt so tire ratio never really came into play. The 4X4s were made by Mud Hog company. That may be an option for you as far as durability on rear axles. But when I say use bigger tire I should have said wider. Those tires look very aggressive like R-2 cleats which is what we use in the rice fields here. Maybe you could clamp two of your rear tires together and see what happens. It would be cheap to do and wouldn't overload your axle too much. Don't know if this is feasible though.
We used 18.4-38 duals on the inside dual rim was cupped in and the outside dual was cupped out distributing the weight very well on the JD CTS combines and 8820 that we used to replace MF combines. Also creating about a 1.5 foot gap between duals to let mud clean out and not ball up as you mentioned. If nothing else try swapping the left and right tires thus making the rear wider by changing the cup of the rims to different sides and the rear tires won't follow the front tracks. When we have that here the rear starts to sink and then drags the rest of the combine down.
I have though about install doubles at the rear but I will check this harvest season better, that the rear axle gets stacked in the middle and the littler tires gets in the air doing not too much work some times, i dont know if you get me. New models uses doubles 18.4-30R2 and have been a hit, now we are implementing in the old MF, less cutting than tracks but less flotation that wide tires that are slipping all the time.
 

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The rear end of those things look pretty light, is the rear end actually dragging too much? You could also make a mud scraper for your front tires so they dont plug up and can keep traction. combine dual mud scraper - Google Search

Do you have radial tires or are they bias ply? If radial you could lower the tire pressure very low at the field but you would need to re inflate them to drive on the road later, we do this in really bad conditions.

Also may want to permanently lock the brakes together, side braking is very hard on things, especially if your operators are not experienced on when to use it.
 
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