What is the Contour Buddy System?

The Contour Buddy System consists of both outboard and inboard gauge wheels.

Both inboard and outboard wheels are mounted utilizing existing header frame structures. The outer wheel mounts at the end of the header below the end panel. The dual inboard wheels mount in a frame pocket near the wing pivot area.

In order to use the FD series header in FLEX mode, there must be some contact between the ground and the header to tell the header how to flex and thus follow the contour of the land. When cutting short crops like lentils, the cutter bar rides directly on the ground providing contouring information back to the header allowing it to flex with the land.

However, in cereals the cutter bar is up off the ground so there is no way for the header to know how it should flex or shape itself relative to the ground contour. This is why the manufacturer recommends putting the header in RIGID mode to cut cereals.

Contour Buddy gauge wheels provide consistent cutting height information back to the header so it can flex, maintain accurate and consistent cutting height, and still utilize the combine’s auto height control seamlessly to operate in the most adverse rolling land contours. This is accomplished by using gauge wheels to contact the ground, keeping the cutter bar a fixed height above the ground even through rolling contours. There is no adjustment necessary to the factory auto height control settings.

The MacDon FD series header combined with the Contour Buddy Wheel system is truly the ultimate in auto-height controlled harvesting of cereals in rolling land situations.

Limitations of using the header in Rigid Mode over rolling land.


  • End of header can dig in ground.
  • Center of header can scoop soil mounds or stones.

Advantages of using the header in Flex Mode over rolling land.

  • Consistent cutting height across width of header
  • Greatly reduced risk of scooping soil or stones.

  • Even in extreme conditions where land contour exceeds the flex
    capability of the header, wheels still prevent cutter-bar from
    contacting soil or scooping stones.