Archive for August 18th, 2007

Mending the Combine Week

This has been ‘mending the combine harvester week’, and is something of a ritual as the grain harvest approaches.

I run a Claas Dominator 76, which I bought second hand and is now getting pretty old in the combine world.     But there are lots of machines of this vintage working year in, year out.    Being of a certain age means that there are no electronics to go wrong, and repairs can mostly be fixed with a normal tool kit.

We ask a lot of combine harvesters – they sit in the shed for 11 months, and are then expected to run full throttle for the harvest, and work perfectly.    It does not happen like that, of course, as there are lots of moving parts, belts and pulleys to play up on the hottest day of the summer when the crops are crackling ripe.

So, time spent ahead of harvest fixing anything that might go wrong is time well spent.    All in all, it has been a busy week, and there is still a big metal shaft getting sorted at out local blacksmith, and which has to be fitted back in (quite a major operation) once it is ready.

I  also paid a visit to a combine graveyard in Fife, as taking bits off an old machine can be very cost effective, and got a part that just suited my machine fine.    Combines are terrible machines for going on fire, and once they are alight, they are tricky to put out – usually being out in the middle of a field, miles from water.   Hence the combine graveyard.

So hopefully next week with oil changed, chains tightened, bearings greased and (combine) knife sharpened, we will be ready to start.

It just needs to stop raining.   It has been pouring here all day.


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