Another Saturday on the farm

Sepember 22, 2012- John’s 26th birthday.

We got a ‘rain out’ last night about 930 pm.  We had cut soybeans at the Newman and Steen Hill farms, but discovered some at Steen Hill that were just ‘not ready’– the moisture content in the grain was just too high to cut them.  So, we moved to the Waldo farm, beginning with the flat part on the east side, near Roberson ditch.  We worked our way up the hill toward Marchino Road.  As we were cutting the last pass on the hilltop, the raindrops began to fall.  It was appropriate to remove the headers, and since the Waldo farm is < 2 miles from home, we moved the combines to the main farm, and placed them inside for the night.

Today, a large belt must be replaced on the 9770 combine.  On the left side of the feeder house, the variable-speed belt that drives the header is cracking, and may fail soon.  So, as a preventative measure, we are replacing it this morning.  It is better to work on it today, when we are not in the fields, rather than having it fail as we are working on a good day.  It is rather pricey at $415, but must be replaced.   If you are wondering “what is a feeder house?”, it is the part of the combine out front to which the header (gathering unit) attaches, and connects the header to the separator (the main part of the combine where threshing of the grain occurs).   There is a conveyor chain inside the feeder house that delivers the crop mat from the header to the separator.

This is the feeder house of the 9770 combine. The large belt that needs replaced us under a protective shield. You can also see a 3-chain conveyor with cross-wise slats that move the crop mat from the header to the threshing system in the separator.

Here is the large belt that shows the signs of deterioration. Big chunks have broken off the outside skin, and you can see significant cracks in the body of the belt. This belt is hefty enough to provide the power to drive the 12-row corn head and 40 foot MacDon draper head.

John and Philip are working on that repair, and Brandon is delivering soybeans from our storage to the market at Robinson Grain Elevator.

A weird thing happened as John took the combine out of the storage building to bring it to the shop.  When John started the engine, a raccoon ran down the feeder house and jumped down to the ground to get away.  Another, came up out of the grain tank, ran across the cab roof and fell down the front window.  However, this one got a hind leg caught in the windshield wiper, and hung there a few minutes before he was able to wriggle free.   I think this one got away unhurt, but the windshield wiper is totaled.  The raccoons love to hide inside this John Deere!

Mr. Raccoon had an exciting morning!


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