First day of winter…brought an upgrade… was it an early Christmas?

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Yesterday, the first day of winter arrived, and it sure felt like it!  Although the temperature was in the high 30s, the strong 20 mph (32 kph) wind just put a chill on your face when you went outside.   The day began with some drizzle in the air, and you might have seen some flakes (just a few) during the morning.  The rainfall nor the snow was not enough to measure on our weather station.  Just a chilly day, with a sharp wind.  My cheeks are chapped and red this morning, and I’m in the grip of a ‘man-cold’.  The congestion and runny eyes and nose are uncomfortable and unpleasant, but I’m still able to keep going.

The highlight of the day, for this old farmer anyhow, was taking delivery of a new combine.  This was the 2019  JD S780 that John and I traveled to Moline, Illinois to view at the Gold Key event on back on November 30.  Took just about 3 weeks from then, to get it to the dealer, get it set-up, and then delivered here.   Hutson’s at Jasper, Indiana was the dealer and their transport specialist Gene Williams was the delivery guy.  It’s always a happy day when Gene is bringing us something new!  He was accompanied by salesman Shane Knoy as his escort, for they hauled the machine here with the duals already on the combine!   Gene broke apart his low-boy trailer and and removed all the tie-downs securing the combine to the trailer.  Then he drove the 780 down for its official arrival at our farm!   We moved it to the shop, in order to install the 2-way radio, and some other accessories.

The S780 arrived, and we set about to get it released from its tie-down chains.

Santa Gene is the delivery guy and Santa Shane is the salesman for this combine. They made this Santa delivery a few days early! Merry Christmas! It is a happy day for this old farmer. We are so blessed to have newer technology, and hopefully more reliable, machines with which to do our work.

The S780 is in the shop a couple days to install the 2-way radio and other accessories, before it goes out to its storage spot, waiting for the wheat crop in June!  The dealer has a couple more items to install:  the cameras on the rear and in the grain tank.

John attached this extra toolbox . We have used it on a couple previous machines. It stores some spare guards and sections and bolts, and the accompanying tools for the draper header. Stored in this manner, I can quickly unpin this box and carry it to the header for convenient repair work when there is a broken section or guard.

This new combine also features ‘combine advisor’, which uses these cameras (blue arrows) on the clean-grain and tailings elevators. It reads these inputs, and adjusts the inner threshing components to achieve the grain output and quality for which you’ve set the machine. Hopefully, this will make me a better combine operator!

It was interesting to watch them load the trade-in S680, and tie it down.  It was even more interesting to watch it be hauled away.  That combine has been a pretty good one, and the farmer who buys it will hopefully have more good experience.

The previous machine, a 2014 S680 was loaded and ready to leave the farm. We hope the new combine will be as reliable as this trade-in. It was one of the last of the 2014’s before they switched to Final Tier 4 engines. Never had to put DEF in this one. But the new one will require it.


As we enter the last weekend before Christmas, we will be assisting today at church with a funeral dinner for a beloved saint, 91-year-old Joan Long.  Such a dear, sweet lady.

Merry Christmas to you all.   Just as the old hymn says, this might be a good occasion to ‘count your many blessings’.

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