Timely question, as I will be looking for a rotary replacement for my 9650W this season for delivery in '08. My understanding is the rotary wins in corn. But what about the difficult crops and conditions?
For me that includes soybeans with dry grain and green ropy stems. What about milo before a frost with plenty of soil moisture? Lots of juce and a few sucker heads. I bin my own milo, so I don't want a grain sample that looks like silage. Or wheat harvest delayed by rain, like this year. Lots of weeds, and the fields can be done before 2,4-D or glyphos will work.
I know how my walker performs under these conditions. Those of you who have made the move to rotarys speak up about where they shine or suck relative to the walkers.
I'm thinking about buying a 9660 WTS right now. It doesn't matter to me if it was made in Moline or not. I think it depends on your situation. Were I farm (MT) 20 to 40 bpa spring wheat is the norm. In that kinda wheat, there is no difference between the capacity of a 96XX conventional and the 9660 STS. I currently run a 8820, CTS II, and for the last 3 years I have rented a 9760 STS. The 9760 this year was kinda of a waste in my 20-25 bpa wheat (dry year). I run 36ft drapers on the CTS and the 9760 but you can only go so fast is our terrain. I just started pricing out combines and the conventional is about $24,000 cheaper than the STS. After seeing what kinda shape some of these STS combines are after a couple thousand hrs, the conventional is looking better.
This is something I have been thinking 'bout for a good while, now. I'm sure a bunch of you have seen that I have just about settled on going with another 9600, but to back up from that (in my decision makiing process), I first had to decide whether I wanted walker or rotor.
I did a lot of visiting with the owner of a very large custom harvesting business ...they call Amarillo, TX 'home'. He told me that a rotor with 2000 hours on it 'looks like' a walker with about 4000 hours. (so he said..don't kill the messenger!
) Yeah, the rotor has fewer parts, but they are high[er]-wear parts. (My ~opinion~ ; flame off)
The conditions around here are often less than optimum. You gotta' know that we are all dryland around here. You can get up around Dalhart, TX and have some water (
for how long I don't know ??Geeeezzz what a bad deal...but that is another thread!
) My county's average for winter wheat is about 23 bpa. Thank goodness our average is better than that! I would guess-timate the average on milo to be somewhere's around 2500 lb./ac. . Sometimes weeds invade our wheat ; and we all know how much rotors 'love weeds'. With a walker machine, one can open the concave a bit, and send 'em on through...better than the rotor, in my book anyway. The milo 'round here usually requires a freeze to make it clean up good (good tank sample). That's just the way it is around here.......For my crops (wheat & milo), I can not justify a rotor, not at this point anyway. I'm know a rotor will do better in corn, and they are the only thing to have when grain for seed is a factor.
The more I look around, the 9600/9610 is just about the best bang for the book..for me.. IF I wanted a rotor, I would not buy a new one, but that is just me. I would follow in behind Veith Bros.(big-time c/harvesters), or someone like that. They trade 6-8 machines every year in-on new ones. (They also have a fleet of older 4x4 machines, too). Gosh, if 600-800 hrs. 'ruins' (i.e. really worn & requires a lot of parts to make it field ready) one of these things, then nobody can afford to run 'em. Bottom line is that I choose the walker machine due to: 1 just as good or [even] sometimes better in my crops/conditions, 2 longer lived, and 3 reduced price.
I know the argument concerning [how] a person can not go by hours, pertaining to wear...how the amount of material [through the machine] is paramount to [harvest/seperator] hours. I still believe that the walker machine, in the long run, will harvest the same amount of acres for less money overall. I'm sure some will disagree, but hey; we're all entitled to our own opinion...and that's great!
I realize the 9650 (or whatever newer-style walker combine) is considered 'better' by some. However, for my crops and conditions, the 9600/9610 is adequate, more times than not; and uses less fuel in a day than it's newer brother. Sure, in a heavy year, more HP (~and a better seat~LOL) is a good thing ; but 8 years in 10 my choice will suffice. I wish JD would produce another version of the 9600 (size/capacity & price (yeah right!).. I believe it would be a hit! It won't happen, though, as the 9600-10 is 'too small', don't ya' know?
Very true TxFarmer. I have seen 1200 hour STS machines that were so worn out I wouldnt trade for them...but i sold 9600's with over 4000 hours that can leave one farm and be dropped off in the field and start harvesting.
Txfarmer, I didnt think you get frost in the taxas panhandle. What time of year would you get them. As for us (we run new holland) we have a rotar and we rented a convensional this year and we couldnt get it to thresh the rye out. and we had more cracked grain with the cx. I think we'll stick to rotar.
Let me start by saying I am in no way trying to change your mind, but I would like to comment on a few of the things that you said that were running though our minds before making the same decision. I am in no way knocking anything, just offering my experience.
We ran JD conventionals (I probably have 3000 seat hours and would hate to guess the "wrench turning" hours) from a 95 through the 9610s and demoed a 9650 before switching to Axial Flows (probably 1000 seat hours and still hate to guess the wrenching hours). the decision was long and difficult to make to switch to something we knew nothing about, but we kept leasing/demoing them and they consistently out performed our conventionals.
The comment about a rotor w/2000hrs looking like a walker with 4000hrs is probably in reference to STS's vs 96xxs. I have no experience with STSs so I can't comment on them. I do not believe that is the case comparing a 9600 to the same vintage AFs. I can say with certainty that in our conditions a AF with 3500hrs on it is no more wore out than an conventional with 3500 hrs on it.
The conditions here can also be less than optimum as well. The AFs we have now will consistently provide a faster ground speed and a generally better sample. The best way I can describe it is they seem to be more forgiving, or have a larger sweet spot. I find myself "tweaking" the setting much less often than I had to with the conventionals. With the conventionals I was constantly fiddling with them trying to get the sample cleaned up and keep the losses acceptable while maintaining a respectable ground speed. By far the hardest crop we thresh is lodged green stemmed irrigated soybeans, which can make threshing weedy milo look like a cakewalk. The AFs perform every bit as well as the 96xxs we ran, and with an AFX rotor, better, all while making a cleaner sample. We were scared to death of a rotor due to this crop, but I can honestly say that a conventional does not handle tough weeds or green stemmed beans any better than a rotor. Actually, I have spent WAY more time underneath the feeder house digging out a cylinder than I have digging out a rotor slug (only slugged a rotor once in green stemmed beans before the header got shined up. It was by far worse to unslug than a cylinder).
The AFs are running a little cheaper in yearly repair bills than the JDs were, and in my opinion most things are a bit easier to work on. There are far less belts/bearings etc. I could come up with a fairly long list of things that could be beefed up on the AFs (mostly sheetmetal) as well as I could for the conventionals.
What it boils down to is what you are comfortable with, which has the better support etc. Where we live the JD dealer seems to be more interested in selling mowers and compact tractors that ag equipment. I don't think the employ anyone who can set a combine (never seen any of them come out to help us set them). The CIH salesman was out the first time we harvested each crop with our AFs the first year, and is out at a moments notice if we have trouble (which we don't really after the first year we got the hang of them). That was a big factor in us making the switch.
There isn't a darn thing wrong with a 96xx and they will do fine, I just thought I'd try to provide some (somewhat) unbiased opinion on our experience with both.
Since ive never drove a rotor in a field, i cant comment from an operator standpoint on them.
However, when we we're doing soybeans on a real dry almost perfect night at around 11pm when cargill was on their extended harvest hours, and we hired our neighbor to help us get the last 400acres of beans out with his 2388 and 25ft platform, we were dead even in our 9600 and 25ft platform. I think he said the next day he was running .1-.2mph faster than i was, but you could barely tell over the 1mi long rows we were doing.
I'd never complain about having a walker, but rotors seem to dominate corn fields around here even though there still going the 3.5-4.5mph everyone else does, there F.M. samples are just a little bit cleaner than ours after we get everything setup right.
Thanks for posting your comments. I really do appreciate hearing what you think, because you have the seat time...and not just going by what you "heard". I have NO doubt that the rotors are a good thing...and they are most definitely here to stay...I can't say that about the walkers, though...at least the "here to stay" part, and that worries me. I have cut along side rotors, and it has been my experience that the walker machine did better in weedy conditions. Maybe it was the crop (?) ; maybe it was that particular day (?). I'm not sure. For high-bushel corn, and crops along those lines, I believe a rotor can't be beat. I do wonder, though, if a rotor is ~needed~ in these parts, considering the dryland conditions and the crops we grow...or are they [just] ~wanted~, and folks [around here] have fallen prey to JD & CIH's marketing ploys. I hear what you're saying about dealer support! Take what you said, and reverse it..and that has been the case (
no pun intended
)around here ; at least up until recently. Lately, [local] CIH seems to be pushing and trying. I like it!
Sorry I have not replied sooner ; I have not kept up with this thread like I should have.
I am glad my somewhat long post was of help. I just got in from picking corn when I wrote it, and since I have reread it I just wanted to paraphrase a bit. Don't base your decision on what the Deere salesman used to push as the downside of rotaries before they made one. i.e. wont handle weeds as well etc.etc. While that may have been true in 1979 on a 1480, I just don't think those are really issues on later models. While the rotary shines in corn (and milo for that matter), our primary crop is wheat and the rotaries are a dream to run in wheat. They seem to prefer to stay loaded (produce a better sample with less loss the more full they are) whereas with the conventionals I could almost always drive (thresh) faster than I could clean. Some of the old Pioneer varieties were a nightmare to try to get the whitecaps out of the bin.
The rebuttal to these comments are that Davedan and others really seem to get some incredible performance out of their 96xxs in yields I only dream about, so maybe we never had ours optimized. I never heard of the beater speed up and other performance enhancing mods until recently on this forum.
You have to be careful when comparing just any 21/2388 to one particular 96xx. There are many settings that influence the xx88s ability to handle material (weeds, green stemmed beans etc). When we first got the 88s, one would consistently whip the other in beans. Come to find out, the transport vanes were set to hold the crop in the rotor longer on the one that was getting whipped, thus requiring much more power to achieve the same throughput. Once the vanes were adjusted, they perform the same
Also, there are many other variables to both machines.
Is the pump turned up
What position are the transport vanes in
Straw chopper or not
Stock or aftermarket concaves
horsepower was increased substantially over the years, especially from the early small grain 9600
beater speed up kit
number of walker risers
number of curtains
etc.etc. you get the idea.
Point is there are 88s that will smoke other similar 88s and the same is true for any make depending on how it is configured or even when the last time you changed the air/fuel filter was.
95 model corn combine
10% chip approx. 285 hp
10 series air filter
50% bars good concave with inserts in no filler plates
feeder house on slow speed
no beater speed up
factory installed risers only 2 curtains in
dont believe it was turned up
Believe its a 01 model, spec rotor
they said it had a larger wire case concave
bars and rotor had been redone in the spring
dealer had came out and moved transport vanes to fast position
fuel n air filter dunno??
2188: no clue
I just figured they would put it to me, kinda suprised how well the 96 did.
The advantage you list of .5 mph in wheat sounds about right for a non turned up 21 based on my experiences. Did you happen to compare bin samples and/or losses out the back? Just curious how you thought they compared if you did.
It doesn't surprise me that your 96 hung in in beans, as in beans you are not generally limited by cleaning capacity, but more by power getting them through the cylinder/rotor. The one crop I do not see any ground speed advantage in for the (non AFX equipped) rotary is in soybeans. I was just making the point that there doesn't seem to me to be a loss of ground speed in tough conditions for the rotary compared to the conventional...as tends to be the general thinking. I do believe that if the AF would have had an AFX rotor (or a kit to mimic one), it would have gained an advantage in beans also. (FYI we take in 30' of 60-70bpa irrigated beans with turned up, non AFX 21s). We will be trying the AFX front end kits this fall in beans so I will know more about them in a month or so.
Like I said before, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a 96, they are a very dependable machine.
They are good combines, just had several electrical glitches with the first 95/9650 walkers. The 9560 Walkers and Sidehills we sold we have had very little problems with and the perform very well in our conditions. Only real issue we had in a 9560 was where we found the wrong walkers were installed (small grain i suppose) and corn cobs were getting hung in them. Havent sold any of the WTS yet.
Back in the middle of wheat harvest the dealer at Pittsburg, KS had a 04 9660w rig - was loaded to the gills with oprions as the family that owned the dealership ordered it.
I stopped in to look at it and immediately noticed several bearings were bad, the a/c compressor clutch had fallen off and the fuel system had a bunch of hose and line re routing because it would lose prime at night and not start in the morning. It had 1050/825 hours, I thought that was quite a bit of stuff to go wrong with a combine with that amount of sep hours.
Here case has lost a ton of combine sales to deere, the 2588 and 7010 may take back some market, but overall the case dealer that serves our area is just not good to deal with and has been the biggest factor.