From Green to Gleaner: Darrell Kuhn

While with the AGCO Parts Tech Van in Billings, MT, I had the privilege of spending two days in the field with Kuhn Harvesting.

Darrell Kuhn of Kuhn Harvesting

Darrell Kuhn of Kuhn Harvesting, Lakin, KS

Darrell Kuhn of Lakin, KS is no stranger to satisfying customers.  “Ambitious” is the word his son, Ben, uses to describe Darrell. From a custom hay operation to an equipment dealership, Darrell Kuhn has been there and done that — successfully. Five years ago, Kuhn Harvesting was started and from the looks of it, Darrell has never looked back.

“Harvest is a crazy lifestyle,” Kuhn says. “But I love it.”

Each year, Kuhn and his crew load six combines and head south to Wichita Falls, TX. For the 2011 harvest, however, two combines of a different color made the trip south. Enticed by the light weight, bigger bins, and two-stage cleaning process, Kuhn started transitioning from green combines to Gleaner S77s.

“Our other machines are heavy,” Kuhn says. “The Gleaners are lighter to reduce compaction, and that’s what no-till farmers want. They don’t want weight on their fields.”

Besides the weight factor, Kuhn says he sees a better sample of wheat from the Gleaners, which makes his farmers happy. Plus, Kuhn says the Gleaners are consistently cutting faster than the other machines, translating into more grain harvested. At times, the Gleaners are running two miles per hour faster, which is a very significant difference in the field.

Gleaner S77 Cab

Ben Kuhn's view from the cab of a Gleaner S77

“We run faster, we cut more wheat, and we can store more,” says Ben, who operates one of the Gleaners. “These combines are also easier to service so we can spend more time in the field.”

Based on the Gleaners’ performance this season, Kuhn says he is planning on completing the switch to Gleaner S77 combines for the 2012 harvest.

“The farmers we cut for have been impressed by the Gleaners,” Kuhn says. “I have been too, which is why we are going with all Gleaners next year.”

While Kuhn Harvesting may be switching colors, Darrell remains focused on customer satisfaction.

“Our farmers trust us with their land and their crops,” Kuhn says. “We have one farmer who thinks we do a better job than he does.”

And that’s why Darrell harvests:  the people.

“Sometimes I get disgusted by the government and the regulations,” Kuhn says. “But I don’t know what I’d do if I missed out on the relationships I’ve built.”

What made you switch to an AGCO brand from another brand?

Kuhn Gleaner S77

A storm gathers over the field near Hardin, MT while the Gleaner S77 cuts on.

Kuhn Gleaner S77s

Everyone breathed a sigh of relief as the storm blew over, allowing for Kuhn Harvesting to finish their job in Hardin, MT.

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