While following the North American custom harvest run in the AGCO Parts Tech Van, we met Bill Wright, a custom harvester from Manchester, OK. Bill is a Gleaner man and he has been for the last 50 years. “I started harvesting with my dad at age 11, running Gleaner A models,” Wright said. “We’ve always had Gleaners.”
It is hard to change brands after so many years, according to Wright. He has learned the machines throughout the years and is comfortable running them.“Fifty years has been a pretty good run with Gleaner,” he said “Knowing the machines has kept me from switching brands.” Besides familiarity, Wright is still running Gleaners because of the in-the-field support offered by the AGCO Parts Tech Van. “The tech van has always taken good care of me and my combines”.
Currently, Wright is operating two R66s on his harvest run. Bill still sits in the operator seat of one combine, and his grandson, Nick, runs the other. “It’s been nice having Nick around,” Wright said. “He’s been around harvesting his whole life.”
The Wrights begin their harvest run in Seymour, TX and end the wheat season in Montana after six more stops in Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska and South Dakota. After wheat, the crew usually combines corn, sorghum and soybeans at home in Manchester, OK and in Dighton, KS. However, the weather this year has made harvest difficult. “Nothing’s been easy this year,” Wright said. “Worst luck we’ve had is the weather though. We’ve had good luck with our combines.”
One thing is certain with Bill Wright; he doesn’t plan to change brands anytime soon. “Well, we did try one other brand quite a few years ago,” Wright said. “But we didn’t get along too well with that one.”
Do you know anyone who bleeds Gleaner silver like Bill Wright?
Over 53 million acres of wheat were planted in the United States for the 2010/2011 growing season, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In order to harvest those acres, farmers often hire custom harvesters – men and women who own their own combines and are paid to harvest the crops of others.
While wheat is not the only crop harvesters encounter, it makes up the majority of custom acres. Custom harvesters follow the wheat northward as the crops ripen, often starting in Texas in May, ending in Montana, North Dakota or Canada in August to September, and making several stops between.
Custom harvesting operations include combines, grain trucks and, sometimes, tractors pulling grain carts. Operations vary in size with some consisting of only a single combine and others with 20 or more combines.
These combines see hundreds of hours and thousands of acres throughout the season. While machines are serviced daily by the crews, combines of every brand experience breakdowns due to the conditions experienced on harvest.
“Although we have superior products, every piece has a limit, especially in the tough conditions our machines operate in,” said Todd Davis, AGCO Parts Tech Van supervisor. “Custom harvesters push their combines to that limit every day to achieve maximum productivity, efficiency and profit.”
That is where the AGCO Parts Tech Vans step in to help. With two mobile trailers, the tech van crews follow the harvest, providing parts and repair services to the operators of Gleaner, Massey Ferguson and Challenger combines.
“During harvest, we provide in-the-field service that is comparable to no other manufacturers in the industry,” Davis said.
By having the tech van near the action, harvesters are able to reduce time and money lost due to breakdowns.
“Harvesters call us as the problem occurs, and we get out there as soon as we can,” Davis said. “We have four service trucks that are dispatched from the tech van trailer to assist custom harvesters with problems they cannot repair themselves.”
The AGCO Parts Tech Van arrived Sunday, July 24, 2011 at Butler Machinery Company in Pierre, SD and the crew continues to follow the wheat harvest northward. The second tech van is scheduled to move to Billings, MT on Saturday, July 30, 2011. The Tech Van is open from 7 a.m. US CST to 7 p.m. US CST every day of the week.
Has the AGCO Parts Tech Van ever assisted you with your machinery? Tell us your story on our Facebook page or follow @AGCOcorp on Twitter. For more information about the tech van, visit AGCOparts.com or ask your local dealer.
We told you earlier during the 2011 Gleaner Road Show, producers will be able to see how the new Gleaner Super Series combine works on the inside as the combine smoothly glides through a field during harvest. Using an AgCam mounted inside the machine, the Gleaner Road Show team will capture video of the combine’s natural-flow two-stage feeding system and transverse rotor as it processes and cleans the crop. The video will be displayed on field-side monitors. The 2011 Gleaner Road Show is occurring from July through November, moving northward with the small-grains harvest and then through the Corn Belt in North America.
“We’ve talked a lot about the benefits of our natural-flow two-stage transverse rotor system, and now we’re literally showing it in action,” says Kevin Bien, product marketing manager for Gleaner. “By mounting one of the cameras beneath the accelerator rolls, we’ll be able to show producers how the grain is pre-cleaned before it reaches the cleaning shoe. They’ll be able to see how much less material other than grain (MOG) arrives on the cleaning shoe. Our process essentially makes the shoe a secondary cleaning device rather than the primary cleaning system as on other combines.”
With less MOG on the cleaning shoe, the detrimental impact of gravity is reduced, so the machine can operate on slopes of up to 23 percent without self-leveling devices required on other combines. The unique two-stage cleaning system of the Gleaner S7 Series combine also provides increased harvest capacity though the machine is as much as 2.5 tons lighter than competitive Class 7 machines.
To find a 2011 Gleaner Road Show event near you for a view inside the Gleaner S7 Series combine, visit http://www.gleanercombines.com/info/demos/ for a schedule or contact your local Gleaner dealer at http://www.gleanercombines.com/dealerlocator/. The online schedule will be updated from July through November as the 2011 Gleaner Road Show moves northward with the small-grains harvest and then through the Corn Belt this fall. Read more.
Are you heading out to a field demo to see farm equipment in action? Which machine? Where at?
Do you use AGCO technology or other brands of technology to help you save time and money on your farm?
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If you answered yes to any of these questions, we welcome you to join our Customer Research Panel. Just go to AGCO’s Facebook page, answer a few questions and you are almost there! AGCO will then get in touch with you, via Facebook, if we feel like we can mutually benefit from your feedback. We are looking forward to hearing from you!
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Less than twelve months ago, Gleaner launched its Super Series combines. Following the launch, Gleaner sent five Super Series combines out for tests and demonstrations in the 2010 harvest. The new series logged more than 1,200 separator hours in wheat, canola, corn, soybeans, milo and barley to test the productivity, fuel efficiency and ability to deliver a clean grain sample of the new S7 Gleaners.
When compared to competitive combines, the new Super Series stands out with a largest currently available grain tank capacity, up to 3 tons lighter machine weight to decrease soil compaction, and very good fuel efficiency to just name a few of the many improvements on the new Super Series. The new Gleaner combines also have a lower center of gravity and unique accelerator roll technology that make it possible to harvest on slopes up to 23%.
In Australia, Gleaner dealers were able to sell the entire inventory before it arrived to customers.
For the upcoming 2011 North American harvest, Gleaner has almost doubled its Super Series demonstration fleet to give more owners of Gleaner combines and competitive combines more opportunities to see and drive the difference they can achieve when using a Gleaner combine.
In order to better explain and document the efficiency of the Gleaner threshing and cleaning technology, new state of the art AgCam cameras have been installed at important locations inside the demonstrator combine. These videos will then be transmitted to a location where field demo observers can see what is going on inside the combine instead of just watching it go back and forth in the field. The cameras are built by Dakota Micro, who also makes cameras for the military which are legendary for their toughness. Looking at these cameras while operating the combine you can really see what changes have been made in the Gleaner Super Series to make them more productive and efficient. Take a look at the video below to see and experience the new Super Series Gleaner combines.
Do you plan to see a field demo of the Super Series this harvest season?