Row By Row / July 2023

How to Buy a Used Drago

Understanding Drago features can help maximize your ROI.

When you’re in the market for a used corn head, choosing a Drago is one of the smartest decisions you can make.

Dustin Bollig, farmer and vice president of sales and marketing for Dragotec, explains that in most cases, a used Drago Series II or GT will capture more yield than a new full-line brand, and given a similar harvest history, will exceed the durability of any full-line brand, too.

It’s about ROI

“Buying used is a personal preference based on harvest and financial needs,” he notes. “And as it should be with any equipment purchase, the bottom line is to choose a used corn head for its return on investment more than just its price,” Bollig says. “That’s why there’s such a strong demand for used Dragos.”

“A Series II has 90% of the yield-capture features of a GT,” Bollig points out. “Both models have automatic self-adjusting deck plates, aggressive gathering chains and the longest knife rollers in the industry. The GT includes QuadSuspension™ “ear shocks” and larger auger, plus an all-gear drive and a multi-clutch system that give it an edge in technology.

Shopping for a Drago

Bollig notes that many of the same considerations when shopping for a used full-line corn head brand also apply to a used Drago, including age, overall condition, wear of key components, visible damage and more.

“Buyers need to do their homework — to learn more about its previous ownership — where the corn head was used and the care it was given,” he says. “Some soil types, such as sandy soils, for example, are harder on corn head components, including gathering chains and poly bonnets. And a corn head that has been shedded is always a plus.”

Drago corn heads include technologies found on no other brand. Bollig says potential buyers should understand how to evaluate those unique features when considering a used purchase.

He notes that Drago mounting hardware is brand specific. “A Drago set up to run on a Deere combine can’t just be taken off the lot and mounted to a Case without changing its adapting hardware,” he says. “Any Drago dealer can help make sure the Drago corn head you want is properly adapted for the combine you own.”

Deck Plates

Starting with the Drago deck plates, Bollig says potential buyers should look for excessive wear. “Drago deck plates wear more evenly from front to back than our competition — which tend to wear or dish out in one spot. Given that wear, one should check to be sure deck plates aren’t overly sharp or worn at the front.”

Knife Rollers

Check the spacing between the roller knives. If the spacing is wide, Bollig points out that Drago knives are adjustable. “Every blade has slotted holes so they can be moved. As long as the knives still have a tungsten edge, they can be used without having to be replaced.”

Similarly, he notes that Drago chopper blades are double-edged and can be simply turned over for extended wear.


Bollig advises prospective buyers to examine chains and check the chain tension to see how far it has been adjusted — which can indicate overall wear. “Chains may either need to be replaced or simply tightened up,” he notes. “And depending upon the acres, it’s likely the Series II auger chain will need to be replaced.”


Drago gears are manufactured to extreme tolerances and will last a lifetime, Bollig says. He suggests looking for signs of past lubrication in bearings and checking oil levels as an indication of care and maintenance.

Certified Drago Parts

Bollig says, as with any brand of corn head — new or used — Drago corn head components, including deck plates, roller knives, chopping blades and gathering chains will eventually wear and need to be replaced.

“And when they are, it pays to choose certified Drago parts rather than cheaper knock-off parts,” Bollig says. “Metallurgy tests and field research have shown that genuine Drago parts are significantly higher quality and perform longer. “Roller knives, for example, last three times longer than off-brand blades. And added chrome on Drago chain pins mean they run cooler, last longer and wear sprockets less.

“Certified Drago Parts can save you thousands of dollars in parts and labor.”

The Drago Dealer

Producers have a variety of options for purchasing used equipment, including private party, online, at auction and from a Drago dealer, depending on the buyer’s preference and comfort level.

“Of course, our dealers have specific training on brand features, maintenance and can better assist you with your harvest needs. Our dealers can provide support and added confidence with your purchase,” he says.

“And all Drago owners can join the Drago Club, which offers a wide variety of Drago maintenance and service videos that can help extend the life and performance of their machines.”