Row By Row / June 2024

Gathering Chains 101

One of the many unique yield-saving benefits of a Drago corn head is found within our gathering chains. But how are they different than those in a traditional corn head? Find out below and read our deep dive in this month’s Drago Club exclusive.

Competitive advantages

Drago gathering chains are designed to run longer than competitor chains, with field tests demonstrating an average 2x longer lifespan than that of off-brand replacement chains. That’s because our chains’ features are designed with durability right down to the chain pins, which have a 20%-40% thicker chrome coating than other brands in metallurgic comparisons.

During harvest, our gathering chains capture every stalk using aggressive overlapping lugs that secure stalks as they’re pulled into the head. This alternating lug motion helps maximize yield capture, while the out-front placement captures lodged corn better than traditional brands. The chains also angle away from each other as they travel up the head, releasing stalks and reducing debris coming into the combine.

This, in combination with Drago’s unique knife roller design, enables stalks to be processed and pulled through the head using the full length of the knife roller. Some competitive heads process stalks within the first few inches of the row unit, which leads to an increase in trash entering the combine.

Gathering chains are a huge part of capturing more yield and less trash.

Gathering chain maintenance

Corn head gathering chains are a critical component that should be inspected and maintained annually to ensure proper function and to avoid costly downtime in the fall. Poorly maintained chains can derail or cause excessive sprocket wear, which leads to more delays and increased maintenance costs when sprockets need to be replaced.

Late summer, early fall is a great time to make sure your corn head is set up to give you the best ROI possible and each feature is ready to go in the fall. 

Drago owners can join Drago Club for access to video guides, maintenance tips and other resources to ensure your gathering chains and corn head continue to run like new.