Posted 5/15/2017 20:57 (#6018810 - in reply to #6018020) Subject: RE: Small timer combine
NW KS/ SC ID
I am already a little biased, but what you said in one of your replies sealed the deal completely:
Mudding in bottom ground, and no-till.
IMO the F2 or F3 is the only logical choice of the offered list. The Gleaner is a no-tillers best friend, because they are fairly light weight, and usually had big tires, and if they dont currently, it can easily be added. Mudding in a Gleaner is alot less stressful than other colors. Not only do they have near perfect balance, the operator can get a great view of the tires to see how sticky things are getting, as well as see some of the ruts you are cutting. IH and JD you are oblivious to what the LH tire is doing, and being off to one side your "feel" for the mud is screwed up. The rear engine is awesome for counterweight, as it applies existing weight, rather than do what JD had to do on all of the offset cab front engine machines: add dead weight to keep the ass down.
If you are doing custom work too, the Gleaner is also vastly superior on cleanout, no silly auger beds to screw with, and the raddle system cleans out quick and well. There is a reason most older plot combines are Gleaners. excellent cleaning and performance, and easy to clean out and haul around. K State research farm locally has a little gleaner E with a 8 foot Shelbourne stripper header that you see running around on the gooseneck doing plot work, and just over into Colorado a guy who works with Monsanto runs a F3.
The F series Gleaner has channel bar concave strips, so rebuilding the thresher is cheap. Trimpe still offers bars for these AFAIK, and those who run the Trimpes seem to love them.
The corn header will be easy to find, and if you dont find a Flex head to your liking people will use a Bish plate to run a JD header.
For the unloading system, The Gleaner came standard with a break open manual auger, and the F2 and F3 had a powerfold auger optional. AFAIK the 4400 had just the break open manual auger, but maybe by the end they offered the hydraulically folded and latched breakopen. IIRC the 4420 had a hydraulic break open auger.
The JD and IH have slow complex unloaders with many augers that might affect seed crops, the Gleaner has 2 augers, the floor and the vertical. very fast and gentle.
And like you have noticed: Ease of repairs. a Gleaner F series is just a joy to work on, and it can all be done from ground level. JD is difficult, and IH is at least better than the JD, but it aint no Gleaner and you better be tall or own scaffolding. :) The Gleaner is free of Gib keys, which the IH seems to love. This reason alone should be enough to swear one off IMO. :)
So in conclusion, I think for a small combine the only logical choice is a Gleaner.