Midwest LEGACY front expected to be a best seller for harvest 2024

In an exclusive reveal AFDJ can advise the highly anticipated LEGACY draper front developed by Midwest Fabrication will be delivered in time for the next Winter harvest

LEGACY will be the most advanced Midwest draper platform released to date with the most innovative design ever offered for class 10 and 11 Combines and will be ready to be strapped on in time for the 2024-25 winter harvest

After extensive testing, internationally recognised local manufacturing company Midwest Fabrication is releasing the LEGACY draper platform range with the most innovative design ever offered in time for the 2024-25 winter harvest. 

Manufacturing an extensive range of models with up to an 18.3m (60ft) cutting width from their plant in Queensland, Midwest has been the global pioneer of extra-wide harvesting platforms for over two decades. And is currently the only company that designs and produces fronts on Aussie soil.

Celebrating 25 years in 2023, Midwest started life on a farm property near The Gums in the Western Downs Region of Queensland. It was here where company founder Martin Schutt designed and manufactured his first platform on the family property.

The initial platform led to manufacturing fronts for other farmers before demand for this uniquely engineered product saw Martin establish a dedicated facility to produce Aussie designed fronts commercially. 

John Deere X9 Series class 10 and 11 combine owners will make huge efficiency gains if they adopt the 15.2m (50-ft) LEGACY draper platform shown here under trials or opt for the widest cut of all at 18.3m (60-ft)

CEO Amy Schutt is excited to commemorate Midwest’s 25 years of success by continuing her father’s legacy. At the helm of the family-owned enterprise, Amy chose the name LEGACY for the new draper front as a tribute to her father and founder of the company. 

“The new LEGACY model will continue to lead the way in the innovative design of dependable and durable harvesting equipment. In the past few years, our team has received loyal customer feedback from growers out in the paddock, and this has helped guide our company to produce LEGACY models to advance their harvesting experience,” Amy Schutt explained.

“During the past ten years, we have offered 18.3m (60ft) cutting width fronts for class 10 and 11 combines, and we are excited to announce moving forward, the LEGACY fronts will be compatible with John Deere X9 Series class 10 and 11 combines, creating huge efficiency gains. 

“The Midwest designed 18.3m (60ft) front has already had nine years of solid harvesting out in the paddock, and our new model release will be a game changer, especially for growers with John Deere Combines,” Amy Schutt added. 

The Midwest-designed draper platform is popular due to its effortless performance through all crops and across uneven terrain, ground contours and melon holes. 

And doing it with a simpler design without any electronic sensors. Martin designed the range to be easier to maintain with fewer parts to break, for trouble-free in paddock maintenance. 

Since first opening its doors in 1998 MidWest Fabrication has built a reputation for being innovative and creative in research and development by listening to the end users and adapting designs to meet capacity challenges

LEGACY difference

If you want a front that will increase overall crop collection in a much quicker time frame and one that offers 20% lower operating costs, Midwest’s LEGACY is the front you have been waiting for.

Choose a width that fits your class 9, 10 or 11 Combine best from cutting widths of 15.2, 16.8 or 18.2m (50, 55 or 60ft), or choose to suit 12, 15, or 18m (40, 55 or 60-ft) controlled traffic farming systems.

Midwest engineers have worked on the LEGACY platform for some considerable time, taking into account any improvements whether big or small requested by operators, over the past few years.

This is a design and build that is able to match our local hard and fast harvesting conditions.

LEGACY has been fitted with long-life forged knife guards that allow you to cut as close to the ground as physically possible. And with the fingers set 50mm (2-inches) apart they will run through almost any crop type. With easy access for quick sickle changes in the paddock, if required.

Right up with drum technology is the Midwest designed RAPTOR draper belting that for all intents and purposes is considered puncture and tear resistant. While the smooth stainless-steel surface behind the knife allows for consistent feeding as it lays the crop onto the draper, heads first.

This action is followed by strong vulcanised drive rollers for consistent crop flow from the draper into the Combine feeder house. The new endless feeder belt provides 10% more capacity to keep up with the flow generated from large class 9, 10, and 11 combines.

The unique spiral feed drum keeps everything feeding and because it is torque clutch protected with a feeder reverse it can easily dislodge unwanted objects.

Also unique to the LEGACY are new dual-link ground wheels designed for longer travel, both up and down, and adjustable spring tensions to ensure more even cutting in all crop types and conditions.

Ground wheels now carry 30% of the platform weight and the 18.3m (60-ft) Legacy is fitted with four dual-link ground wheels that caster and engage for a closer, cleaner cut.

This design was prompted to reduce the chance of damage in soft conditions and for better control when steering around obstacles.

Several operator requests have been built into the LEGACY including almost unequalled ground following that works independently of the Combine. This is achieved with a clever pivot ball mounting system able to follow contours without the need for electronics and sensors.

Embraced in the draper platform design is 150mm of vertical float and 5-degree lateral tilt that everything to be mounted closer to the cutter bar and give the operator exceptional visibility of the bar and draper from the Combine harvester cab.

Midwest designers have fitted the LEGACY with a 6-bar reel with additional finger tines than previously with the ability to run at slower revolutions but maintain a high tip speed. The black aluminium batt finger reel extrusions are lightweight but have high strength for a long life.

As with all Midwest draper platforms they are purposely designed with fewer wearing parts and the dual oil filtration system ensures longer servicing intervals and extended life on pumps and components.

The LEGACY draper front will be released in 2024, and it would be wise not to buy another front until you at least take a look at how this model could vastly improve results within your operation.

For the 2012 harvest season Midwest released the Crophawk Durus Quad-deck platform to replace the Crophawk draper platform with the advantage to harvest and windrow and save on equipment cost – the cutting width was 15.2m (50-ft)

History behind the Midwest badge

It’s not that far back when the widest harvest cutting platform available from manufacturers across the world was 13.7m (45ft) in width. And for many manufacturers this was believed to be the widest front able to be maintained considering the harsh conditions fronts had to endure.

It took a Queensland based manufacturer to change that perception worldwide when Martin Schutt designed and released wider models such as the Crophawk Durus 15.2m (50-ft) front in 2012, and then in 2015 the Durus 18.3m (60-ft) model.

The Durus front as it was named, had interest from many growers eager to extract more product from each pass, and it wasn’t long before some of Australia’s largest wheat farms made the switch to far more productive harvesting.

Queensland based manufacturer Midwest Fabrication didn’t take the job of extending their fronts to such a previously unthinkable cutting extreme lightly. This well credentialed firm had been steadily increasing the width of its harvest cutting platforms for several years prior. Eventually leading to a ground-breaking point in harvester front history at 18.3m (60-ft).

Midwest opened the way to fit their 18.3m (60ft) fronts to any branded combine harvester as design engineer Martin Schutt was confident that a wider harvest platform was the only way going forward to gain the production levels required by current operation.

With the proven ability of the Midwest fronts to provide massive gains in crop material feeding and durability, along with ease of maintenance and service on all Midwest cutting platforms from 7.6 through to 18.3m (25 to 60-ft), the brand was established.

Midwest captured the spirit of what current growers and contractors had desired for some time in our local market when they first revealed a wider 18.3m (60-ft) cutting platform in 2012 that also gained adulation from growers across the globe due to its gathering ability

Continuous development

As the requirement for fronts to cater for larger high capacity combines progressed, so too did the Midwest design. Making the design upgrades and build necessary started from the first big class 8 models, right through to massive high-capacity present day class 11 Combines.

The days were over when growers and contractors had to put up with not receiving the full productivity gains, they were expecting, simply due to crop feeding imitations and reduced width harvest platforms coupled to ground speed ability. This is where Midwest stepped in and gave growers and contractors the productivity gains, they craved.

Midwest has successfully increased platform cutting widths out to 18.3m (25 to 60-ft) to match increased Combine harvester capacity and coupled that to ground speed requirements for qualified productivity advances.

MidWest Fabrication is a family owned and operated manufacturing business focused on designing, developing and delivering high quality equipment for the agricultural industry for the past 25 years

Now, more than at any other point in harvesting history is the ongoing requirement to change with customer needs as these high capacity combines from all manufacturers get larger, with more power and separation capacity.

While Midwest celebrated 25 years in 2023, it was over 20 years ago when the company released its first 13.7m (45-ft) platform in our local market, and just four years later saw that technology transferred through into the Midwest 15.2m (50-ft) platform, another first at the time.

Up until 2015 the Midwest 15.2m  (50-ft) model was the widest production harvest cutting draper platform on the market, and one that no other manufacturer was able to successfully develop during the same time period.

Then followed the major breakthrough for the harvesting industry in 2015 with the release of the Midwest 18.3m (60ft) Durus platform. Weighing just over 5,000kg, and designed with the singular purpose of maximising big combine harvest capacity. The industry had just what it needed.

Martin Schutt, Midwest Director and design engineer alongside one of the first Midwest Durus Premium 18.3m (60-ft) Durus cutting platforms discussing its readiness to go out to the dealer and then onto the grower for the season’s harvest

Engineering behind the platform

Midwest answered the call from early adopters that purchased high capacity combines, that found at harvest, the cutting width of the platforms available did not match the capacity and productivity potential of their larger combines.

They urgently needed a cutting platform with much more capacity and one that would fit seamlessly into a controlled traffic farming system.

With the same ingenuity that propelled breakthrough designs from the earliest days of farm mechanisation in Australia, Midwest accepted the challenge of developing a platform that could operate across 18.3m (60-ft) without losing ground speed.

And in addition, have the ability to successfully feed the huge appetite of the large combines and operate at peak capacity.

MidWest Fabrication has continued to expand and grow hand-in-hand with the changes and developments that local growers have required to increase production while making use of class 10 and 11 Combine harvesters

The ultimate design that proved successful was for a wide platform able to follow the ground contour without the use of any electronic sensors, ensuring effective total cutting and gathering of the crop.

The solution came when an adaptor was developed for the Combine and platform interface that allowed for lateral tilt and also combined a vertical float component. This allowed the platform to float independently of the combine harvester as it traversed all crop terrain contours.

This design was instrumental in alleviating crop losses when coupled to large ground wheels that take up to 30% of the weight off the combine and the outer extremity skid wheels helped to maintain ease of operation.

The Midwest LEGACY draper platform release in 2024 has the benefit of 25-years of design and operational prowess to be the most innovative design ever offered in any broadacre harvesting market. And it’s a feather in the cap for all of us that this design and build is from a trusted local manufacturing company, Midwest Fabrication.

Midwest Fabrication manufactures and distributes patented Midwest draper platforms and parts through an authorised dealer network across Australia. Call now for your nearest dealer on tel: 07 4662 2137 or by email: sales@midwest.net.au or see more on this link.

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