Wednesday, November 22, 2017

MacDon: High-performance Draper and FlexDraper headers suit European conditions

By WniF editors

Canadian harvesting specialist MacDon Industries presented its latest D1 Draper and FD1 FlexDraper headerts at Agritechnica 2017. The company, which established its German-based subsidiary MacDon Europe in June this year, says the headers are designed to maximise productivity even in the most challenging harvesting situations.

In addition to the renowned Active Float System that keeps the headers true-to-the-ground, the outstanding performance of the reel and the smooth, even crop flow, are some of the notable characteristics of MacDon’s Draper Headers. They’re designed to fit most major brand combines with an easy-to-install completion package, and are available in sizes up to 13.7m (45 feet).

MacDon’s Active Float System reacts instantly to changing ground conditions. The immediate float response means that cutting can take place extremely close to the ground without pushing soil, thus avoiding crop losses. That’s of particular importance in high-yielding crop stands common in Europe with frequent lodging in unfavourable weather conditions.

The MacDon FD1 FlexDraper goes one step further: the floating, three-section flexible header and split reel allow the entire header frame, cutterbar, and reel to follow ground contours as a unit, flexing up to 245mm on either end, while maintaining a close reel-to-cutterbar relationship. The unique three-section design ensures smooth and consistent feeding to the combine.

Unlike other headers, the movement of the MacDon heavy-duty reel picks up and gently places the crop onto the drapers. The reel features a uniquely shaped cam that allows the fingers to get underneath lodged crop and pick it up before it’s cut. Along with the header tilt control, which hydraulically angles the knife from the cab, and fore-aft reel positioning, MacDon headers can reduce, or altogether eliminate, the need for crop lifters.

The MacDon reel features a uniquely shaped cam that allows the fingers to get underneath lodged crop and pick it up before it’s cut.

The Active Crop Flow of MacDon’s Draper and FlexDraper headers gently places the crop on the side drapers heads-first, then swiftly moves it onto the feed draper, where it’s scooped up into the combine’s feeder house. Heads-first feeding promotes peak combine efficiency by saving fuel, improving threshing action, creating better straw distribution, and allowing for a more productive harvest.

Draper Headers are particularly more efficient in damp and moist conditions: that’s why harvesting can start earlier in the morning and last longer in evening. As climate change increasingly affects the length and stability of harvest windows, productivity increases achieved by upgrading from a traditional auger platform to a MacDon Draper header makes more efficient use of the harvest window.

MacDon’s Draper and FlexDraper headers are true multi-crop headers, able to take down cereals, oil seeds, pulse crops – just about any crop in any condition. The FD1 FlexDraper switches easily from flex to a solid frame with the quick flip of a lever, thus providing ultimate flexibility to move from one crop type to another.

“We’re convinced that European farmers will quickly realize the advantages that come with MacDon’s Draper and FlexDraper Headers,” the general manager of MacDon Europe, Benedikt von Riedesel, said. “Once someone sees this, they’ll never go back to a traditional auger platform.”

With the major combine manufacturers now starting to build their own Draper headers, MacDon says awareness of the concept will grow and take-up of the concept will incraese. The company sold about 80 headers in Europe for the 2017 season, but expects this to increase significantly as farmers realise the benefits. The increasing size and power of combines being sold means there’s now a potential market of up to 4,000 headers each year in Europe, and MacDon would be happy to supply as many of them as possible from its Winnipeg, Manitoba, production site.

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