160 Stanley Sunflower Harvesting Attachment (1980)

Evaluation Report No. E0479A
Printed: April, 1980
Tested at: Portage la Prairie
ISSN 0383-3445
Evaluation Report
Stanley Sunflower Harvesting Attachment
A Co-operative Program Between
Intersteel Industries, Ltd.
(formerly Stanley Manufacturing, Ltd.)
Box 1451
Morden, Manitoba
R0G 1J0
$1,015.00 (May, 1980, f.o.b. Morden, Manitoba, 3.8 m width with
305 mm row spacing).
With regard to recommendation number:
1. We are investigating the possibility of supplying instructions for
on-farm manufacture of shields for specific combines.
2. We are planning the production of an operator’s manual, which
will include all these items.
3. It is difficult to design a machine to effectively pick up downed
heads and cut the stalks short at the same time.
4. The principal consideration is to keep field losses to a
5. We recommend that the dividers be bolted securely to the reel
arms. This will effectively eliminate divider vibration.
Note: This report has been prepared using SI units of
measurement. A conversion table is given in APPENDIX III.
FIGURE 1. Stanley Sunflower Harvesting Attachment.
Overall functional performance of the Stanley sunflower
harvesting attachment was very good. Performance was reduced
somewhat by the excess length of stalk cut off with each head.
Crop flow through the Stanley was smooth, as long as the
reel speed was properly synchronized with ground speed. If reel
speed was too slow, occasional cutterbar plugging occurred,
while if reel speed was too high, loss of some whole heads
occurred. Capacity of the Stanley could be increased by using
a variable speed reel drive, to permit adjusting reel speed to suit
crop conditions.
Crop losses were acceptable in both dry and tough crops.
The seed pans, which covered 78% of the ground area in front
of the cutterbar, collected most of the shattered seeds in dry crop
Although the 305 mm (12 in) seed pan spacing permitted onrow cutting for this row spacing, there was no need to follow rows;
this spacing was suitable for continuously seeded crops and for
cutting row crops at an angle or across headlands.
Installation was easy, although no set-up instructions were
provided. Total installation time for two men was about one day.
No operator’s manual was available. Daily lubrication took about
one minute.
No serious mechanical problems occurred during the testing.
It is recommended that the manufacturer consider:
1. Supplying a shield to protect the reel drive mechanism from the
standing sunflower crop.
2. Providing an operator’s manual complete with installation,
operation and safety instructions.
3. Modifications to permit leaving longer stubble, thereby reducing
the length of stalk to be processed by the combine.
4. Providing a more secure means of attaching the crop dividers
to the reel arms, to prevent the dividers from vibrating in rough
field conditions.
Chief Engineer -- E.O. Nyborg
Senior Engineer -- J. C. Thauberger
Project Engineer -- Gregory R. Pool
The Stanley Sunflower Harvesting Attachment (FIGURE 1) is
designed to mount on straight-cut combine headers. It consists of
seed pans, which attach to the combine cutterbar, dividers and a
drum reel with two spiral rows of metal fingers. The reel is powered
by the combine reel drive.
The seed pans are spaced to correspond with sunflower row
spacing. The stalks pass between the seed pans to the cutterbar,
where heads are severed from the stalks. The drum reel pushes
down tall plants and delivers cut heads to the combine header. The
seed pans, which extend ahead of the reel, collect shattered seed
that may dislodge during cutting, and hold the heads up until they
are cut off the stalks.
The attachment tested was 3.8 m (12.5 ft) wide between divider
points, with eleven row openings spaced at 305 mm (12 in) and
240 mm (9.5 in) seed pan width.
Attachments with various header and seed pan widths are
available to suit existing combines and cultural practices. Detailed
specifications are given in APPENDIX I.
The Stanley was mounted on an International 914 pull-type
combine, with a 3.8 m (12.5 ft) header. It was operated in the
conditions shown in TABLE 1 for 23 hours while harvesting about
36 ha (90 ac) of sunflowers, sown at 760 mm (30 in) row spacing.
It was evaluated for ease of installation, quality of work, ease of
operation and adjustments, and operator safety.
TABLE 1. Operating Conditions
Field Area
Crop Type
Soil Conditions
Open Pollinated
Loamy Sand
Clay Loam
Installation Time: It took about 15 man hours to attach the
Stanley to the combine header, using tools normally found in most
farm shops. No installation instructions were provided, making
installation more difficult.
Reel: The drum reel was mounted on the reel arms of the
combine header. Combine reel bearing brackets were needed to
mount the Stanley reel (FIGURE 2).
In addition, reel shaft locking collars had to be obtained from
a hardware supplier, to prevent lateral movement of the drum reel
during operation. Reel drive sprockets were obtained from the
combine dealer.
Seed Pans: The seed pans were supplied in sub-assemblies
of three, attached to a flat bar. Bolt holes in the flat bar corresponded
to knife guard bolts on the combine header. The pans were easy
to install, however the guard bolts, supplied with the Stanley, were
too short. The left seed pan, which was shorter than the others to
eliminate possible tractor tire interference on turns, was part of the
left divider assembly.
The seed pans were also supported from underneath by angle
iron braces (FIGURE 3), to provide rigidity and to permit vertical
adjustment. One end of each brace was bolted to a slotted bracket
at the front of each seed pan, while the other end was fastened to a
long support bracket which bolted to the combine header frame. The
braces were easy to install by one person, but two men were needed
to install the support bracket.
FIGURE 2. Reel Mount: (1) Reel Bearing Bracket, (2) Locking Collar, (3) Reel Shaft, (4)
Reel Arm, (5) Divider Mounting Bracket.
FIGURE 3. Seed Pan Support: (A) Brace, (B) Support Bracket.
Dividers: The dividers were easy to install. They attached
to the cutterbar with bolts and were secured to the combine reel
arms with small angle brackets (FIGURE 2). These small brackets
did not provide adequate rigidity or security for the dividers. It is
recommended that a more secure means of attaching the dividers to
the reel arms be provided, to prevent them from vibrating excessively
in rough field conditions.
Feeding: The flow of crop into the combine was smooth as
long as reel speed was properly synchronized with ground speed.
It was important to maintain a reel index* between 0.9 and 1.1.
At high ground speeds, with the reel index less than 0.9, the reel
could not effectively clear the crop from the cutterbar, resulting in
occasional plugging. At slower ground speeds, with the reel index
greater than 1.1, the reel was too aggressive, causing loss of some
whole sunflower heads over the back of the combine header.
When operating the Stanley in tall weed conditions, such as
in ragweed, occasional wrapping on the reel occurred. The sharp
metal fingers would hook onto the weeds and wrap them around the
reel. As ragweed usually occurred only in small patches, this was not
a significant problem.
The two drive sprockets, supplied with the combine header,
gave reel speeds of 36 or 47 rpm. This gave acceptable ground
speed ranges of 5.6 to 6.9 km/h (3.5 to 4.3 mph), or 7.3 to 9 km/h
(4.5 to 5.6 mph) within the suitable range of reel indices. This provided
an adequate speed range for most crop conditions. Capacity of the
Stanley could be increased by using a variable speed reel drive to
*Reel Index is defined as the ratio of reel tip speed to forward travel speed.
permit adjusting reel speed to suit crop conditions.
Stubble Length: For most uniform feeding, the reel had to
be operated with about 270 mm (10.6 in) clearance between the
reel drum and the cutterbar. The 230 mm (9 in) reel finger length
did not permit running the drum any closer to the cutterbar. This
resulted in an excessive length of stalk, often as long as 500 mm
(20 in), being cut off with each sunflower head and fed into the
combine. To maximize combine capacity, stubble should be as long
as possible, with only the sunflower heads fed into the combine. It is
recommended that the manufacturer consider modifications, which
will enable leaving longer stubble, thereby reducing the length of
stock processed with each head.
Shatter Loss: The seed pans were very effective in reducing
seed loss, especially in dry crops. Individual pans were 240 mm
(9.5 in) wide, with a 65 mm (2.6 in) row space between pans. The
seed pans covered 78% of the ground area in front of the reel and
cutterbar, and collected most of the shattered seed. The amount
of shatter loss is very dependent upon moisture content. Shatter
loss is negligible in tough crops, but can be high in very dry crops.
Maintaining proper ground speed was very important in reducing
shatter loss in dry crops.
Dividers: The crop dividers performed very well. Their size and
shape ensured that very few sunflower plants were pushed over in
dividing the crop.
Row Spacing: All tests were conducted in sunflowers seeded
at a 760 mm (30 in) row spacing. Although the 305 mm (12 in) seed
pan spacing on the Stanley permitted on-row cutting for this row
spacing, there was no need to follow rows. This seed pan spacing
was also suitable for continuously seeded crops or for cutting row
crops at an angle or across headlands. When not following rows, the
seed pan points occasionally knocked down some large sunflower
plants. Turning: To facilitate right turns with a pull-type combine, the
left divider and left seed pan were 330 mm (13 in) shorter than the
other pans. This eliminated interference with the right tractor tire on
sharp right turns.
Seed Pans: The seed pan angle was easy to adjust with the
slotted brackets at the front of the support braces (FIGURE 3). The
pans did not require any additional adjustments during the test. It
was important to have the seed pans sloping toward the combine
header to permit collected seeds to be conveyed into the combine.
Total time required for one man to adjust all pans was approximately
ten minutes. Seed pan vibration was desirable, to convey collected
seeds back into the combine. Operation on rough fields caused
much vibration of the seed pans, however no failures occurred.
Cutting ability and feeding characteristics were not affected by field
Reel Drive: The reel drive chain, on the right side of the header,
was exposed to the standing sunflower crop. As a result, plants often
caught in the drive, causing the chain to jump off the drive sprockets.
A reel drive shield (FIGURE 4) had to be installed by PAMI, which
eliminated the problem. It is recommended that the manufacturer
supply a suitable shield as part of the divider assembly.
Unhooking: The complete combine header assembly, with the
Stanley attachment in place, could be unhooked from the combine
and placed on the ground without damage. Occasionally, the divider
mounting brackets came off the reel arms when the header was set
Lubrication: Two pressure grease fittings on the reel support
bearings required daily lubrication. No other lubrication was required
on the Stanley.
The Stanley was safe to operate provided normal safety procedures were followed. No safety decals were supplied.
No operator’s manual was available for the Stanley. It is recommended that a suitable operator’s manual be provided, complete
with installation, operating and safety instructions.
The Stanley sunflower harvesting attachment was operated
in the field for 23 hours while harvesting about 36 ha (90 ac) of
sunflowers. The intent of the test was functional evaluation and
no extended durability evaluation was conducted. No mechanical
problems occurred during testing, however severe vibration of both
the right and left dividers, throughout the test, indicated that the
divider mounting brackets were not adequate. It is recommended that
the manufacturer consider modifying the divider mounting assembly
to increase rigidity and to reduce vibration during operation.
Serial Number:
11 row, 305 mm spacing
Overall Dimensions:
-- height
Total Weight:
2100 mm
4100 mm
1350 mm
270 kg
Feeding System:
-- type
-- attachment
seed pans and spiked drum reel
to straight-cut combine header
Seed Pans:
-- width
-- length
-- depth
240 mm
nine, 1740 mm; one, 1400 mm
40 mm
-- length
-- diameter
- drum only
- w/fingers
-- speed
-- no. of fingers/revolution/row
-- drive
3550 mm
460 mm
920 mm
36 or 47 rpm
chain drive from combine header
The following rating scale is used in PAMI Evaluation Reports:
(a) excellent
(d) fair
(b) very good
(e) poor
(c) good
(f) unsatisfactory
FIGURE 4. Exposed Reel Drive (top) and PAMI Reel Drive Shield (bottom).
1 metre (m)
1 millimetre (mm)
1 kilogram (kg)
1 kilometre/hour (km/h)
= 3.3 feet (ft)
= 0.04 inches (in)
= 2.2 pounds mass (lb)
= 0.6 mile/hour (mph)
Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute
Head Office: P.O. Box 1900, Humboldt, Saskatchewan, Canada S0K 2A0
Telephone: (306) 682-2555
3000 College Drive South
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada T1K 1L6
Telephone: (403) 329-1212
FAX: (403) 329-5562
Test Stations:
P.O. Box 1060
Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada R1N 3C5
Telephone: (204) 239-5445
Fax: (204) 239-7124
P.O. Box 1150
Humboldt, Saskatchewan, Canada S0K 2A0
Telephone: (306) 682-5033
Fax: (306) 682-5080
This report is published under the authority of the minister of Agriculture for the Provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the prior
approval of the Alberta Farm Machinery Research Centre or The Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute.