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Blacksandfarmer
Veteran Advisor

First combine

I am thinking of buying my first combine either this year or next. I am looking for a combine that is used but not falling apart. What makes and models would you guys recommend? What are things you look for in an older used combine? I am aware of the hours and checking the feederhouse for damage, but a few more tips couldn't hurt. I'm not partial to any make of combine. Even though I use a JD tractor and planter, I'm not overly impressed with the job their older combines do in soybeans. I have a JD dealer a half hour away, a Case dealer 45 minutes away, and a Gleaner/AGCO dealer an hour away. I am in my 6th year of farming and have had harvesting custom done the whole time. I farm close to 200 acres so I'm not the biggest guy out there by any means. Advice is always appreciated. Thanks.

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39 Replies
dave.charlesworth
Frequent Contributor

Re: First combine

MY choice would be  a gleaner combine. I am a smaal acerage farmer too. I have run a gleaner K for years. The only rerpairs I have had to do to it has been some belts and knife. One thing I like about the Gleaner is the trap door on the cylinder. This is great for cutting bean especialy if you have fields with any stones in it. If  you dont catch them they will kick open the door and fall out. Then all you do is close the door and keep going, If it was me I would look for a F3 or M3. in good condition., Of course this depends on how old of machine you want and price

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Blacksandfarmer
Veteran Advisor

Re: First combine

Thanks for the advice Dave. I have actually been looking at a couple Gleaners on tractorhouse but am waiting to see how this crop goes in the ground before seriously looking to buy. Case would be my second pick but Case stopped making parts for some of there older models, and a decent 1660 will run $20,000+ without heads. I have been looking at a Gleaner N3.... I don't know much about that model or how hard it would be to find parts for it. Does AGCO make parts for combines earlier than its R series? Does your Gleaner K have a transverse rotary or straw walkers? I have heard the rotor in a gleaner combine makes for faster harvesting and cleaner grain? I am 28 years old so Im not looking for a top dollar combine but something I could grow with. I am thinking of spending $20,000-$25,000 for a combine and heads.

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Blacksandfarmer
Veteran Advisor

Re: First combine

Spoiler
 

Sorry I said I had been looking at an N3, I meant to say an N6 model.

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r3020
Senior Advisor

Re: First combine

Blacksand, wasn't aware Case had quit making parts for some of their older models. Are you talking axial flows or older? We have run axial flows for nearly 12,000 hours and have never had much trouble. First a 1440 and then 2 1640s.  I was always a Deere man but I really like Case combines. Never been around Gleaners but have heard others say parts for them could be a problem. Good luck.

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Nebrfarmr
Veteran Advisor

Re: First combine

We are still using a 1979 IH 1440.  My brother and I run about 500 acres together, and 200 would be a picnic for a 1440.

While the 1460s and 1480s are good machines, the used one I have seen tend to be run harder, or have more acres through them than a 1440, not to mention pricier for their condition.  The 1440 and 1460 have the same size of rotor, concaves, grain elevators, etc.  The main differences would be a 1460 has a turbo, so more HP, a bigger grain tank, and a heavier front axle to carry a 6 row wide cornhead, wheras a 1440 carries about 25 or 30 bushels less in the tank (about 165 bu or so) and tops out at a 5 row cornhead.

Just last year, when we were basically finishing up harvest, I bought another 1440, with about 3100 hours.

It had new rasp bars, new concaves, new auger flighting, and new sieves at 2500 hours.  At 2800 hoiurs, it got new elevator chains, and a new feederhouse chain.  At 3090 hours, it had a new hydro unit put in (yes, under 10 hours on a CaseIH reman hydro).

I bought the combine, and the attatched 800 series corn head (older model, but it was in A-1 shape) for $4750.  Heck, it's even half full of fuel.  The 1440 we are running now, has about 7000 hours, and is in need of new guts.  I bought the whole combine, for less than the rasp bars, concaves, and sieves, (let alone the hydro).  I have no reason to think it won't go 10+ years without a major repair.

 

If looking at an older IH axial flow, check out the wooden bearings on the belly augers (underneath where the feederhouse meets the combine) and the clean grain elevator (drive sprocket likes to 'creep' and let the chain chew a hole in the side of it) in addition to the usual wear stuff you are used to looking at., as well as for cracks where the rear axle mounts.  If the rear axle is set wide, braces should be added, or else eventually, cracks will form at the rear of the frame, where it attatches.

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Blacksandfarmer
Veteran Advisor

Re: First combine

Neb I had heard that its hard to find parts for 1970's IH models? I know 3000 hours on a combine is a lot and its hard to find a decent Case without 3000+ hours in my price range. Most have around 4000 hours. Have you had problems with Case combines with that many hours on them? As another poster mentioned it sounds like you can run a Case a good long while though. I would be looking for a combine that could handle a six row corn head and 20ft grain head. When buying heads for a combine do you have any advice as what to look for?

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Nebrfarmr
Veteran Advisor

Re: First combine

I've never had a problem getting parts, but some of the things specific to our early model have to be ordered in, where they carry things on hand for the newer ones.

I have only had one part, ever been told it was 'unavailable', it was a shaft, where the new shaft is a different length, but the coupler where it attatches is different, so basically I had to either buy the shaft and coupler both, so it would fit, find one out of a salvage yard, or have a machine shop 'make' one to fit.  I went the salvage yard (cheap) way, because the combine I was putting it on, had over 6500 hours at the time, and I was looking to find one with less use.

The main reason I recommend the old IH Axial-Flows, is that they are just so darn simple, and easy to upkeep.  There are no straw walkers, and not a lot of electronics, and most things are easy to get at to fix.

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Pat in CMO
Senior Contributor

Re: First combine

 I would highly reccomend a Gleaner. An F3 would be a perfect fit for 200 acres. They are very simple to work on/maintain, easy to adjust to get a clean sample. I run an M3 (next size larger than F), last year I put it over 700 acres. The K/F/M/L series are a conventional cylinder/straw walker machine. I have been told if you want a rotory to wait until you can afford an R series and preferably A R52/62 over R50/60. Patrick

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SpringBrookFarm
Veteran Contributor

Re: First combine

Check out ....thecombineforum.com....lots of good info on combines old and new from experts on all brands.

 

Personally id stay away from the N and early R4-5-6-7-40-50-60-70 combines. They are decent combines if you get one that has an P3 processor in it, but the deutz engine can require alot of maintanence to keep to running good. They are air cooled rather than liquid cooled and have to be kept very very clean to protect them. And any engine work will run you dry.

 

We have a 1460 combine at the moment. I love the thing. We put a little over 1000 acres on it last year. Ours in a 83 model and have had no problems with parts. We bought it with 4500 hours on it. The dt 406? if i remember the number right are really good engines, itll start up dead of winter. Its the same engine they have in the tractors and those will run over 10,000 if taken care of. Like was mentioned they are very simple. Hardest belt to replace is the rotor belt but with a little practice its not bad and with only 200 acres you wont have to replace it to often. The cabs are really decent and the rear mounted engine keeps things well balanced and the cab quite. ours has 180 bushel capacity which is pretty decent and we run a 25' head. 25' is actually pusing the limits of what it wants to handle but i bought with the intention of replacing the 1460 at some point and the 1025 flex head will fit the newer combines also. But i have been so pleased with it and its capacity im going to hold off on that. Really you have to go to a 2188 to really a huge difference in size and capacity.

 

http://www.hoober.com/ag/axial_flow_history.asp

 

That link is to the history of the axial flow combines, it has a list of all the combines and the improvements they have done over the years, might fill some of your curiousity. 

 

 

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