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What is the best self propelled swather and why

46414 Views 71 Replies 35 Participants Last post by  harsh
We have had 2 1431NHs since 2002. Before that we were running a 499NH. We are now thinking we want to move to something that is not pulled by a tractor. First off it doesn't have to be New Holland, in fact I have started going away from New Holland because of the dealer, but I would still look at them. Since we have no experience with these machines I am looking for advise. What are good makes and models, what do I need to be looking for when I am looking them over, or any other thoughts that you may have. I would like to know why not just because Deere is better than Case and so on. I will consider local dealer support so I just need information on the machines. I appreciate your help.
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I haven't run a SP windrower in quite a few years, but one of the the neighbors who raises a lot of hay, had a Deere , a New Holland, and a Massey running in one of his fields last year. This year, I see there are two new Massey's parked in the yard. Take it for what it's worth.
I have a M155 Macdon its a very good machine
I don't have a swather at all, but if I needed one it would be a Macdon
How about a little more information? Are you looking at new ones or used ones? What dealers are close to you? Macdon (including the green painted ones) and Agco (Challenger, Hesston, Massey) for the past 3 years have been running the same cutter bar on the self propelled mowers. So the cutting ability on these mowers will be the same just depends on what style crimpers,augers, or flail you want. Agco also offers the double crimpers to help reduce the dry time if that is an issue. The CNH mowers run the individual pods on their cutter bar which is not bad but it does suck to fix. Luckily they came out with the shear hub top a couple years ago that helped solve this issue a lot. From the experiences that we have had with the self propelled mowers we prefer the newer Agco mowers for comfort and quietness in the cabs. They seem to be a little less abusive to their selves and better on fuel than the other brands. Macdon is a really close second though. But the more we watch and study we are starting to think about a tractor and 30 ft. butterfly mower setup might be a better way to go.
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Don't have one, but 9 out of 10 contractors in OZ would be running them. And a few mates with them, rave about them. Fast, reliable, world class cutterbars. Hold good resale value.
We run H8040s for draper machines and an H8080 diskbine. We were thinking of replacing the H8040s with Mac Dons but after a 300 acre demo I prefer the New Hollands.
The Mac Don draper header might be slightly better then the Honey Bee but I think they are quite a bit heavier and very expensive to fix. The main problem with our Honey Bees is they built a really nice platform then threw the hydraulic system together for the shifting tables, they are a mess but a few days work and I would have them cleaned right up if I can find the time. Honey Bee might have that fixed up by now, ours are three years old.
As far as the tractors are concerned New Holland is light years ahead of Mac Don. The cab is larger, quieter, HVAC system is better, viability is better, laid out more logically and simpler. The air ride rear axle takes a little getting used to but after pounding across pivot ruts without it it is definitely allot nicer. Servicing the New Holland is easier, fueling is way easier. Our New Hollands have about 1300hrs each and we haven't had to fix oil leaks and hardly have evidence of seepage anywhere, the new Mac Don had two leaks that had to be fixed by the dealer before we even started and a few more that we just put up with for the demo. They both have kind of a goofy system for their header linkage and flotation systems but Mac Don's is more complex with more moving pieces. Mac Don ties reel speed in with the left wheel, turn left the reel almost stops, turn right the reel takes off, can be real irritating.

The H8080 is a very nice machine, we can throw an operator on it and send him out and be confident it'll run good all day. It is hard on fuel and you have to clean the rad every eight hours in dirty conditions but we usually run it right at max power all day so can't complain. The main reason we went with it was the 19 foot header, it seems a little under powered but otherwise it handles it fine. The shear hubs are an excellent idea, so far we've only had to change out one pod but that was due to hitting some big cast object out in the field. We do have to weld tabs on the pods for the rock guards occasionally but usually they can finish out the day with the rock guard missing no problem. As far as crimper effectiveness is concerned I'm on the fence it seems sometimes a good heavy crop will dry down in two days and sometimes it takes weeks to dry down a light crop, I think it has more to do with atmospheric conditions then anything.

I don't have any experience with others, hope this gives you some insight.
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The Agco brands, Challenger or Massey are awesome machines. Disc heads are second to none, thin cutterbar, no auger in it like the CNH machines, cut like no other. The Wr series tractors are also great, cooling package nearly never needs cleaned, has reversing fan and none of the coolers are stacked, engines are pretty efficient on fuel compared to the others, cab has gotten better but is a bit louder than the CNH. MacDon here has pretty much gone away because of dealer network, and there is not much draper work around here. Agco has a new draper coming out soon, will have double sickle drive. The CNH machines have a bad rap here for the cooling package plugging and requires clean out several times a day and they are tough to get to to clean thoroughly.
My comment was geared towards the draper machines and its totally the opposite here. The massy was the go to swather until Macdon massacred them with the D- series drapers and new tractors. Really put the spank on Honeybee as well. No matter what direction or color of combine here there's Macdon on the front.
My comment was geared towards the draper machines and its totally the opposite here. The massy was the go to swather until Macdon massacred them with the D- series drapers and new tractors. Really put the spank on Honeybee as well. No matter what direction or color of combine here there's Macdon on the front.
My Massey 9220 has a MacDon header on it.....I believe most Masseys use MacDon headers.
My Massey 9220 has a MacDon header on it.....I believe most Masseys use MacDon headers.
So now it's half a swather? LOL! Seriously I don't think our 9220 would even lift a D series Macdon draper. It's got something they call a "5000" and it's got a SCH sickle drive (no complaints there) and that aluminum bat pickup reel brank that escapes me now. If its Macdon there sure isn't much Macdon in it.
we have a massey and m155 macdon the macdon is superior in my opinion,more power better floating table just a well built machine.
that aluminum bat pickup reel brank that escapes me now.
I guess they call it U II.
We have run both the Macdon and Masseys on our farm. Both are good machines but the Masseys have alot more going for it. They are Tier 4 machines, have a better ride overall with cab, seat, and rear axle suspension. Cooling system is fantastic and only needs seasonal cleaning because of the reversing fan. Much better fuel consumption and power than the Macdon. Disk headers on the Masseys have a much cleaner cut, require less hp to run, and the double conditioner rollers save hay. Swath quality is also better with a Massey with either auger or disk header. As far as draper headers, the Macdon has had a better header with a better reel. Massey is coming out with a new updated draper header this year, with a copy cat reel based off the Macdon design. Should be a nice improvement. My dealer sells about 50/50 Macdon and MF's, but says he has a lot less warranty issues and repairs with the MFs than the Macdons.
Thanks to everyone that has responded. One of the earlier posts asked for more information. Wanted to know if I was looking for new or used. We will be looking at used machines probably in the 5 to 10 year old range, and spending most of our time looking at the 5 year end. Also it was asked about dealer support in the area. Deere 1/2 mile, Case 20 miles, New Holland 20 miles (but have had some issues with them), and Agco/MF/Heston 70 miles these are the only dealers that I can think of in the area, and all have been good to work with except the New Holland dealer. We will be needing a disk header. I was wondering about hours on these machines what is high what kind of major repairs can we expect as we reach different hour marks? What kind of problems should I be looking for as we inspect these machines? Again thank you for your time.
what about the Case machines. I found an older one, but it is priced well, and I am wondering if there is a reason it is priced so low or if it is a good deal.
My vote is also MacDon. Never been around the new Massey/Heston. N/H makes a decent machine as well. I'd avoid the Deere as much as I love green paint. If you're looking 5-10yr old disc machine I'd say your best bet is probably an HW340 N/H.
I would have to disagree. The NH 340 couldn't be given away here. The Hesston 9260 would be the best 5-10 year old machine.
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