GRAIN harvesters across the country are heaping praise on a simple innovation that is creating markedly better operational efficiency on harvesters using a draper front.
The Turbodrum is a retro-fitted harvester feed drum, smaller than the standard one with a higher number of retractable fingers to allow a more aggressive ‘grab’ of the grain as it flows through.
Victorian distributor of the product Richard May said the feeder drum allowed more even flow of the crop into the feeder house, thus improving efficiency.
“It is especially good in bulky crops, like we had last year. It allows you to go faster and get the crop in quicker, which is the main aim of the game.”
The Turbodrum is the brainchild of Western Australian farmer and inventor Mic Fels and farm machinery manufacturer Laurie Phillips, Phillbourne Manufacturing.
After being trialled on Mr Fels’ farm last harvest, a number of units were fitted to harvesters across the country with good results.
“Everyone who trialled the product were impressed by it,” Mr May said.
Mr May said the efficiency gains were primarily made by ensuring an even feed of grain into the harvester.
“Uneven feeding off the front can result in blockages, which are frustrating and time consuming,” he said.
“Modern harvesters are very efficient in separating the grain and straw, but the weakest point in the chain is the ability to feed the bulk of the biomass evenly up through the machine.”
He said in heavy canola crops, harvest speed can be less than half header capacity due to issues with feeding.
The smaller barrel with more flighting in the Turbodrum allows more room inside the feeder drum, creating more space for pulling through bulky crops, thus reducing the risk of jamming.