If you’re in the market for new farm equipment, you might be wondering, “who makes the best combine harvester?” That’s not an easy question to answer, since there are countless brands you can choose from. Consider this guide your ultimate resource as you begin the search.
What You'll Learn Today
- What to Consider When Shopping for a Combine?
- What Company is #1 in Combine Manufacturing?
- Which is the Best Combine Harvester? 6 Options
- What is the Best Combine Brand?
What to Consider When Shopping for a Combine?
There are a few things you will want to keep in mind when you’re shopping for a combine harvester. This is an expensive piece of equipment so it’s important to do your due diligence when you’re considering the options.
Understanding the Classes
There are a few different classes of combine harvesters you can buy. Generally speaking, the higher the horsepower of the harvester, the higher the class.
For example, the Claas Lexion 750 has 442 HP and is in Class Nine, while the Case IH Axial Flow 6130 has 320 HP and is in Class Six. These guidelines often change and companies often create their own classes – but it’s a good place to start when you’re trying to figure out capacity, engine power, and other features.
Be Picky About the Brand
You can buy knock-off cereal at the supermarket and it probably won’t end up making much of a difference. However, when you’re buying farm equipment, brand loyalty isn’t a bad idea.
Choose tried and tested brands like New Holland, Claas, John Deere, or Case IH. These all have a wide network of dealers around the United States – which means you’ll have a much easier time finding service, parts, and backup support.
Capacity vs. Gathering Head
Here’s something simple (yet important) to keep in mind – the capacity of a combine should never be more than what the gathering head can digest.
There are several types of grain headers to choose from, including auger, draper, windrow pickup, stripperheads, and crop specific heads. Make sure you choose the right one for your needs.
Consider the Crop Type
Will you be harvesting corn? Rice? Sunflowers? Sorghum? Whatever the case may be, match the processor to your crop.
This will reduce the amount of wear and tear on your machine and improve your efficiency.
Check Unloading Times
Before you buy, check the grain tank, auger, and unloading time. Make sure the unloading auger has enough reach to get out past the widest grain head you want to use and how long it will take to unload the machine.
When you’re harvesting crops, every minute counts – more than four minutes of unloading time is a big red flag that a machine might not be the best fit for you.
Tires cause significant field compaction – especially on a combine, since they carry a lot of weight. Consider this and make sure you get solid tires that offer the traction, stubble wear resistance, carrying capabilities, and mobility you want. You can also opt for half or full tracks instead.
Comfort and Ease of Use
Finally, consider what your experience will be like as you are driving your new combine harvester. Will you feel comfortable sitting in this space for hours on end?
Look for things like storage spots, entertainment stations, and comfortable seats. There are even some machines that offer auto-steering and monitoring so you can get the maximum efficiency out of your machine without having to do very much at all.
What Company is #1 in Combine Manufacturing?
You’ll find most of the top names in agriculture and agricultural equipment listed as top sellers in the manufacturing of combines, too.
These top companies (with the most sales and the best reputation) include John Deere, CNH Industrial (which includes New Holland and Case IH), Kubota, and Claas.
Other options include Gleaner and Massey Ferguson, with other smaller brands out there to choose from as well.
John Deere offers close to half a dozen different combines, including the famed “T” series of basic combines as well as four model levels of “STS”, which are single tine separation models. It’s easy to find both new and used John Deere combine harvesters for sale pretty much regardless of where you live.
Case International offers six models of the Axial-Flow combined with different power outputs and grain capacities. New Holland has one of the largest combine harvesters in the industry, while Massey Ferguson offers a handful of combines rated between 300 and 425 HP as well.
Which is the Best Combine Harvester? 6 Options
The guidelines above should give you a good starting place when you are beginning your search for a combine harvester. However, these are some of the best-selling combines to consider if you’re still just not sure.
1. Claas LEXION 8900
The 8900 is the most powerful combine harvester in the Lexion 8000 series. It has impressive technical data and a 1700 mm drum width. It can be purchased in varying engine powers (all the way up to 790 HP) and has a massive 18000-liter grain tank volume.
On the cabin roof, the LExion 8900 even has a field scanner. This device inspects the field from above and divides it into 38 sectors, allowing you to better control the traffic procedure as you harvest. It also has a new and improved dust extraction system that’s exclusive to this line.
Here’s a video of this combine harvester at work:
2. New Holland TC5.30
New Holland manufactures several different combine harvesters, but the TC5.30 is one of the best and most efficient.
It can be used for working in just about any field, including small grains, large grains, expert crops, and pulse crops. It offers some of the lowest fuel consumption (and lowest maintenance) around, resulting in a cost of ownership that is much lower than the competitors.
3. John Deere S700
Like New Holland, John Deere has a seemingly endless variety of combine harvesters for you to choose from.
The S700 is one of the most technologically advanced, with lots of automated features that will help you get the most out of your machine. These include the multifunction control lever, the CommandArm, and the 4600 Command Center.
4. Case IH 8250 Axial-Flow
Witha two-speed electric shift ground drive transmission, improved feeder house design, and even adjustable rotor cage vanes, the 8250 by Case IH is another one of the best combines.
It’s one of the priciest combines you can buy, but it’s ideal for farmers with large plots of acreage to harvest. It has a 480 HP engine (with optional power boost up to 555 HP for tougher jobs). It also has a 317 gallon diesel fuel tank and a 28-foot 9-inch unloading auger that can unload at 4.5 bushels per second.
5. John Deere S690
The S690 by John Deere is another combine harvester to consider from this icon in ag equipment. It has a transport speed of 40 km/h and has all kinds of features that will help improve your harvest, such as active terrain adjustment.
6. Claas Lexion 780
This is a model of combine harvesters that has been many years in the making. It took more than a decade to develop and test this German product and it is one of the most eco-friendly in the harvesting world.
Its engine is environmentally advanced. It has a fan speed and sieve position that can be adjusted based on whether the machine is moving downhill or uphill to offer the ideal cleaning performance and to help limit losses.
What is the Best Combine Brand?
As you can see, there is no specific combine harvester that is best. It will all depend on your unique needs as a farmer, as well as how much money you are able (and willing) to pay for your purchase.
That said, there are a few solid brands that are known for producing great combine harvesters, including New Holland, Claas, and Case. Consider the guidelines above as you shop for your next piece of equipment. Happy harvesting!