One man show.

MacDon drapers help Don Boles bring his harvest in.

Don Boles is challenged like many other one-combine producers today. While his farm’s acreage has crept up in recent years, available labor has become increasingly scarce, ruling out the feasibility of simply adding a second combine to the mix. Even so, he still prefers to do the work himself and that means getting bigger, more productive equipment to allow him to keep up with his increased workload.

“Farms are getting larger and there are less people to do the work,” said Boles from his farm near Three Hills, Alberta, where he harvests wheat, barley, canola and peas. “For me it’s easier and more cost effective to run one combine instead of two. That means taking advantage of the latest technology so that I can do as much as possible with that one machine.”

And when it comes to employing the latest technology, Boles has benefited over the last three years from being able to use one of MacDon’s new D60-D headers on his John Deere 9860 combine. According to Boles it has been a very productive experience for his operation.

“The D60-D feeds a lot better across all crops and conditions than any other draper I’ve used. This is mostly due to its wide feed draper on the CA20 combine adapter, which allows fluffy crops like peas or canola more room to fall, and the CA20’s large feed auger.”

 

Boles says that the more even feeding not only means better, more consistent threshing, but also faster travel with his combine in the field. Those are important benefits when you are trying to cover more terrain with one machine, or fighting a challenging crop. But better feeding is not the only thing to love about the D60, according to Boles.

“I also like how it doesn’t push the dirt, even when you are skimming it. You can cut very close thanks to the D60’s excellent flotation, hydraulic header tilt, automatic header height control and poly wear plates under the cutterbar and on the skid shoes. MacDon drapers continue to lead the industry because of the combined effect features like these.”

Close cutting is important to Boles when he is harvesting peas, and in this crop the D60 really shines.

“In peas the D60 has performed flawlessly. The new pattern that the reel fingers travel is really gentle on the peas and I think that that minimizes shatter due to reel engagement. MacDon is the only header manufacturer that builds its own reel, and it shows.”

Boles also reports that maintenance has been minimal on the D60 over the three years that he has used it.

“As far as maintenance goes, the D60 performed trouble free in the three years I have had one. In fact, I went through all of one year and I didn’t work on the knife at all. That is partly due to the flotation being so good now. I think that MacDon still has the best flotation in the business. Even without gauge wheels it’s easy to lift either end of the header with one finger, something that can’t be done with any other make.”

This is just one more reason that Boles enthusiastically recommends MacDon drapers to just about anyone who will listen. He says that he has recommended them to both neighbors and to farmers as far away as Australia through some of the online farmer forums that he frequents.

But as wonderful as the D60 has performed for Boles, he won’t be using it on his combine this summer. That’s because he has upgraded to a new class 9 combine. When selecting a header he chose to go with the flex cousin of the D60, MacDon’s FD70 FlexDraper® in its 40 foot size.

“When I decided to go to the larger combine I was looking for a flex head that could keep up. I seriously considered all of the flex options out there, but after using MacDon’s D60 for three years, it was easy to see there was really only one option.”

He says that everything he has read on the online forums about the FD70 FlexDraper® has been very positive, and it is those opinions that in part convinced him to go for the FlexDraper®. But don’t mistake him, he hasn’t abandoned the D60 altogether. In addition to his new FD70, he has also purchased a new 35 foot D60 to go with his new M Series 200 windrower. With all of the new technology in his new M Series windrower, Boles says he hopes to achieve at least a 40% boost in productivity over his old machine – a Model 9352 mounted with a 972 Harvest Header®.

When asked why he is so loyal to MacDon products his reply is simple.

“I can’t imagine getting out of something that works that good.”