What is a Flex Draper?

Those who keep up with this blog and the associated facebook and twitter accounts know we bought our first draper head for soybean and wheat harvesting.  So why did we decide to trade our conventional cutting platform, which also flexed, for a John Deere 635FD?

John Deere Combine via thefarmerslife.com

Not a draper!

I think it may help readers to know what is not a draper.  This is the type of head we used up through last season.  The dimensions and overall basic look of this platform and our draper are similar.  The two main things that are different between this head and the draper are the auger and the floor.  The head pictured obviously has a large auger which feeds crop to the center where it will enter the combine’s feeder house.  This head also has a solid steel floor.  Since crop material must come in contact with the auger in order to move into the combine operators can sometimes have issues in certain conditions.  If for some reason soybeans aren’t feeding well they tend to ride the front edge of the platform, and when they do catch the auger they can “slug” into the feeder house and plug the head.

John Deere Draper via thefarmerslife.com
Drapers feed crop so much better than a normal platform.  Last season we were already thinking of buying a draper.  During a damp week we had our combine sit still because we couldn’t cut soybeans.  Each morning we would try to cut beans only to realize about 50 yards in we just would have to wait for sun.  And each day on the way back to the shop we’d see 2 or 3 neighbors running along just fine with their draper heads.  Might have been the nail in the coffin for that decision.  Now that I’ve got a season of draping (?) under my belt I find the draper to be much better at handling tough cutting soybeans than our old platform.  I’ll just let the video explain!

Questions or comments on our draper decision?  Leave them below in a comment!

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  1. This is a clear an very interesting description. It helped me a lot in completing my lexicon from English to French. Now I really know what these machinery guys talk about!
    Many thanks!
    Hubert, Montréal, Québec, Canada

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