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Implement Alley Discussion Forum

Re: Forage harvester suggestions

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10-08-2013 09:35:43

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You already hit on the big things that's wrong with the Deere,parts. Unless Deere-Mart is a whole lot different over there than it is here in Michigan.

I don't know what model you could run with a 2 row head and 70 horse. I had a 3800 and ran it with a 90 horse 4040. I was always in low gear with my foot on the clutch. The Deere heads are a pain in the backside. They had those hex shafts and bearings so no lock collars. Unless you were darned careful to keep the right spacers in them they tore up the bevel gears that ran the gathering chains. Then there were the actual gathering chains. Nothing but 60 roller chain with belts bolted to them. If they got the least little bit loose and got any trash under them,they ran off at the top.
The reverser on that one I had ran with an electric motor,so there was a two or three second delay while you waited for enough travel to stop it. Same thing while you waited for it to go in to reverse and back out of reverse.
The auger has a carrier on the end that sticks straight out. It didn't bother in corn,but in hay mine would wrap and then punch the bearing right out of the flange on the drive end.
I don't know if the newer ones were any improvement,but I wouldn't even look at another Deere chopper.

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10-08-2013 14:31:47

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 Re: Forage harvester suggestions in reply to rrlund, 10-08-2013 09:35:43  
The Deere row crop head is not the greatest thing in the world... that much I give you... but it's not too bad either provided you observe a couple of things. Number one, first and foremost... you do not attempt to chop in wet conditions. By that, I mean if it's rained... go home. Stalks and undergrowth need to be dry to touch. If it's wet the crap will build up under the belts and throw the chains. Beyond that... keep the bevel gear shafts well greased, knives somewhat close, etc and they work well enough.

As far as the newer choppers go... they're a good machine. Some were prone to eating feedroll bearings or so it seemed. The smooth feedroll will eventually rot away after it's worn thin... most of them tear the tapered splines off the blower drive shaft and a lot of them got a repair kit installed. The rest of the got welded... so be careful about that. It's fine until you need to replace the bearings on the blower shaft, then you replace the shaft. Lower blower bands and eventually side sheets would wear out... and shearbar adjusters need periodic adjustment when the cut starts getting ragged.
I've never had any problem with the electric/hydraulic controls on mine and I don't know anyone else who has either. Sometimes the harness plugs need replacement but that's pretty minor. Do keep in mind that the hydraulics ~are~ closed center. If you have an open center tractor you need to buy a conversion spool and solenoid. It takes about 10 min to install and probably a couple hundred bucks to buy today if you get it new...
Personally I don't think Deere builds the best harvester, but it's a pretty good harvester. Where I find they make up the difference is in parts. The parts for those things, for the most are fairly cheap and readily available... at least most of the stuff I've needed over the years.
Also consider that the row crop heads are quite readily available used... so when one of them is ready to go to corn head heaven, you buy two more and keep the old one for parts.


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10-11-2013 17:46:23

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 Re: Forage harvester suggestions in reply to RodInNS, 10-08-2013 14:31:47  
I have never had a problem chopping in the rain with my Deere 35 or 3940.More than once we chopped in the rain because the corn was to dry without any problems.The knives need to be sharp and adjusted tight and the belts good and timed up properly.In my 20 years of experience with Deere machines we have never had problems with the bevel gears on the head either.The only thing that I do not like about the Deere head is that if you get off the row you knock over corn.The best harvester in my opinion is the Deere 3950-3970 with a new Holland 824 corn head.

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NY 986

10-08-2013 16:59:13

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 Re: Forage harvester suggestions in reply to RodInNS, 10-08-2013 14:31:47  
I am late to the discussion but looking around where I am at I would say most of the pull harvesters are JD. I used to think NH if I ever thought I would need a factory new machine but now I think it would be a JD. I still have a lot of trust in the 7XX and 8XX IH choppers but they are getting harder to find. I think JD has the edge for parts and service where I am at.

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10-08-2013 16:13:36

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 Re: Forage harvester suggestions in reply to RodInNS, 10-08-2013 14:31:47  
on those damp days when the jd guys were sitting in the house drumming their nuts because the gathering chains wouldn't stay on us and the rest of the NH owners were cutting silage, you can't go wrong with a New Holland cutter

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10-08-2013 18:46:26

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 Re: Forage harvester suggestions in reply to dboll, 10-08-2013 16:13:36  
Who said anything about damp? I said you can't cut when it's wet... as in raining... as some of are granted the option of doing some years. Aside from that I don't find it too desperate bad.
The main reason to run a Deere chopper around here is that they're more available used, considerably cheaper and parts are more readily available.


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10-09-2013 04:05:31

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 Re: Forage harvester suggestions in reply to RodInNS, 10-08-2013 18:46:26  
Here's a quote from the original post."but do not really want a Deere as the local dealer is not very good with parts support".

That's the boat that a lot of us are in. Sounds like you don't have that problem. You don't know how lucky you are. You're getting to be in a very small minority.

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10-09-2013 06:41:09

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 Re: Forage harvester suggestions in reply to rrlund, 10-09-2013 04:05:31  
And again I say... find another dealer. I guess I find myself in the fortunate situation that I don't have a dealer of any kind within 200 miles. When I do it's now one of the super dealers with 7-8 locations. To date they've been pretty good... but if they weren't... I think I'm at the point that I'd just start searching a wider area. Everything I get comes by courior anyway so it doesn't much matter if it comes from 200 miles or 2000 miles. I've never found one yet that doesn't take a card.


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10-09-2013 09:17:19

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 Re: Forage harvester suggestions in reply to RodInNS, 10-09-2013 06:41:09  
He didn't say that he doesn't have a New Holland or CaseIH dealer close by either. Only that he has a Deere dealer that's no help. Why send off for Deere parts if you can drive down the road and pick them up for the other two brands and get right back to work? Some people aren't that religiously devoted to green paint.

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10-09-2013 15:07:26

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 Re: Forage harvester suggestions in reply to rrlund, 10-09-2013 09:17:19  
I'm less devoted to green paint that just about anyone. I run a certain amount of Deere stuff simply because it was cheap and available. On balance I see a lot more PT Deere harvester than I've ever seen of NH pull types unless you take the 717/718 into account... and in that case you deserve what you get if you buy one.
IH was a complete non-entity around here in terms of harvesters. Pretty much a non-entity in every other department as well.
My personal view is that you go with the one that's most economical to purchase/maintain. You'll learn early on with a Deere that you keep a bunch of spare knives on hand. You make a point of doing careful inspections of feedroll bearings annually and keeping a set of them on hand after 3-4 years of use and when they whoof their cookies you change them. You keep a spare row crop head around or at least a spare chain or two. Outside of that you're not apt to need much in an emergency situation and if you do the dealer won't have it anyway... so then you get it drop shipped from the depot anyway. I really don't see what the big deal is about the dealer. The way most of you go on, you'd be out of business tomorrow if you had to deal with the support we have around here.


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10-08-2013 16:32:12

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 Re: Forage harvester suggestions in reply to dboll, 10-08-2013 16:13:36  
I was thinking something pretty close to that. Had a real heavy dew this morning,didn't dry off til noon. I started right in chopping with my CaseIH as soon as I got chores done. The rotary knives and all rubber gathering belts didn't give me any trouble. I wouldn't get much done in a day if I had to wait til noon every day to start.

Voice of several years experience,those Deere heads are junk.

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10-08-2013 16:22:06

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 Re: Forage harvester suggestions in reply to dboll, 10-08-2013 16:13:36  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

I agree. If I had to wait for things to be dry, there's lots of days I would've been either waiting, or quitting much earlier than I would otherwise. We only have an 880 head on our 892 right now, but even that was worth what we spent on it in last years corn. Picked up much more than the Fox 3000's head ever did in downed corn, and we had a lot of that last year...

We're planning to start chopping on Friday, hope to have the bag full by Sunday. If all goes well, that should be no problem. If it doesn't, well.......

Last year the head broke a gethering chain and we were able to have one shipped to us in a day which isn't bad for a head that hasn't been made in over 30 years.

Donovan from Wisconsin

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