“Our goal from the outset was to take two best-in-class draper platforms and make them even better.”
Have you visited your MacDon dealer lately? If you have you likely noticed that new editions of MacDon’s rigid and FlexDraper® headers – D65 and FD75 respectively – are now available. What might have been less easy to notice are the many improvements that have been made under their respective hoods, so to speak.
“The upgrades and changes that have been made on our 5 Series draper headers are evolutionary, rather than revolutionary,” said MacDon Product Manager Jason Strobbe. “Our goal from the outset was to take two best-in-class draper platforms and make them even better.”
To that end, MacDon sought input from all parties who could contribute.
“We not only received ideas from a number of MacDon departments including manufacturing, parts, shipping and engineering, but also from growers and our dealers. We basically took a look at just about everything on our rigid and FlexDraper® products and asked ourselves, ‘can this be done better?’”
Between the two headers and the CA25 Combine Adapter, which is common to both, there are up to 30 improvements that have been made, affecting everything from draper and reel performance to overall crop retention. Strobbe says the guiding principle behind many of the improvements was making things simpler; simpler to manufacture, simpler to service and simpler to operate.
“Our rigid and flex headers now share even more in common than before, and many of the parts are interchangeable. Additionally, we’ve standardized many features making buying and configuring a header easier. The result for growers, in most cases, is a header that is easier to maintain and performs better in a wider range of conditions and crops.”
Strobbe points to a number of innovations that have been brought to the draper, to demonstrate one example of how field performance has been improved for the grower. First, components in the draper
drive have been strengthened for improved handling under the heaviest crop loads.
Next, tungsten carbide ribs have been added to the steel drive rollers and the draper guides have been lengthened on the header legs. The result is reduced slippage and longer draper life overall.
Another performance improvement on both headers can be found in the adjustments that have been made to the reel. Here the reel arms have gone to a straight design from the curved design they had previously. This simple change increases the reel’s side to side stability under extreme terrain conditions as well as helps ensure optimal position of the fingers throughout the entire range of the reel’s fore and aft positions. The reel’s end shields have also been redesigned to increase clearance between the reel and header end sheets, improving crop flow and reducing carryover accordingly.
Some of the biggest performance enhancements to both headers can be found in combine applications thanks to improvements that have been made to the CA25 Combine Adapter. Operators familiar with the CA20 will find the newer version easier to install thanks to the replacement of the trim springs with rockers. This one change also reduces the number of parts and components on the adapter – always a good thing.
The CA25 also features improved hydraulics that are easier to service with fewer fittings and connection points. Additionally, the hydraulic knife reverser feature is now standard and draper speed is easier to control thanks to an improved draper speed dial equipped with a position indicator. Even controlling the header’s float and tilt has been made easier by mounting the tilt indicator directly on the cylinder, making it easier for the operator to see, and simplifying its overall design, making it easier to service and less sensitive to chaff build-up.
Seed growers will appreciate the improved feed deck sealing design, which provide a better seal between the draper and the front rock sump and poly pan area, have become standard on all adapters. As such, they should experience even less seed loss than before; notable that MacDon drapers have always been considered top performers in this regard.
“I think producers overall will be very pleased with what we’ve done with these two headers,” said Strobbe. “In our opinion, both platforms already offered best-in-class performance, but the improvements we’ve made on their 5 Series versions should bode well for some time to come.”