|Click on the images below for a larger view.|
I have been looking for a new combine for some time. I had my heart set on a 6620 or possibly a 7720. After losing a couple
6620's at auctions I was pretty bummed out. (Used equipment is really high right now!) I found some guys online talking about
a guy in Illinois who had taken an older 7700 and completely redone it to have great capacity. After he posted some pictures
of the machine I learned it was for sale.
To make a long story short I now have one of the coolest 7700's ever!....and for well under the price of a newer machine. This bad boy has a 360 bushel+ grain hopper, the size on many new machines today! It can of make a full round in 1/2 mile rows of 180 bushel corn with a 6-row corn head. The unloading auger has been replaced by a 15" industrial auger, it is hydraulically driven and on a completely separate system from the combines other hydraulic functions, it is capable of unloading more than 2.5 bushels per second! The engine is intercooled turbocharged and puts out about 200hp. It has a full function AgLeader grain monitor with all the bells and whistles including GPS mapping. It has home built super heavy duty axles and clean grain elevator off of a newer 7720. Basically this has near the capacity of some of the smaller newer combines in a 1978 wrapper. To explain all the modifications to this combine would take a while. The previous owners kept meticulous maintenace records and all the belts and everything look to be in excellent shape.
The combine was acutally built by a gentleman from Dalton City, Il by the name of David P. Fathauer. In my opinion he is a hydraulic and mechanical genius-especially when it comes to combines and augers. As you can see by the pictures above his work looks like something that came right from the John Deere factory-but has the capacity beyond it's time. The day we looked at it was really cold but she started right up, even without ether.
Now I feel the only thing I gave up was the size and amenities of the cabs on a newer machine. I was a little worried about the durability of the modifications but it has been running on 1,000 acres for 20 years without any major issues-so I am sure it will have a nice retirement on my little farm.
I have used the combine for the last 4 years and have spent maybe 7-8 hours total downtime, none in the last 2 years. I was planning on keeping it for many years but with the new ground added for 09 I am going to use it next year and then may have to look at upgrading to something newer in 2010.
|After looking for a while I found a really nice 643 corn head. As you can see it has the plastic instead of tin-so it won't rust, has oil bath for chains, etc. Actually it is a 1991 model and the newest piece of equipment I own. The rusty old corn reel is going to come off and hopefully never be needed again but if we ever do it may be nice to have. Also added a nice 20ft bean platform-it works much better on this combine than the old 16ft.|