Still White

……. And the seven breakdowns.

Cold. White and still. For a moment. Then the north winds kick in with a vengeance. I tried to put back on the farmer cap yesterday and did, for a moment. Sunday after splitting some wood and making that last post I tore into the old 1440 I’m using for parts. It was cold but things worked out nice and by sunset I was down to the unloading auger’s up and down tube just below the elbow. I had the elbow off but the gearbox bolted to the inside of the elbow was still attached to the lower auger shaft with a pin and a cotter key. It was getting too dark and I was getting too cold so I started in on the project first thing Monday morning.

By noon I had it completely off and ready to take along north to put on the 1460. By sundown again I was listening to the engine block heater sizzle on the 1440 I’d bought and used to combine everything last year. I’d flipped a coin on which one to take up north to pick the 178 acres of corn north of town. I guess it landed on edge because now both machines are parked up north of I-80 next to the bins. When I removed the little cover plate (too little) on the horizontal tube behind the elbow on the 1460’s unloading auger it had a bolt and pair of nuts instead of the original pins with cotter key. Unlike the 1440’s bolt and one lock nut that came out easy the 1460’s first nut came off easy but the second was getting harder to turn with each new bite with the wrench. Each bite of a twelve side boxed end wrench.

Half way off about a half hour later I gave up. I headed home to get the other better combine.  The 1460 has a beater going bad, the fan needs rebuilt, it could use a new rotor and cage out of the burn victim. It’s three way gearbox is starting to leak, unless it always has and the last guy had replaced the original hydraulic oil with heavy gear oil. It seems the more hydraulic oil I add the faster it leaks. The thinner it looks on the dipstick too. The unloading augers already had a bearing out of one of the under tanks cross augers before this elbow ring thing. The feeder house needs to come off the 1440 parts combine for the 1460. All things I had listed two years go on my Original CoCreator’s Blog but never got around to doing after buying the new 1440. Why that coin was even in the air to begin with is beyond me.

Oh yea. It’s because at the end of beaning I thought the 1440 acted like it was losing power. And last night in the dark when it couldn’t pull itself up hill with the separator running too I remembered why I’d taken the 1460 north. So in the dark I almost disassembled the electric fuel pump from the 1440 parts combine to put on the 1440 dream machine. I had taken all the necessary bolts out and only had left the fuel lines to be cracked open and removed. It was a completely different kind of pump than the one already on the dream machine so it was going to require taking along a couple of rigid fuel lines too. I had checked the pump with the jumper cables to make sure it ran before I’d started removing it by pickup headlights.

By noon today I was back running at full power. But when I went to start the auger tractor that had been plugged in all night AFTER a cold start on the dream machine (it was under twenty and very windy) the 4-e-h batteries were stone dead. Not frozen but stone dead.Two new ones and the starter purred like a kitten. I finally got a few wagons of corn combined today. Maybe four. I humped the hoppers over the snowy hill with the 1440. When I quit in the dark the one wagon sitting over the swing hopper for the bin loading auger was full along with the hopper on the ’40. By the time I run them up the auger on the bin the bin will be full. One down one to go. I finished the corn east of the creek ditch. Tomorrow I’ll start on the patch west and north of the ditch. I’ll start on that other bin too after moving the auger.

The fun never ends …….




The auger is fixed. The bin is full. As are almost all of the wagons. The whole shebang is grouped down by the pasture inside the fence along the road. I’m waiting to load a couple of semis full of corn for delivery to the alcohol plant co owned by Bunge of North America just south of Council Bluffs along Interstate Highway I-29. We’re going to spot a few loads into the market. My older brother’s driver is bringing one of the brother’s trucks. We will load him on the road from the field. I have a long enough auger to reach across thee road ditch and dump on the truck while it still sits on the gravel road. That way we can keep the roadside on the road and the field side in the field.

It’s Monday November 3rd. November is for picking corn. I have forty acres done and two hundred eighty to go. This could be my largest corn run ever. I hope it all goes well. Yesterday I put the 1440 and twenty foot bean head away in the barn. I’m hoping the 1460 will last through the fall. I never used it at all last year. It sat around as a spare while I ran everything through the 1440. The 1460 has better lights, more power with it’s trurbo, and a few more bushels of grain tank capacity, and a longer unloading auger. With corn yielding three times as much as beans the extras start to really add up. It also has heavier final drives and a beefier transmission, both adding stability to it’s stance.

I may try planting my ten bags of winter rye today. At any rate I’m going to have the stay at gone mom run to Co op and pick them up after we load the corn. I plan on planting them alongside gulleys so I can fill the gulleys in with a dirt scraper or tractor & loader next summer after I harvest off my cover crop seed for next fall. That’s the theory anyway. I’ve been told all the rye needs to do is germinate this fall to be a viable crop next summer. I think we still have warm enough soil. The temps have been above normal the last couple weeks. I know we have wet enough soil. It never seems to quit raining.

That’s about it from the corn patch. Have a great month. Be thankful we have it.

See ya then, see ya there …….