Done Again

It’s been eight semis since I last checked in. The wagons are all holding corn. Only one’s not running over full. But I’m done. Full Harvest. A regular cornucopia. I finished cutting corn in the dark last night. It’s been a good fight. Dancing around the big wet spot that was thawing out over the mountain from Snake Grass Bottom on the farm north of town. Right along the highway. Right out in front of God and everybody. Fitting I guess as it seems lately that everything I do is in the dark. Under the lights. Under the Moon. And I’m a day kind of guy. That may be because there’s more darkness than light (not counting the moon) this time of year and I still have a full day’s work to get done. There’s less light each day. More star time each night. Nocturnality. For another three weeks or so. Then it’ll be going in the right direction. Again.

I hope your having a happy St. Andrew’s Day.



The Full Story

Not the last farmer. I get to drive by three other farmers not done harvesting corn on the way up to my last farm to harvest. One of them don’t have their own combine and the other two run green ones, one an old 6620 about the same age as mine, the other runs two new ones with wide heads dumping into a grain cart and semis.  It may not change things but misery loves company. Hey, we could start a company and …….

The bin’s full on the last farm, I had a couple good days running. The wagons are likewise full. As is Gary, my dream machine combine from up by Sioux City. It has performed flawlessly since I changed out the electric fuel pump. By ten o’clock last night I was heading home to rest the rest. The night before I had run late filling up the wagons I had dumped right before sunset. Last night I finished dumping what would fit in the bin after dark. I was wandering around the field driving my old 856 pulling wagons using only a flashlight for light. I’m glad that went well considering the terraces.

That’s the full story from here in the corn patch, I hope all is well with you and yours where ever you and yours have come a shores. If I don’t see ya before then, have a happy thanksgiving. I know I will.

See ya then, see ya there.



Last Farm

Last Farmer too. Or so it seems. Until you get out and drive. There’s cornfields out there that haven’t been touched yet. Whole farm size fields like mine. Ah but as of sundown tonight mine’s been touched. More than touched. Down right violated. Penetrated to the core. Opened right up.

I see it’s after midnight. A drizzle came up as I was cutting my last hopper. The wagons are all full. The first time in a long time. One is full sitting on the farm I just finished.  I was thinking of dumping it in the bin and running the wagon to the last farm and refilling it there. Then the drizzle started. The fog had moved in right after sunset. It had only just left at noon.

It’s late and I’m tired. I wanted to call last farm though.

Then, there



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 …….




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 …….