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Kubota Dc-60 Harvesters


Isee

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Hi, I've spent considerable time going through a lot of threads about rice harvesters and other related topics. I'm thinking of buying one (or even 2) to ease the labour burden on the extended family come harvesting time (there is a direct benefit for me in doing so). There is not enough of the immediate family's land to warrant the purchase in itself, but I feel that there won't be a problem in cutting nearby fields (all family related in same way). The goal is to start creating a revenue stream with harvesting being one part of the yearly income equation. There are 2 harvests per year.

After reading the various threads, I have some specific questions that I'm sure members on here would be kind enough to help me with.

The individual fields (in the Yasothon region) are relatively small in the area I'm looking at. I feel that a smaller combine would suit the area better than the larger ones. I saw one of the large ones harvesting last season and thought it just made a mess of everything. It seems that the census on here seems to be that the Kubota DC-60 is the way to go and if that's the case, my questions are:

1. Has anyone used or observed these machines over a period of time?

2. Anyone know about their reliability so far?

3. Any known problems?

4. How do they handle clay soils?

Discussing this with the extension of the extended family, they say that the proposal is sound but they have reservations about how these smaller combines will handle damp/wet clay conditions. I would have thought that the lighter weight of these machines would assist them in such conditions, I also realise however that other factors such as clearance and track size etc will play a part in it all.

The other thing that I have a concern about is that this model Kubota requires a 2-3 man team. Obviously a 1 man crew would be better on a labour cost issue, but then this I presume would mean buying a more expensive (and larger) combine and thus getting a headache trying to figure out which is better - larger capital outlay versus additional labour costs. The plan was to buy a second Kubota (due to their cheaper costs) after initially trialling the first one (unless I feel that they will be right). The other huge benefit is that they can be transported with a trailer as opposed to what is needed with the larger combines.

5. What sort of wages (only during harvesting) would be appropriate?

One of the "aunts" gave an indication of what would be a good breakdown which I think is way over the top – but I could be wrong and hence looking for advice here. She suggested that out of every 100 baht, the breakdown should be 30 baht for labour (not sure if this is for 2 or 3 workers) and 10 baht for any work that has been referred to me (spotters fee I would call that – but I'm guessing that would only be for the first reference?). Doing some quick calculations at 600 baht per rai (the cost of the last season, but this might go back to 500 with the lower fuel costs...maybe) I'm looking at 180 baht per rai. Let's say we only do 1 rai an hour and say we do 10 rai a day, that 1,800 baht in total and for 3 people = 600 baht per day each. That seems to me to be well and truly having a laugh considering I'm the one forking out something like 850k for the machine. While I think a per rai arrangement is the best to encourage them to get stuck into things, I'm wondering what others think.

6. What sort of income could I be looking at (per rai per day per season) to get an idea of creating a business model?

The all important crystal ball question – sorry. The reason I ask is that I could buy a condo and rent it out at around 30k a month = 360k a year on a 4.1 mil outlay that's gross, less 24k for juristic and presuming nil vacancy. With 2 harvesters (plus trailer, construct shed etc) on (say) a 2 mil outlay that would require an equivalent of 160k per year to be generated.

7. How do people collect the discarded rice straw from the harvester?

Please excuse my ignorance on this, but the collection of rice straw from the family's fields is used for cow feed. Is it just a case of manually raking it up after the harvester is gone?

Edited by Isee
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hi Isee

Sorry I can`t help you but I think if you type on a forum in CAPITAL letters people get a bit intimidated and will not reply as quickly. I think you have some very valid questions. The might not be capital letters but they sure come over as ones. Wishing you all best.

Johpam

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hi Isee

Sorry I can`t help you but I think if you type on a forum in CAPITAL letters people get a bit intimidated and will not reply as quickly. I think you have some very valid questions. The might not be capital letters but they sure come over as ones. Wishing you all best.

Johpam

errrrrr what??? I thank you for trying to point something out to me but you have totally lost me.... I can't see anywhere in my post where I have used words typed in CAPITAL LETTERS or what could be considered the equivalent of. Could you provide me with some examples of what you consider the problem is...would be happy to edit my post accordingly then.

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I have not owned a DC-60 but know of a number people who do. I did once own a Yanmar m/c with a different type of reaper but similar track, but the DC-60 is far superior.

Many farmers bought the DC-60 last year when Kubota had a finance offer to pay Bt200K down and 200K/a year each year after the harvest. In their sales chat Kubota were claiming that the machines could do 40 rai/day, which made the offer appear very attractive. However, in reality, they could only achieve 10 to 20 rai/day and for the first five years the farmers on this scheme are effectively working for Kubota with little or no return for themselves.

The machines are pretty reliable, one problem is that, with the short track, they are not very good on uneven ground as the reaper bucks up and down too much. I was also told that the yield from them is not as good as the bigger machines but I haven't been able to verify this yet. I have seen them working in water up to ankles but they will not handle deep water.

They need three men to man them - the driver gets Bt30-35/rai and the two "sackers" get Bt 25-30/rai between them, total wages for m/c of Bt55-65/rai.

They are ideal for someone who has a few hundred rai of rice paddy and wants to do their own harvesting, however, for contract harvesting they are very slow and you may find bigger machines coming along and taking most of your waiting customers.

For discarded rice straw we have a pick-up baler but many farmers just leave it on the field and allow cattle to graze, burn it, or gather it by hand.

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Hi pnunstedt,

Thankyou very much in taking the time to reply, I have seen previous posts where you made some comments about these harvesters and wondering if you had any further dealings with them since then. The smaller harvester is attractive for the points I stated but also it avoids the outlay of a truck to transport it around which would have been the cost for a second harvester. I take on board your comments about the harvest rate and appreciate that the "window" of work is limited and those who can do the most will win, so would be concerned about losing work due to low rates. While some of the extended family think its a good idea (probably as they would be on the top of the list to harvest), some to their credit and honesty have questioned the final viability. Thanks for the heads-up about the yield, I had mistakenly formed the view that the yield would be slightly better. I'm starting to go off the idea for the moment until I get a better idea how they are deployed and benefits over the larger ones.

Going off topic here a bit - I'm actually thinking about a planter now - but they look like a maintenance nightmare and I'm having difficulty finding info on them to make an informed decision. Basically trying to increase efficiency either through mechanical means or yield. I'm guessing the first year I would be on my own on this until the benefits were witnessed by the locals. Also thinking of a....errrr "modest" silo to store rice (noting maizefarmer's comments in another thread) after harvest and obviously selling later. I'm still in the process of assessing this – anyone got a silo?

Hi LennyW,

Thankyou also for your input, I would be more than be happy to meet or contact someone running 3 of these machines, but I have the feeling that saying "Scot farm at Amnat Charoen" is going to return a lot of "don't know" responses. I'm currently back home and giving these things thought now to maximise my time when next in country.

Cheers to all

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This harvest we managed 700 baht per rai, ours is a medium size KPI harvester, http://www.kpn.co.th/ where we work most farmers like it as it does not damage the land as much as the heavier 10 ton Tractors, but this still leaves us lacking in Rai per hour/day we averaged 30 Rai a day in the end, the heavy winds had left the rice very low even on the water in many paddies hense the higher rate.

We netted 400,000 baht after fuel & driver we gave him a rise this year as most were paying 40 baht per Rai,the middle man who happens to be a close friend of the family also gets 40 baht a Rai,he had 2000 rai for us to do but due to bad luck with breakdowns paddy condistions etc we could not do it ourselves, this was instead shared amongst the many Tractors that came over from Western Thailand so compatition can be ferce at times.

He wants us to have a 2nd tractor for next year 2000 rai + again if we can futher invest,he's also the village head & likes my team a lot we live at is house for the harvest fed the lot great guy so its important you have some good contacts most come via elder family members we work 75 kilos from our home village as the rates are no good here & its over run with Tractors so you don't have to stay in your own area.

We set up to go west (Kampanpet) at xmas wife has family there, so 3 harvest for us,but when we herad that we had to wait 3/4 months to get paid & rates were 400/450 a rai we disided not to bother i think it was a way of sayin don't want issarn tractors here but its fine for them to swamp issarn for the better rates in November its seems.

The truck we bought for 500,000 fully recondistioned with a modified body built to our spec, so not the same price as the Tractors ours was 1,500,000 145 HP very good on fuel 3-4 ltrs per Rai. Bigger 230 HP start around 1,900,000.

Regarding your Kubota nice little machine but no use for large contract work IE min 1000+ Rai per Tractor per Harvest, some of the bigger Machines do a lot more than that, as a business plan you would need 2/3 of these Machines working together to convince the farmers you were serious enough to clear there land pritty quickly, remember there's only a 6 week window per harvest also your 2nd harvest is full of competition as not many issarn provinces have 2 harvest's, so tractors come from all over lookin for work slashin the rates etc.

In these hard times & with the poor start we had due to my lack of plannin & trustin family who ment well i actualy feel confidant now that i can live here as planned with out worrying about overseas moneys which i get the feeling your looking for the same idea.

One little tip stay away from contract ploughing work its a loss maker by experance lol stick with the harvest idea.

Best of look do some reseach you can make money if ya like me happy for a few beers nice home & chillin its no millionare maker.

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Hi Mali,

Thankyou for some great info and insight. You've made me revaluate what I'm trying to do with the harvester as well as others who have provided their input. Your suggestion of a medium size harvester makes sense for a number of reasons and the only negative for me is having to buy a truck to cart it around. My first goal was to ease/help the family with their fields, but the size is not enough to warrant the purchase in itself. So I thought contracting it out afterwards would pay for itself after a number of years. What I couldn't factor is the considerations of actually doing that and you and others have provided some great insight into that. As you say, one machine initially may not be enough for it to be taken seriously and if I do buy 2 or 3 Kubotas, I then have to offset the cost or that with the ongoing additional labour issues in comparison to one or two of the medium size harvesters. This is where "what am I trying to achieve" comes in, with the smaller Kubota = less outlay and therefore less work to recover the cost but no real income generation.

You are right, ultimately, if I could set up a profitable operation (harvesting just being one part) then I would consider relocation on a permanent basis. Never had the delusion of getting rich from it, more so a change of life while paying the bills. I have a concern not being there to oversee things initially, but I have faith in receiving daily updates as well as having faith in one of her uncles that has always done the right thing by me in the past. That might ring alarm bells for some on here, but I think I've judged his character correctly. But you have raised an important point to consider of having someone who "means well" as opposed to having someone that "does well".

I wasn't thinking about ploughing so much, more so using one of those Kubota planters and growing the trays myself. Once again with the thought of contracting out afterwards. The biggest problem with that idea is that it's probably more of a problematic concept for thais to adopt than harvesting, which is a pretty straight forward concept. For example, different types of grain, farmers wanting to use their own seeds from last harvest etc etc. I personally think it's too much of a challenge (aka gamble) for someone in my position of starting out.

In relation to the second harvest, I was thinking of contracting the two harvests together so as to guarantee the work. Just initial thoughts at this stage. The other thing is that my timing may not be the best if job losses increase in Thailand and therefore more labour return to the fields etc – may need to get my crystal ball out for that one.

Anyway, thanks again mali for taking the time to post, some real food for thought there.

Cheers

Edited by Isee
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As we can't Post Videos here I thought I'd set up with this U Tube thingy. :o

Anyway as people tend to ask for photos etc. Thought I'd give a link to my Tractor working last Harvest, when I enter the video it shows me lots of others at work all over Thailand so take a look I hope this link works OK, have fun. :D

Cheers Shaun

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzvfOpHU6gA

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Thanks for putting that up on youtube, makes it easier to guage their size a bit better than the pics from the website. They are smaller than the ones I saw being used in Yasothon last harvest, so might be the better way to go notwithstanding the higher capital outlay. Whats with the blue pvc? I take it no problems so far? What size truck did you get 8t? and if you don't mind me asking, why were the mods necessary?

Cheers again

:o

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Thanks for putting that up on youtube, makes it easier to guage their size a bit better than the pics from the website. They are smaller than the ones I saw being used in Yasothon last harvest, so might be the better way to go notwithstanding the higher capital outlay. Whats with the blue pvc? I take it no problems so far? What size truck did you get 8t? and if you don't mind me asking, why were the mods necessary?

Cheers again

:o

Hi there Isee

Regards the mods on the truck it came as a used chassis cab so we built the body to our spec IE dual rams for lowering the rear ramps & many others.

The blue PVC just helps prevent the rice straw from clogging/gathering around the smaller steel spindles underneath,I'm not very good after a few Leo's with tecky words sorry,where's Maizefarmer when ya need him lol, it also allows for a smoother pass over the rice so as not to knock the rice from its stork,also cuts down on daily maintenance cleaning.

There are many other difference's in there size than just from first appearance most people talk of HP yes very important but the width of the Machine & its Thresher size play a very important part on production hence the higher HP needed to power these items.

Take a look at the Technical data of the 3 tractors KPI make,print them off it will let you way up all the various difference's & help you understand which one you feel is best for you I personally didn't go that route I thought my lovely family new what to buy, I just wanted to chill after a serious illness, but now I have my act together & the future is good considering the times we are in,we do plan to buy a new tractor this year,so that should tell you something.

To come to the point with what I now know, I would have bought the largest tractor but this still does have its downfalls,

IE when the rice was felled due to the bad weather this year the farmers were prepared to wait for our smaller tractor as some of the larger ones were just ploughing through to gain as much Rai as possible to the loss of the farmer in yield with losses as high as 20% (3/5%) is the norm. & the land was churning up a lot more, due to so much water, these large ones can carry up to 3 ton's of rice in the storage hopper, we modified ours for an extra few kilo's but can still only carry around half that so your back and too more often to unload the rice,this loses production time, there are so many things I could go on for hours I hope you get the gist of things i'm saying, so I'm off to party now as the wife just won the village lottery. :D

Take care enjoy the rest of ya weekend Shaun & Mali

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I've been looking at the japanese rice harvester "finger type"

does anybody have any experience with them?

G/F has 200 rai and can share farm maybe that again

but have labour problems every planting and harvest

I would feel it worth it at 200 Rai to invest in the Kubota DC 60 that the OP talks of they are priced around 850,000 baht, there are some nice finance deals that your G/F can get if you want to save cash & pay as you go so to speak.Also Yammar have these machines but I've never seen one.

Kubota also have a auto planter only seen the brochure but both machines could certainly sort out your labour problems, you still need 3 men to operate these Japanese machines as you bag the rice as the machine harvests.

Go on Kubota's web site or better still go to your local Kubota dealer, there all over Thailand you should have one within a short drive.

You could still do maybe anther 100/200 Rai contracting it out when you have finished with your land.

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Another Tractor Video i found lost on the camcorder lol.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KeeiFzLHNs

Thanks for taking the time to upload, was interesting watching that...what the $%^& is that annoying buzzer that went off a couple of times?? Hows your concrete going with such tight turns with the tracks?

Cheers :D

Have a few more of the whole delivery, its a laugh when its coming down the ramps & it hits the pivot point, everyone gasped thinking it was going to crash to the ground.

The noise? i can't say i noticed a buzzer sound unless I've become immune to what comes out the misses gob :D

The concrete marks badly & a few small cracks but nothing we worry about we feel its safer there, so we sleep well at night :o

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Have a few more of the whole delivery, its a laugh when its coming down the ramps & it hits the pivot point, everyone gasped thinking it was going to crash to the ground.

The noise? i can't say i noticed a buzzer sound unless I've become immune to what comes out the misses gob :D

The concrete marks badly & a few small cracks but nothing we worry about we feel its safer there, so we sleep well at night :o

Yeah, was going to use the word funny and a "How many does it take" joke, but being a new toy I can understand the interest of everyone. Yep, understand the sleeping easy point - could just imagine some bright spark planning a "quick getaway" on it :D

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Have a few more of the whole delivery, its a laugh when its coming down the ramps & it hits the pivot point, everyone gasped thinking it was going to crash to the ground.

The noise? i can't say i noticed a buzzer sound unless I've become immune to what comes out the misses gob :D

The concrete marks badly & a few small cracks but nothing we worry about we feel its safer there, so we sleep well at night :D

Yeah, was going to use the word funny and a "How many does it take" joke, but being a new toy I can understand the interest of everyone. Yep, understand the sleeping easy point - could just imagine some bright spark planning a "quick getaway" on it :D

Yeah! half the family came down from all over Issarn, not sure it was really to see the tractor or for the free beer after the Monks had blessed it later that day, me thinks it was 4 the party as like myself the Thai's do love a good piss up :o was a great day though where all like kids again when we get our new toys :D

Edited by Mali1964
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Another Tractor Video i found lost on the camcorder lol.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KeeiFzLHNs

Thanks for taking the time to upload, was interesting watching that...what the $%^& is that annoying buzzer that went off a couple of times?? Hows your concrete going with such tight turns with the tracks?

Cheers :D

Hi Isee

Just watched that video again, no it wasn't the wife :o its the compressed air tank pressure relief valve blowing off at its Max pressure, you may think why does it have a compressor well the Thai's Love to make load Air horn blasts to signal when they start an finish a plot of land you can Ear all the other's going off for miles around like a type of morse code lol :D

Also used to blow clean areas when repairing etc.

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Hi, I've spent considerable time going through a lot of threads about rice harvesters and other related topics. I'm thinking of buying one (or even 2) to ease the labour burden on the extended family come harvesting time (there is a direct benefit for me in doing so). There is not enough of the immediate family's land to warrant the purchase in itself, but I feel that there won't be a problem in cutting nearby fields (all family related in same way). The goal is to start creating a revenue stream with harvesting being one part of the yearly income equation. There are 2 harvests per year.

After reading the various threads, I have some specific questions that I'm sure members on here would be kind enough to help me with.

The individual fields (in the Yasothon region) are relatively small in the area I'm looking at. I feel that a smaller combine would suit the area better than the larger ones. I saw one of the large ones harvesting last season and thought it just made a mess of everything. It seems that the census on here seems to be that the Kubota DC-60 is the way to go and if that's the case, my questions are:

1. Has anyone used or observed these machines over a period of time?

2. Anyone know about their reliability so far?

3. Any known problems?

4. How do they handle clay soils?

Discussing this with the extension of the extended family, they say that the proposal is sound but they have reservations about how these smaller combines will handle damp/wet clay conditions. I would have thought that the lighter weight of these machines would assist them in such conditions, I also realise however that other factors such as clearance and track size etc will play a part in it all.

The other thing that I have a concern about is that this model Kubota requires a 2-3 man team. Obviously a 1 man crew would be better on a labour cost issue, but then this I presume would mean buying a more expensive (and larger) combine and thus getting a headache trying to figure out which is better - larger capital outlay versus additional labour costs. The plan was to buy a second Kubota (due to their cheaper costs) after initially trialling the first one (unless I feel that they will be right). The other huge benefit is that they can be transported with a trailer as opposed to what is needed with the larger combines.

5. What sort of wages (only during harvesting) would be appropriate?

One of the "aunts" gave an indication of what would be a good breakdown which I think is way over the top – but I could be wrong and hence looking for advice here. She suggested that out of every 100 baht, the breakdown should be 30 baht for labour (not sure if this is for 2 or 3 workers) and 10 baht for any work that has been referred to me (spotters fee I would call that – but I'm guessing that would only be for the first reference?). Doing some quick calculations at 600 baht per rai (the cost of the last season, but this might go back to 500 with the lower fuel costs...maybe) I'm looking at 180 baht per rai. Let's say we only do 1 rai an hour and say we do 10 rai a day, that 1,800 baht in total and for 3 people = 600 baht per day each. That seems to me to be well and truly having a laugh considering I'm the one forking out something like 850k for the machine. While I think a per rai arrangement is the best to encourage them to get stuck into things, I'm wondering what others think.

6. What sort of income could I be looking at (per rai per day per season) to get an idea of creating a business model?

The all important crystal ball question – sorry. The reason I ask is that I could buy a condo and rent it out at around 30k a month = 360k a year on a 4.1 mil outlay that's gross, less 24k for juristic and presuming nil vacancy. With 2 harvesters (plus trailer, construct shed etc) on (say) a 2 mil outlay that would require an equivalent of 160k per year to be generated.

7. How do people collect the discarded rice straw from the harvester?

Please excuse my ignorance on this, but the collection of rice straw from the family's fields is used for cow feed. Is it just a case of manually raking it up after the harvester is gone?

I live not far from you just outside Amnat Cheroen (Scot Thai Farms). I have 3 of the DC 60 machine's. I bought 2 of them in 2007 and the 3rd one last year. They are excellant machines for harvesting rice. I have had no problems with any of these machines apart from the usual few broken belts during the harvest, but like all equipment, keeping them well maintained is also a key factor. Kubota engines are very robust, all my equipment i have is Kubota and I highly recommend them, I personly would not buy any other brand in Thailand.

The DC 60 weights just under 3 tons, it only puts a maximum of 3% over the tail, which i have yet to see. They are very manouverable and ideal for both small and large paddy fields. They handle soft clay ground extremely well and will pretty much go anywhere you want them to go. Some fields we were cutting in last year had over 18" of water with soft clay on bottom and the DC60 never missed a beat.

It does require a 3 man team, we actully use a 4 man team, 1 man driving, 2 bagging, the other man leveling out a section of steep bank to let the machine get in to the next field it will be working in. all the guys apart from the driver take turns so they can take break as well.

There is a new Kubota out this Year the DC68G. It is a one man show. It has the Auger system on it instead of the bag systems. It is also 68 horsepower compared to the DC60 @ 60 horse power. The only reason I personally will not buy an Auger system DC68G is due to the fact that in many fields that we cut, we cannot get a tractor, lorry, and even some a small walking tractor near the fields where the combine is working, so if you need to empty the tank you will need travel some distance with the machine just to empty it, losing time and money.

Last year we averaged 18-20 rai per day per combine. We charge 650 baht a rai. I pay my worker's 300 baht each per day, it is hard work on these machines and they work long hours, 06:00 until dark (many Thais customers will not harvest in the dark, plus tree stumps are more hard to see!) As soon as the machines are home they have to Fuel them up, grease everything and clean out aircleaners, then they can go home and get some sleep!.

Do not get involved with people "scouting" for work for you, i guarantee this will end in a problem, once you buy your machines you will not have to look for work, work will come looking for you.

The hardest part of running machinery in Isaan is getting the guys to get into a routine of taking care of the equipment, if you can master that, then the rest is easy.

As for the straw that is left in the fields most people gather it up by hand. There is a square baler for sale up our way, but again, if the ground is wet you cannot get on with the tractor and baler.

In Amnat we only get one harvest per year, i know there is definatley a market for some more DC60's in Yasothon, last year a few guys tried me to send 2 of my machines over there but i was too booked up in Amnat. If I can be of any more help let me know.

1.

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Hi Samlula,

I have to say first off, thank you very much for joining the forum to reply to my post.

Excellent information and you've addressed (among other things) one of my main concerns about operating in flooded clay paddies. I have to admit that I'm now confused a bit as to what the most suitable harvester is? After Mali's informative posts about his harvester, I was left contemplating everything since reading your post (hence the delay in replying). I think I'm leaning to agree with you about the benefits of bagging as I see there being similar problems in getting access to a lot of places to offload an auger. However, the attraction of a one operator machine would I suspect, decrease labour problems. I also agree from my own observations that the manoverability has to be a major + as I said in my OP, the bigger machines were making a mess of the fields and hence more work for the farmer to restore as well as time to make tight turns. It seems (doing a very rough calculation) that in consideration of capital outlay vs returns (less operating costs), you are probably pulling a comparable return for each machine that mali stated. I have to say each machine has its pros and cons - difficult to make a committed decision at the moment - but I'm waiting in any event until the forex gets better. Just out of curiosity, how are you transporting your harvesters? Are you returning the harvesters home each night?? (I think I've misread where you talked about refueling and greasing before the workers go home for the night).

Next time I'm in Yasothon wouldn't mind popping around to have a yarn if you are around :D (looks like you are about an hour's drive NE of where the extended family stays which is about 20 minutes drive SSW of Yasothon proper)

Also, had a look for the DC-68G, but came up empty on a google search :o

Anyway cheers again for taking the time and effort to reply.

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Hello Isee,

See you have been getting good input on your question, just thought I would throw my 5 cents worth in. We have a Kaset Phattana KPH 16 (three years old) and this year purchased a Kubota DC60, both are bagging machines.

We only get 1 harvest a year.

The points offered by Samula are very true.

• Once you have the machine, you will not require a “scout” the work will come to you.

• We may have 3 man crews, but there is no unloading time, in most of our paddies in this area it would be considerable time to transit to where the truck would have to wait. At present, we just stack the bags on the wall and the owner makes his own arrangement to collect them.

A friend in Buri Ram has 3 DC60’s and it was his good experience with them that we purchased ours.

The KPH 16 does around 35 – 40 rai per day and the DC 60 does around 25 per day, but we have been working till 10.00pm. This has been driven by the huge amount of work offered to us. (600baht rai) We are looking closely at purchasing another machine for next season, We where offered the new DC68, (New offer from Kubota Thailand for 2009) but after many long discussions the family has come to the same conclusion as Samula. The unloading time will not justify the cost reduction in manpower. Actually, the family is inclined to see about purchasing another KPH 16, the customers prefer it, but compared to the DC 60 it is very unreliable, all 3 years now it has had serious breakdowns that have had the repair crew work all night to have it operational for the following day. We are lucky in that Kaset Phattana have a large spare parts facility at Satuk, north of Buri Ram, which is about an hours drive from us. Their manufacturing facility is in Phitsanulok.

We have good “in house” repair facility’s which is also another plus, but for most operators it probably would have meant a lost day.

We have one transporter and bring the DC 60 home each day, the KPH 16 stays on the job with a night watchman, almost each time the customer will always stay as well, his main concern is we do not move the machine until his paddies are finished.

We also have a square baler and because of the large demand we will be purchasing a second machine for next season. We do both, baling in the paddy a couple of days behind the harvesters, as well as doing the collected straw. We have cattle, (approx 110) which we use the baler for putting up Ruzzi hay for the dry season, as well as baling the rice straw. The rice straw baling has evolved into a nice profitable venture.

Just thought I would give my experiences and give you more food for thought.

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Hi mixedbreed,

Thanks for adding your own experiences, much appreciated. I'm intrigued to find out a bit more about your statement "Actually, the family is inclined to see about purchasing another KPH 16, the customers prefer it, but compared to the DC 60 it is very unreliable". Just curious why thais are attracted to the KPH harvester over the DC60 and then secondly, why you would purchase another one if you've had constant reliability issues with them? I'm thinking there must be a strong reason to put up with such issues. Do you feel that if two different guys rocked up with each machine, the one with the KPH would get most of the work?

One other question if you don't mind, how would you compare the costs/profit of each machine after your last harvest? Actually one more, what setup have you got running your baler?? Bugger, one more again, who are you employing, members from the extended family??

Thanks again

Cheers

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• They love the KPH harvester, it is loud and rough riding, it is also faster than the DC 60. The idea of buying a second Kubota was to put the 2 DC 60’s together to get through the paddy’s faster. Leaving the KPH to work alone. It works east of us where the paddies are larger. (Still to small for the travelling contractors with the bigger machines to bother with.) While the DC 60 works in the local area, where the paddies are even smaller.

• The operating costs (fuel, repairs) are much higher on the KPH as well. Though with the extra rai per day, they just about break even for profit. The reliability of the KPH is definitely in question, the more mechanically inclined guys work this machine, and the permanent farm operator also drives it. I think in the end we will end up with another Kubota DC60, it’s just they have a love affair with the Thai built machine. As to whether someone else would come with another similar Thai built machine to compete with us, it is doubtful. Almost all the machines these days being purchased around here are the Kubota’s. The Thai built machines are the bigger machines mentioned in the previous posts, which are not really competitive in our local area.

At this point I would like to add that the farm is Thai owned, managed and operated. I try to keep out of the details, just keep an overview. The 2 sisters get excellent support from both the Khon Kean research farm and the agriculture dept’s in Nakhon Ratchasima.

• Employee’s, probably the easiest answer is extended family. The 2 sisters can be ruthless and if they don’t pull their weight they are quickly replaced. The drivers are permanent employee's and have been on the farm for a couple of years, (14 people live on the farm) the part time “seasonal” workers live in the local villages, all are related in some manner.

• The baler that we presently have is an Abbriata M61 export, We use this behind the Yanmar 35hp 4wd tractor. We will be purchasing an Abbriata M60 super, which is a slightly smaller machine which we will use behind the Yanmar 28hp 4wd tractor. The smaller baler is to allow us to bale in the smaller paddy’s with out having to pile up the straw. Where the straw is a large pile, we use 3 people to fork it into the baler and stack it onsite, otherwise it’s baled in the paddy, in either case, the owner collects their share. Where we collect and transport it for them, then it is an extra cost. Since we have a large need for straw, (for cattle feed) we collect our fee in bales.

See

http://www.abbriata.it/eng/index.htm

These we purchase through the Bangkok dealer at:

Ketthat Sutthitavil

Manager

Phong La-Or Pattana (Thailand) Co., Ltd.

11/84 Moo 14 Rom Klao Road, Saen Saep, Min Buri, Bangkok 10510 Thailand.

Tel: +662 9182052, +662 9182053, +662 9182056 Fax: +662 9194805

website : http://www.tarad.com/phonglaor

We also bought other equipment from him over the years and get excellent service and spare parts from him.

Hope this has been of some help with making your decision. The type and size of machine of course is going to depend on where you intend operating it, we are fortunate that we are in an area that we do not have to compete with the travelling contractors, with the smaller machines we fill a niche that is quite profitable.

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The main point is location of your contract work, in Kalasin for example the DC 60 would not be used as there are so many Larger travelling Tractors some capable of clearing 50/60 Rai a 10 hour day Its also been mentioned about double shifting (24hrs) great idea in theory, but only works if you are the only Tractor around, most Farmers do not want their Rice Harvested in the dark but if your in great demand then you can tell them night work or nothing.

An idea for the OP is The KPH 2 in 1 Tractor system, so you have the best of both worlds this is the Tractor we have but seldom use the bagging system as its dropping in demand.

I have a picture link here its not our model but shows you the 2 in 1 principle its the largest KPI do http://www.kpn.co.th/combine/KPH22.pdf

The picture of our model & spec's link,its not showing the 2 in 1 system http://www.kpn.co.th/combine/KPH18S.pdf

This shows you the spec's, showing that there's a lot more than just HP the Thresher size & cutter bar width alone tells you why the largest of the tractors perform so well in Rai per day.

I just had a chat about DC 60 with the family yet again same story no good to small good for farmer in co operative, very frustrating but as most of you know the Thais are very hard to change, there's a few sulking face's around me this afternoon with me talking about possible purchase of DC 60 think I'm well out voted here :o

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Forgot to mention the larger Tractors are now storing 3 ton plus in the hopper, so can stay out in the field longer (doing more damage I mite add) so less trips back to unload, ours for instance even after modification can only carry 1.6 ton its another thought to work into your daily production chart as returning to unload can take 5/10mins each time depending how far down the paddy you are when full we work furthest away to work are way back to the Truck for off loading.

The largest can easily average 5 rai an hour this includes if you have to reload onto the low loader twice/3 time's a day to relocate a few kilometres away, we now have the farmers waiting in order paddy by paddy to save lost time in moving location.

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Some good video's I just uploaded to u tube much better than the previous ones.

Hope you enjoy anyone else got any to show?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5lhoLtVMqk...feature=channel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoedyHjBESA...feature=channel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kR0jknvXWlw...feature=channel

From This post-43467-1234345871_thumb.jpg

To Farming big change though but i'm getting there sure you will to.

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Hi Samlula,

I have to say first off, thank you very much for joining the forum to reply to my post.

Excellent information and you've addressed (among other things) one of my main concerns about operating in flooded clay paddies. I have to admit that I'm now confused a bit as to what the most suitable harvester is? After Mali's informative posts about his harvester, I was left contemplating everything since reading your post (hence the delay in replying). I think I'm leaning to agree with you about the benefits of bagging as I see there being similar problems in getting access to a lot of places to offload an auger. However, the attraction of a one operator machine would I suspect, decrease labour problems. I also agree from my own observations that the manoverability has to be a major + as I said in my OP, the bigger machines were making a mess of the fields and hence more work for the farmer to restore as well as time to make tight turns. It seems (doing a very rough calculation) that in consideration of capital outlay vs returns (less operating costs), you are probably pulling a comparable return for each machine that mali stated. I have to say each machine has its pros and cons - difficult to make a committed decision at the moment - but I'm waiting in any event until the forex gets better. Just out of curiosity, how are you transporting your harvesters? Are you returning the harvesters home each night?? (I think I've misread where you talked about refueling and greasing before the workers go home for the night).

Next time I'm in Yasothon wouldn't mind popping around to have a yarn if you are around :D (looks like you are about an hour's drive NE of where the extended family stays which is about 20 minutes drive SSW of Yasothon proper)

Also, had a look for the DC-68G, but came up empty on a google search :o

Anyway cheers again for taking the time and effort to reply.

Isee,

I have 3 trailers that we use for moving the combines, they are towed behind tractors. It is possible that 2 of these trailers could be towed by pickup's but i reckon it would be pretty hard on the clutch and engine of the vechicle. I do know a few Thai's that tow the DC 60 combines behind pick ups with Thai style home made trailers, one of which the welding on the drawbar of the trailer did not hold tipping the DC60 off and causing over 150,000 damage to the machine.

If our machines are working more than about 20 km from our farm and they are going to be at that area for a few days we do not take the machine's home. One of the guys that is on that machine's team will stay there with it, they take turns.

As for the greasing and refuelling, if the machines are not coming home, we have a pick up truck with generator,compressor, air greaser and air operated refueling pump.

you can find a picture of the DC-68G at www.siamkubota.co.th/nimbus/products.aspx?cid=5

The website is in Thai.

If you are intending to buy a Kubota, normally you have to give them an order, well I know I have had to in Amnat as they normally do not take more than 1000 machines into Thailand each year.

Does Yasothon a kubota dealer? If not Amnat has and the guy is pretty good, speaks good english, their is aslo another place, Charenchai tractors, huge building just before you reach Ubon on the Ubon-Amnat road..

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Hi Samlula,

I have to say first off, thank you very much for joining the forum to reply to my post.

Excellent information and you've addressed (among other things) one of my main concerns about operating in flooded clay paddies. I have to admit that I'm now confused a bit as to what the most suitable harvester is? After Mali's informative posts about his harvester, I was left contemplating everything since reading your post (hence the delay in replying). I think I'm leaning to agree with you about the benefits of bagging as I see there being similar problems in getting access to a lot of places to offload an auger. However, the attraction of a one operator machine would I suspect, decrease labour problems. I also agree from my own observations that the manoverability has to be a major + as I said in my OP, the bigger machines were making a mess of the fields and hence more work for the farmer to restore as well as time to make tight turns. It seems (doing a very rough calculation) that in consideration of capital outlay vs returns (less operating costs), you are probably pulling a comparable return for each machine that mali stated. I have to say each machine has its pros and cons - difficult to make a committed decision at the moment - but I'm waiting in any event until the forex gets better. Just out of curiosity, how are you transporting your harvesters? Are you returning the harvesters home each night?? (I think I've misread where you talked about refueling and greasing before the workers go home for the night).

Next time I'm in Yasothon wouldn't mind popping around to have a yarn if you are around :D (looks like you are about an hour's drive NE of where the extended family stays which is about 20 minutes drive SSW of Yasothon proper)

Also, had a look for the DC-68G, but came up empty on a google search :o

Anyway cheers again for taking the time and effort to reply.

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