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I personally would always pick a 6 batt over a 5 batt reel if there was not much cost difference. We have had both and I am not sure we have seen much difference although it is hard to say because we were not running them side by side in the same conditions. I can not recall the reel tubes bending on the 6 batt like the 5 batt.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Its a factory option on 35' FD75 headers. Years ago had a 6 bat on D60 header and liked it. Using peas with lifters it seems the peas either bunch at the lifter point or at the sickle and was wondering if a 6 batt reel would do a better job of keeping the peas flowing. Not sure if the extra weight would make the header float poorer or pick more rocks or any other reasons to not try one.
 

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We just don't use lifters[1] at all anymore since the knife is already nice and close to the dirt. I think a 6-bat reel would pull in flat peas rather well with the FD75 and no lifters, especially since the reel can stay in close to the knife even during flexing. We've found that cutting at an angle to the seeding rows (sometimes taking into account the overall lean) works well. Ours is 5-bat but we've often thought 6 would be slightly better. Our D60 with 6 seems to work well with lodge crops, maybe feeding slightly more evenly.

[1] Seems like a lot of lifter designs are meant for the old auger headers where the knife was never that close to the ground. Our lifters would actually push up when we sit the FD70 on the ground, so they weren't effective anyway, except at pushing dirt and providing places for the pea vines to bunch up.
 

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[1] Seems like a lot of lifter designs are meant for the old auger headers where the knife was never that close to the ground. Our lifters would actually push up when we sit the FD70 on the ground, so they weren't effective anyway, except at pushing dirt and providing places for the pea vines to bunch up.
You need to try newer lifters, you can actually cut with your knife not in the dirt, let the lifters bring the crop to you. I can't imagine less loss without the lifters I'm using. Check out McKay lifters.
 

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Yes those are very similar to the lifters we have. I'm sure there are some cases when the crop is lodged in a certain way that they'd help, but for the majority of cases, we saw no benefit or less losses. Like I said, they tended to just be cause vines to bunch up and the reel couldn't clean them off (had to get out of the cab and clear them). We saw no real benefit particularly when we tip the header forward.

Most of the crops we use the flex header for (besides peas) really require the knife to be flat on the ground anyway to get all the pods that are at ground level.
 
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