We are real close to trading our 98R62 on an A66. This is the last chance to talk us out of this decision. We like the center mounted feederhouse and better straw and chaff spread on the axial. Also I think we just want something different.
rburk, I wouldn't let you anybody talk you out of something. Our 9690 and 8780xp prior have been extremely reliable. As far grain quality and settings yes there is a bit of a learning curve when you change machines. If you are seriously considering an axial whether an A or a Massey if you would like PM me and I will give you number and if you would like you can come over and we can talk.
Unless your R62 was worn out in the processor (helical bars, rasp bars, accelerator rolls, etc) and had the early non-turbo Deutz V8 engine, I think you'll be very disappointed in corn and soybeans especially if you have ANY sidehills. I've got two 2005 model year 670 Challengers(A-76) that I service and they are nothing to brag about with 8-30 cornheads in 200 BPA corn. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
We have ran the A series (05 670 Challanger) next to a 98 Gleaner R72 for a couple of years now. In wheat we have found that the R series does a better job and is easier to set then the A series. In Soybeans machines were even for capacity while I could not get the rotor in the A series to do a good job in the green stem beans( to many full pods in the hopper, or throwing to many over). In corn, again same capacity but I did like the 670 better in high moisture corn (28-32) over the R. Now as far as maintanence goes we have had a lot more troubles with the 670 then we have had with the R series. Not saying that they are all that way but that is what we have seen. We also rented an R76 this past year for bean harvest and was really impressed with the upgrades. I am also hearing good things about the new chopper and spreader on the newer models. My vote would definately go to the R series.
Now if you do go with the A series take a look at adding a MAV chopper to it. They are a little higher maintanance but are well worth it.
we had a massey 9690 which would be the same machine, sold it and bought a 98 r 72. I did like some things about the massey but the gleaner would be my choice. The only thing I liked more about the massey than the gleaner would be the mav chopper we had on it. the massey is very hard on fuel as well. and was way harder to set than our tr 98s.
Mav chopper is nice, but high hp requirment. We still end up having to heavy harrow after if we combine at night or have another machine in the field. The A series is thougher to set and does take more fuel. The feeder housing is an advantage on the A Series though. As for not many being sold, it's just a Silver Massey. There are many Massey class six machines sold now and in the past. That said, we will likely switch to a Super seven next year.
The A66 is a year old with @ 250 hrs. The former owner had problems with Fieldstar and got fed up with Agco. His brother is a Case-IH salesman so he is going red, and not Massey. He had R65's before the A66 and liked the axial better. The Case-IH is making us a much better deal than our Agco dealer. He must have a buyer for our R62.