MacDon headers get more fingers for bulky crops

The company says this aggressive attack on the crop has increased header feeding capacity by 20 percent

RED DEER — MacDon recently displayed examples of its new One Series headers at Agri-Trade in Red Deer, which includes a full range of flex and rigid headers.

Included in the new lineup is a model number change with the size of the headers now part of the new designations.

At the MacDon booth was a FD135, which is a 35 foot draper header.

The most visible change on the header was the reel.

“The reel now incorporates a four inch finger spacing on the flex draper headers,” said Michael Flintoft of MacDon.

“Those fingers are closer together than our traditional ones. It helps pick up crop better and feed it into the machine.”

As well, the upper cross auger has been improved.

“The upper cross auger now goes right until the end to help clear the corners in bushy crops like canola,” he said.

“In the middle it incorporates dual pitch flighting. The flighting section in the middle help transition bulky crops down and into the combine.”

The flow module, or centre of the header where crop is fed through to the combine, has been redesigned with a heavier frame that is more capable of handling wider and heavier headers.

A new retracting tine drum has also been developed.

“The drum has heavier duty internal components inside of it,” Flintoft said.

“Both the cross shaft that supports the fingers coming out and the reversing clutch for the fingers are all new.”

The drum is configurable de-pending on the combine model with which the header is paired. The flighting can be removed or added, depending on the width of the specific combine model, and fingers on the drum can be added or taken away to accommodate the combine.

“The fingers themselves are new for us this year,” he said.

“They are a longer finger and there are more of them, which makes it more aggressive. If you’re in a really bulky crop like peas or canola, it will engage faster with the crop and pull it down and into the machine.”

The drum speed is configurable for specific combines. Depending on the model of combine, it can be 20 to 50 r.p.m. faster than previous MacDon models.

“What that does is it makes it more aggressive to grab a hold of the crop and to pull it down and feed it into the large Class 8 or Class 9 combines,” he said.

“With these changes we’ve seen up to 20 percent more capacity out of the header feeding into those big combines.”

The header’s drive system has been enhanced with a triple pump system; previous models used dual pumps.

“We’ve now split the draper drive into two,” Flintoft said.

“We have a dedicated drive for the side drapers, which increases the amount of oil we can get to those side drapers, and we can actually spin them at up to 60 percent more speed than we have in the past.”

The other pump drives only the centre draper, which is the same pump that was used to drive all the drapers on previous header models.

“As a result, it is now running at around 1,500 (pounds per sq. inch) instead of 2,700 p.s.i., enhancing the life of the components and the product in general,” Flintoft said.

Some important features of the MacDon header remain from previous models, such as the same float system.

The flex mechanism has a balanced channel and full mechanical system, which allows the wings of the machine to flex up and down.

“The combine header itself is following the ground independent of the combine,” Flintoft said.

“It’s suspended on coil springs that support the weight of the machine and allow the header to follow ground contours independent of what the combine is doing behind it.”

As with previous models, the only sensor on the header is for the automatic header height control. It senses how much the header is floating on the springs and allows the combine to keep it in the optimal operating range.

“Whether they are running Case, New Holland combines, John Deere combines, Claas combines, the same base header and float module will accommodate every single one,” he said.

“And you can switch between brands with a relatively minor steel components and some hydraulic and electrical changes.”

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