| Hesston discbines?|
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|Are they any good? Looking to get a Case IH 8312 or equivalent Hesston. What should I look out for?|
1. Does it have the hitch with the gearboxes that allow you to make tight turns without winding up the PTO shaft? Very helpful on the 12' header, not an option on the 15' header.
2. Did the owner change the cutterbed oil every year, and did he use the proper lube? Proper lube would be 80W90 or straight 90EP gear lube, NOT 85W140.
3. Look at the turtleshells on the discs -- if you see any welds, walk away. They're not supposed to have holes in the turtleshells or any other rotating part of the disc fixed by welding. Occasionally, in fields with squirrel/gopher mounds, you see the turtleshells get holes worn through in them. Just replace them whole.
4. Look at the drive line, from the tractor down into the cutterbed. Check all the gearboxes and bearings, make sure they have lube and the bearings are OK.
5. Look at the drive belts.
6. If you can get into the conditioner, try moving the conditioner roll ends to check the bearings. Those are sealed bearings and a right pain in the rump to change. Oh, and the bearings cost like about $80 each, last I looked, which was years ago.
Good mower-conditioners on the whole. They need their maintenance on a regular basis -- there is a lot of power being pushed through their drivetrain, sometimes concentrated into a single belt or gearbox along the way.
|Dave mentioned all the things I can think of to really check for... |
My knowledge of discbines is very limited... But I do know that those machines had a poor design regarding the knive-conditioner spacing. This caused significant wind turbulence which, in lighter crops/grasses, caused the crop to simply bend over out of the way of the knives, resulting in a ragged/poor cut in lighter crops.
The neighbor has an 8315 (15-foot CaseIH[Hesston]), and uses his brother's JD946 12 foot machine instead of his own 15 and a half foot machine, and is now trading for a new 15.5 foot JD on a self propelled unit. That tells me something.
Mind you, he discouraged me from getting a new Hesston. We did anyways, and so far I'm decently happy with it. I cut one field at 27.7km/h (18mph) and found a remarkably clean cut. Grease points are not all that bad.... my only complaint is the roller conditioner adjustments, and the forming shield adjustments. I'm not sure how different they are from the older models?
|In my opinion the 8312 and 1340 were probably the best machines on the market in their day and Hesston is still one of the best today. That's what we started out looking for but we wanted a machine with the 3pt swivel hitch and they were only available on those machines for the last couple years of production so they are hard to find and hold their value like you wouldn't believe. The 3pt swivel hitches will add about 3K to the price of the machines but with a regular drawbar machine you'll end up using that money to replace the CV drive shafts in time. The 3pt swivel hitches are a little bit of a pain to hook up but they are great to run in the field, on your IH tractors you'll need a set of aftermarket sway blocks from Klingler MFG to keep from tearing up your 3pt. If we could have found a good late model 8312 with the swivel hitch for a decent price that's what we'd be running but we couldn't see spending $15,000 for a six or seven year old machine when we bought a new demo Kuhn for just over $21,000. |
|There are "high lift" knives that ameliorate that crop bend-over a bit. I agree that it is a problem, esp. two discs in from each end of the 15' machine, probably 1 disc in from the ends on the 12' machine.|
|I would guess your neighbor was referring to the 1st design from Hesston in the mid 90's. Those turbulence problems were fixed along 98-99. I haven't seen a demo yet that would have convinced anyone to buy a Deere disc machine over a Hesston. There is a couple of footballs that need to be removed for most conditions. Any other cutting problems now can be fixed by ground speed and cutterbed speed. Slower ground speed is not the answer to a good cut either. |
Hesston moved the conditioner rolls back to solve their problem and put in the extra roller to make up the difference.
|Dave has some pretty good advice. We have a Hesston 1365 (15') machine and have been very happy with it. The 2 pt swivel hitch is the only option on this machine and is easy to hook up with a quick hitch on the tractor. The 2 pt swivel hitch was a bit weak, but we have since beefed it up. The seven non-greaseable bearings (4 on the conditioners, 2 on the accelerator roll under the conditioner, and one on the main belt idler pulley) are a little disappointing. When one of the 7 starts going out, just replace them all. We keep an idler pulley on hand since it seems to be a seldom carried part in this area with mainly self propelled machines. We put no less than 200 hp on the front and go 8-10 mph through some pretty tall triticale and sudax. Keep the oils changed with synthetic and the machines cut about anything. We use the high pitch 18 degree blades and have had no troubles cutting once we put the baskets back in on the second turtle from each end.|
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