Products mentioned in this article: FD75 FlexDraper® Headers for Combine
Like any farmer who has bought a new, larger combine, Australian farmer Andrew Lamshed expected a certain increase in productivity when he upsized from his previous combine mounted with a 30’ header to a brand new A86 Gleaner mounted with MacDon’s giant 45’ FD70 FlexDraper® (one of the first 45 footers to be sold in Australia). But even he admits that he was surprised by just how much more productive his new set-up was.
“There was a time when I left my dad cutting for a couple of hours, and when I came back I was shocked by how far across the paddock (field) the header (combine) had traveled while I was away,” recalled Lamshed. “That was probably as much an eye opener as anything. With our old header we wouldn’t have done two thirds of what that new machine did in those two hours.”
Andrew Lamshed, a 5th generation farmer who has been farming for at least 22 years, cuts about 4,000 acres of lentils, wheat and barley with his wife Sharyn and his dad Geoff and mom Kathleen. His farm is located near the town of Kadina at the northern base of Australia’s expansive Yorke Peninsula. He admits that moving to the 45’ FD70, 15 feet wider than what he was previously used to, did cause him to pause initially.
“It was a pretty hard decision, actually, when we first decided to go from 30 to 45 feet.”
He says that he was able to rationalize the jump in size by reminding himself that 40 foot fronts (headers) are now “widely accepted” in the area, so a 45 foot front would only mean an extra 21⁄2 feet each side of centre. Happily, the extra width turned out not to be an issue thanks to the exceptional flotation and flex provided by the FD70, especially when cutting close to the ground in lentils.
“It performed equally as good, if not better than our previous front, even though the 30 footer probably had more flex sections in it.” (MacDon FD70 FlexDrapers employ a unique three section flex concept compared to conventional flex heads.) “It did an exceptional job over the stones, and I really liked that you’re able to tilt the front of the knife down to cut really low at the push of a button. I would definitely say that we get a closer shave with it.”
Lamshed says that this is the first MacDon front that he has owned, but seeing it in action has made him a believer.
“It’s one of the few products that we‘ve bought off a machinery dealer that just works straight away without any major issues. I mean, we’re kinda used to coming back into the dealer to have some stuff redone, but not with this MacDon. We’re really happy with it; our experience has just been tremendous.”