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Which chopper? Gehl? NH?

My friend has a JD 3950 to chop hay with. He also has a Gehl 1060 that he used to chop corn that has seen it's last days. He is looking to replace it and here are the 2 options:

1 - Just replace it with another 1060. Looks like $3500 or less.

2 - find a chopper with metal guard to basically replace both. He is concerned that the 3950 can't handle a 2 row corn head behind a 190 hp tractor. The budget is $8000 or less for this. I found a couple NH 900's but he said he has heard of a lot of problems with them. He has considered a Gehl 1065, 1265 or JD 3970.

The more opinions the better! Thanks.
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Re: Which chopper? Gehl? NH?

I used to be a big Gehl fan, but parts availability is going south, and it won't get better. Gehl is out of the hay and forage business, and nobody wanted to buy the line, so it has been abandoned. Buying Gehl hay & forage equipment is a risk that makes no sense to me at nearly any price.

 

A 3950 wouldn't be my first choice, but with a two row head and half a brain, 190hp won't bother it. If you try to feed it as if it were a 3970 with a three row head, it won't take it.

 

New Holland built 900's for 15 years, ending in 1999. I'm sure some had problems, but most owners will say they are a lot better than any NH pulltype before them, or other brand including Deere as well. By now, a lot of them are just plain worn out, but that can be said for any of the models you mention.

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Re: Which chopper? Gehl? NH?

Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't a 3950 driveline rated to handle 150Hp?

 

NH900's were the premier chopper available for a LONG time.  Treated right (like anything else) they are extremely reliable.  Worst I have seen for problem is the electric clutch for the reverser and metalert being an issue when it starts to fail.  Has been a few years since using one so it's mostly an unhappy memory for me.  I remember 140Hp tractor on a NH 790 being too much for the shaft  leaving the gearbox to drive the rolls and cutterhead, but that's the lighter machine like a 3950.  Side note, 900 parts are still available, since the best haymaking line ever is still in business.  And FP230's aren't a whole lot different from 900s.

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Re: Which chopper? Gehl? NH?

    Go with the 3970, I think it is a eating machine with all those little knives. To me is seems to pull more evenly when heavy material. I wore out three Gehl choppers now have 3970 for filling 2 uprights. We now use 6 Row self -propelled  with 3 semi,s for the bunkers. More trucks are needed if you have to drive any long distance. I also pull the 3970 with 200 HP RED tractor. By no means am I a John Deere fan but it is a good chopper. Like the other guy said parts will be easier to get also.

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