Although not really related to harvest, I gave Clint a hand today
setting up a 60 foot rod weeder. Using my mill, I drilled three
5/8" holes in ten plates. It did the job quickly because
it's a lot more heavy duty than a regular drill press. The plates
hold chains that keep the seperate rod weeder carriages from
moving about a lot when the tractor is pulling them. Some forboding
clouds in the background.
Currently both combines have the cylinders removed so we can replace the
bar bolts as they are getting very rounded off. Almost all of
the internal augers are being re-flighted as they are very worn.
Shot of the cage in my combine.
A couple random photo's 1, 2.
Here's my lathe and mill. I use them
for the occasional repair or modification. Terribly handy devices
was my first day of "vacation". The combines are coming
along. I put the grain bin auger end piece back together, and
James put the header on his combine. His machine
is about ready to go. James and I went out to one of the fields
and brought back the Versatile. He blew it off with an air gun when
we got back. Here's a photo of the two combines together.
for reading my journal! Be sure
Just for fun, I put together a moving gif file of Clint driving
the General up the driveway.
It's a big file (1.2+ MB).
We made decent progress today getting the combines running. Paul
took the '80 N6 out yesterday and cut a swath or two. The '81
ran well except for the A/C. The cylinder was installed (1, 2) in the '80
N6, and we should be able to do a test cut tomorrow. It was very
cold this morning, around 50deg F, but warmed up a bit later
in the morning.
Had a good day today. Nothing major went wrong with the combines.
Just little things like wearing a hole through one of the hard
lines on the reel hydraulic system (which Clint brazed up) on
the '81 N6, and did some troubleshooting on the lack of reel
speed control on the '80 Gleaner. I made five trips in to Mission
(on the Indian reservation just outside of Pendleton) hauling
about 28,000lbs of wheat each trip. Was a lot of fun running
out on the open road instead of just fields and gravel roads.
Pictures for today:
The only ones I got were in the evening as we were shutting down.
Here's two (1, 2) of James heading
in driving the '81 N6, and a couple (1, 2) of Clint bringing in the General.
Made six trips to the elevator in Mission. My best load was 31,000lbs
(15 tons). The guys are still getting some kinks ironed out on
the combines. I've had fun getting out on the road instead of
just driving around in the fields. A photo of Cody unloading, and one showing exactly
what Paul thinks about plugged headers.
I made another six runs to Mission and a couple to Myrick (a
smaller elevator that's closer to the farm). Best load was 32,000lbs.
We haul to Mission because wheat is selling for $0.06 more per
bushel and at 500 bushels a truck load, it adds up.
Clint and Paul got the header reel speed control working on the
'80 N6, and Cody broke a sickle bar on the '81.
A few pictures:
One of James throtting up,
Cody doing the same,
James leading with Cody in
pursuit, Cody eating James' dust, and Clint standing out
in the field wishing he had an old time sickle to cut wheat by
hand. Here's a shot from the drivers seat of the
International I'm driving with Clint at the wheel of the Versatile.
It rained pretty good last night, so no cutting this morning.
I ran both International trucks in to Mission as they had partial
loads. When I got back, it rained a little more, so the guys
called it a day. If things dry out, we'll try cutting on Saturday.
Early morning phone call "Not cutting today." Got a
call around 1pm "We're giving it a whirl." Wheat was
at 13.2% moisture, and the elevator was accepting up to 14% moisture.
They don't usually accept wheat that high in moisture content.
Clint had a line on the diesel fuel pump come loose, and both
combines had a couple header plug up.
Clint working on the
bad fuel pump line, one of the sky and clouds, a photo of me loading on the fly while
James is cutting, and one of Paul having a look at what my wife
has been recording on a Canon GL1.
We cut most of today, from about 10am to 7pm after moving to a new field.
The combines knocked out about 95 acres. Most of those fields
were fairly low yield, so they were booking about 3.5mph or better.
On one of Clints trips back from Mission with the General, the
pup trailer blew a rear tire. This is the tire, and what it
did to the fender. Amazing how
much force the tread had when it came off at 45mph. After Clint
parked the trailer, I drove the General to the elevator a couple
of times. The different between it with it's Cummins engine and
the International with it's Detroit Diesel is amazing. The General
almost feels fragile, the accelerator pedal is very sensitive,
and the Jake brake can actually stall the engine (much to my
chagrin as I was heading downhill into the gulley on Helix highway.)
Thank goodness it had a big steering wheel and air brakes. I
managed to get the engine restarted and found a gear without
stopping. Got my heart pumping, that's for sure. The General
has a substantial amount of power over the International, and
it'll come out of the gulley doing 40mph, where the International
is doing good to pull 25mph.
Today was pretty moderate, temperature wise. It got a bit warm
in the afternoon, especially for the truck drivers (me included.)
Cutting went well and we accomplished a lot. I made 7 runs to
Mission, best load was 31,000lbs. My last load was to Myrick,
a smaller elevator. When I showed up, a rented dual axle truck
was dead on the scale. Seems just as the driver pulled in, the
fan clutch hub expired, and destroyed the radiator. We had to
wait for a large tow truck to show up.
Have one of the three trucks. The International TranStar
4200 leads the smaller gas International, and the General brings
up the rear. The TranStar hauls the biggest load for one grain
tank, although the General can haul a pup trailer. Have a picture
of Clint watching Cody,
a photo of one of the combines on a hill, in a gulley, and an interesting
that's used in the field to ferry grain out to semi trucks parked
on the road (this machine isn't part of Clint's farm.)
The temperature got up into the 90's today but with a light breeze
things were okay. Made my biggest load today, 32,250lbs, slightly
over the GVW (51,000lbs) for the truck I'm driving, so we're
having to cut the loads back a bit. It's 13 miles each way into
Mission, and takes about 45 minutes to leave the field, dump
at Mission, and be back in the field again for another load.
Cody has been having trouble with his combine running too hot.
Looks like the water pump is going out as it's draining a bit
of water out it's weep hole. We blew the radiator in his combine
twice today and the temperature would still climb after running
a couple of hours. The other combine didn't have any trouble.
Couple of pictures today. One is of the two kinds of wheat we
harvest. On the left is club head wheat, and on the right is regular
I'm not sure of the specific names of the wheat (i.e. Jaggers.)
The club wheat was burned (chemically speaking) a bit this year,
and Paul isn't sure why. The other picture is of Cody and Paul cutting, coming
down a small hill.
Made 8 trips into Mission today, best load was 31,000lbs. Had
one hairy moment in the General. Heading down the gulley on Helix
highway, there was a row of combines taking up the whole road.
The guy doing the flagging didn't know what he was doing. I didn't
see anything till I came around the corner at 40mph. I jambed
on the Jake brake and got on the brakes hard. Luckly I was able
to slow down to a crawl and pull off the road. Boy the brakes
stunk after that stop though. Cody's combine had nothing but
problems today. He had to stop on seven different occasions for
various issues. The other combine ran fine all day though. I
spent most of my time driving the General, a nice change from
9 trips into Mission. I figured out that equals about 234 miles
a day. It was good and hot today as well. Paul and Clint spent
a couple hours working on Cody's combine trying to get it feeding
better. It helped a little. I switched between the two big trucks
most of the day. Paul would fill one and I'd take it into Mission.
I'm taking the weekend off to go to the Antique
in Brooks, OR. I'll have ton's of pictures to post when I get
Had a good day today. People were relaxed and we got some work
done. Cody's combine continues to have troubles. This time the
return elevator alarm kept going off. He continues to have overheating
trouble with his combine as well. James located a major crack
in the rear axle pivot structure on the '80 N6 and Paul had a
fabricator come out and
repair it. The engine powered arc welder he had was really cool.
It's an old Hobart unit and is almost inaudible when it's running.
Clint cruises by on Helix
highway hauling the D6 back to the farm. Photo of Clint cruising by on the hillside.
Another of the '80 N6
passing Cody's '81. Cody waiting for help in adjusting his combine when we switched
to cutting club wheat. "Okay. We got the wheat in the tank, now how do
we get it into the trucks???" Me looking like a dork with Cody
looking on. '80 N6 cutting wheat. Photo showing how
many kernals come out of a threshed head of club wheat. Also
shows what club wheat looks like. Club typically has more kernals
per head compared to regular soft white wheat.
Off to the Antique Powerland. Have a great weekend!
Paul called Sunday evening saying to give him a call around 10am
on Monday as it had rained over the weekend. Today he said that
cutting was canceled for the day as it was far to wet to harvest,
and it rained again later in the afternoon, so I had a chance
to run errand and such that had been put off for the last couple
of weeks. Got my AC garden tractor running again
The wheat was at 15%+ moisture so we spent most of the day doing
maintenance on equipment. Hopefully things will be ready tomorrow.
Late start today at 10am. Cutting went well although I noticed
that the rear axle in Cody's combine had the shakes. Closer inspection
showed that the weld around the pivot pin for the axle was cracked
badly. Called the fabricator and he welded it up good. Hauled
9 loads into Myrick because the field was so close
to the elevator. In this particular field, white
were a problem. Getting the wheat to thresh really well was tough,
partially because there was still a fair amount of moisture in
the grain. Having the whole weekend off was a good thing. My
attitude improved a lot (I've been facing burnout for for about
a week. It's hard to be on the go for 14 hours a day.)
We finished up the Martin's piece and Cody's combine was down
for repairs again. This time two pulleys came loose and got buggered
up. After that piece, we moved over to another one and started
cutting. It was in the low 40bu/acre so cutting was fast. Cody's
machine went down again with a squeak, some of the sheet metal
in the chaffer had broken loose. It'll have to come out for repairs.
Clint got Cody's machine put back together, and he made it down
one side of the field and around the corner before the hydro
gave out. The coupler that connects the hydro to the transmission
stripped out. It won't be repaired till tomorrow. The other combine
ran fine. Clint and Paul sent us home and they stayed out cutting
We finished the piece and moved the '80 N6 over to the test plots
close to the ranch. Just about the time Paul started cutting,
it began to rain, for the third time this harvest. It got too
damp to cut, so we called it a day. Cody's machine is back up
Here's a photo of the elevator
After finishing the test plots (1, 2, 3) which took about an hour, we
moved over to the piece next to Pauls house. To open the field,
the guys had to cut down a hill (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ,6 ,7, 8, 9, 10, 11). It's the steepest stretch
We demo'd a new Agco Gleaner R72 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5.) Boy does that thing eat wheat!
It didn't matter how slow or fast we ran it (it did over 4.5mph
in 90bu/acre wheat with a 27 foot header) the sample was clean
in the tank with very little/no grain loss. Impressive! Too bad
it costs around $200K...sigh.
Here's a days worth of dead parts. A bearing let go in James'
combine destroying the main fan, and one of my tires went flat
on the truck I was driving. It didn't blow out though. Parts
for James' machine topped $1400. Ouch!
Today we finished up the piece over at Pauls house using the
R72 demo. We also finished installing the new fan into the combine.
Here's Clint handing
me a measuring tape, and the new fan out of it's box.
We moved the trucks and headers over to the Spafford field outside
of Walla Walla, and will move the combines over tomorrow. Cutting
should last a day or two. We might even cut the garbs that we
have planted there.
We had a quick day today. Knocked out the whole Walla Walla field
in a single day. Usually it takes a couple of days. This field
pretty well wraps up wheat harvest for this year. It's been a
decent experience, some rough times, but I gained a lot of experience
driving semi's. Here's a photo of the grain elevator we hauled
to and a photo of the back
field with wheat (light tan) and garb's (darker brown.) Clint
and Paul should know tomorrow whether they will be cutting the
garbs or waiting a while longer for them to mature.
I haven't decided if I want to work harvest next year, work for
my friends again, or maybe try a different farm. I'd like a lot
more tractor time or maybe I'd drive a true semi truck (5th wheel
and large grain trailer.) But that's next year. Time to sleep
in and recover from my "vacation".
Clint said we cut and hauled about 100,000 bushels of wheat.
That's 6 million pounds! Amazing. Didn't feel like that much
to sign my guestbook!