Phillbourne Retrodrum sparks a revolution

The Phillbourne Retrodrum started out replacing feed augers on Macdon models but over the past 12 months retrofits have been developed for John Deere, as well as Honeybee, and CNH built models

The Retrodrum has made its mark as a replacement feed auger that’s able to process the toughest of crops with ease, and through nearly every header front model.

Designed and manufactured by Phillbourne Merredin WA, it started out life as the Turbodrum and ran for two seasons prior to the name change to Retrodrum.

Many growers have been blown away by the obvious benefits of retrofitting a Retrodrum.

Because, once fitted, it is able to relentlessly feed the toughest crops into the harvester. The Retrodrum can handle canola or beans with ease and then move to light feed crops with no adjustment required, allowing operators to get the crop off faster.

From the start of development that now culminates in the current Retrodrum, the benefit has always been a design that is stronger and simpler than other brands.

Initially it was targeted as a higher performing plugout-plugin replacement feed spiral to suit Macdon D60 and D65 header fronts.

Macdon owners had made known the frustration they experienced with slow harvest speeds in bulky crops like canola, and even worse, the blockages and breakdowns caused by the standard feed drum in their original fronts.

Retrodrum was the answer, it became an instant fix to these problems, allowing operators to go faster and get crops off quicker.

Growers with other front brands took notice, and over the past 12 months local maker Phillbourne has developed a Retrodrum for John Deere models, Honeybee, Midwest, Case IH and New Holland, as well as older Macdon models such as the 2052.

All these additional retrofit models have been generally successful with a few small

hiccups that can be expected with ongoing development work, but those are now overcome.

There are obvious advantages with Retrodrum’s heavy-duty feed drum design and that it comes complete with all internal components fully welded and assembled.

Fitting the Retrodrum has become a quicker operation than fixing the originals on many header fronts, and growers have found it comes at a fraction of the price.

Growers in other countries are also taking notice of the Retrodrum with regular exports now to Canada and the United States, as well as New Zealand.

There aree common issues where Retrodrum has an edge over original feed drums, include far less blocking and jamming in canola, pulse and heavy cereal crops. With harvest speed no longer restricted.

The most obvious benefits Retrodrum offers in its heavy-duty design includes more than double the number of retractable fingers, and with a much more aggressive pattern.

It literally grabs crop and pulls it through in a constant and steady flow.

The design also utilises a smaller barrel with taller flighting and this creates a huge gap for pulling through bulky crops.

With less flighting and more fingers, operators can use the full width of their front.

Every day of lost harvest is up to a 1% loss in profit. Even a day lost with breakdowns or bad feeding in a 5000 tonnes program equals 25 tonnes of lost yield.

That’s more than the cost of a Retrodrum. See supporting figures at South East Premium Wheat Growers Association at:

If you want to eliminate the many harvesting issues that a Retrodrum can fix, don’t wait until the last minute, order now for the next harvest at $5,445 inc GST.

Free freight Australia wide is also available for a limited time only. Call Phillbourne direct on tel: 08 9041 2066, or email to


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