Saturday, October 23, 2010

At least we walked away...

Behold, harvest has finished, but not without one of the most tortuous endings I have known.  Two weeks ago with a mere 200 acres of corn left, a relatively benign season reverted to the sad average.
  • The turbocharger issue on our 9570 continues.  Although currently "functional" neither the mechanics nor we have any confidence this third one will last long.  Something is screwy in the electronics.  High marks to the service people, but there aren't that many spares around, and the problem seems to be deeper than we can diagnose.
  • Thanks to a good friend and neighbor who helped with 70 acres of specialty corn that was less horrible than we thought.
  • When we spoke to our CIH dealer about our situation he offered a demo 7120 to get the last 60 acres. This was a two-class leap (V to VII) and the machine blew our socks off.
  • Meanwhile, a faithful old IH1800 tandem broke.  By "broke" I mean Jan called me in South Bend (everything happens on Thursday night when I leave to tape USFR) and said just that: "The truck broke."  When I asked what part she meant she said the "whole thing".
She was right. While raising to bed to empty, the anchor plate for one lift cylinder broke free, and immediately, the strain cracked and bent the frame on the opposite side. The truck is literally broken.

Jan was brilliant - carefully lowering the bed as far as it would go and preventing a sideways collapse. Aaron got to scoop out yet another truck.

So with help from a cousin's truck we limped across the finish line.  We ended with our worst field (corn-on-corn) which left a bad taste in our mouths.  But we finished.

So I hope to be posting a little more often.  I just haven't been able to think of other things for a while.

Really need rain here too.


Anonymous said...

Glad you're done. A few thoughts:
Variable displacement and externally controlled turbos are always problems - take it from a formula one fan.
Check out Ron Davis' latest post on Agweb - more for the data than the commentary.
IH 1800's are too old for serious road duty. Better luck next year!

Anonymous said...

Hi John,
Back in the 60's we had a neighbor who was all red. Then he bought a Deere 45 pusher combine. It must have been the worst lemon Deere ever put out. The bolts that held the engine would break, several times. After that, he always bought red, but my family is still green and have not had that kind of experience. My son now runs a 9770 and is happy with it.

Anonymous said...

glad to hear you finished john, bet its nice to have good dependable help, availability of labor is a big problem on this place. This year the good weather allowed us time for some breakdowns and we had them, frustrating as breakdowns are they're part of the game. I'll just replace what machinery i can and fix what i must. take care ac

John Phipps said...


In my feeble defense, we don't take our trucks on the road. They are essentially motorized wagons going to the bin. Nonetheless your point is taken. We hire semis to haul out later.

I just had never heard of this type of failure.

Anonymous said...

Why did the Deere dealer not give you a loaner!? I suppose if you didn't buy it from them, maybe not for the first repair, but after the second failure on work their mechanic did...

John Phipps said...


I'm not complaining. Our dealer was closed by Deere because it was too small, so we were "orphans". While we made contact with the new dealer, I can appreciate their lack of interest. We're not 5000 acre farmers, so I don't expect Platinum treatment.

That said, when my long-time CIH rep (we drive both colors) said he could get me a machine the next morning, don't think that has gone unnoted.

Again, no complaints, but plenty of gratitude for the help we were able to get.

Karl M. Hess said...

What does done mean? I reread your position paper on done, John. Soybean maturity is VERY unusual here this year. Along the roads and field edges the beans are green with most leaves still attached. There are even green crop circles scattered throughout the field. Not just our fields either. They will go through the machine and put green beans in the bin. The back of the machine looks like a forage harvester. You can cut the centers of the field if you want, but not an entire field. I can be done if you do not count the 3 passes I need to leave at all of the edges. It seems as if it will take a killing frost to get thoses plants to drop their leaves. And these were group 3 beans planted in May!! Still limping.