A few more inches of snow fell yesterday. I was picking corn in the morning when it started. I was able to keep picking since the temperature was down below freezing and the snow simply blew out the back of the combine along with the chaff. But then a gathering chain came apart. I would say came off, it happens more often than I’d like but this time it came apart. When it simple comes off it’s there just not on the sprockets anymore. When it comes apart it has nothing holding it on, you see it’s a continuous chain with no connecting link. When it’s off it still has a convected loop. The hinge that holds the corn row snoot attaches in the middle of where the gathering chain loops around. The hinge keeps the chain from going anywhere when it flips off a sprocket. A separated chain can snake on out of it’s place and can end up anywhere.
I ran using the three continuous good rows I still had. Cutting three rows all the way back to the wagons sitting at the halfway point around the hill. There was enough corn to fill the nearly full wagon the rest of the way up. Then I went back to the point where I’d started cutting three rows and cut the remaining three of the six from the original pass. That gave me enough corn to finish filling the other wagon sitting at the north end. I headed back to the bin site with the combine and quickly hauled in the two wagons and dumped them before the snow was too deep to haul a full load. My unloading auger on the 1460 had issues anyway.
When I had pulled the combine up to unload the mostly full hopper into the wagon unloading by the bin I notice it had a funny wiggle when it came to a stop in the out position. When I started the auger up it made a rattling clunking sound. As I was running the grain out of the tank through it I noticed there was corn leaking out of the top of the riser tube directly below the elbow pivot where the auger turns and goes horizontal out to the end it dumps out of. It looked like the ring the elbow pivots on had come apart from the auger tube it’s attached to. That ring had started to pivot with the elbow. The only thing holding that end of the auger together was the shafts on the fighting inside the auger tube.
So I have my work cut out for me. The rattle and hum of a smooth harvest gradually changed and has started to sound threatening. I’m deep into this harvest, I better keep it running a little more silent. This will take more than just oil and grease. It’s time to apply a little elbow grease. The gathering chain will be the easy job. The unloading auger may take a little more work. So the farmer cap’s coming off and the mechanic’s cap is going on. That’s a good thing, mechanics make way more per hour than farmers.
Hope for me good fortune. I’ll hope for you the same.
PS, Enjoy today’s video selections …….