The following story comes from Nottingham, and Andrew Blagg who comes from a long line of Farming families and Contractors.
Andrew has always been fascinated by combines and
harvesting, and has been involved from a young age on his family's farming business, his family ran several Allis Chalmers combines when he was young and his neighbours used MF 780s, Andrew spent many hours on his neighbours Masseys, and quickly learnt about
all aspects of operating these popular combines.
Undertaking any type of restoration on any vehicle requires a lot of commitment and a good sense of humour to help you through the dark days when everything seems
to be going wrong!
Normally with a tractor the first step would be to assess the condition of the engine! And that might mean putting it to work on a plough or something heavy to gauge the performance and power
output of engine any smoking of exhaust ,sump pressure breather, oil pressure, water temperature, clutch and gearbox etc
.The biggest problems with combines is despite all the very best inspections the real test
comes when it is put into crop and under load! And it's not always possible to carry this out.
With a combine the list is endless! Engine, belts, chains ,bearings, pulleys, shafts, augers, straw walkers, shaker
shoe, sieves, gearboxes, hydraulics, etc.. the list is endless then you assess the bodywork, guards, and structure of combine, any serious rust and rot is very costly and time consuming to rectify, these machines don't fair well left out to the elements, they
have so many water traps throughout the structure that within a very short time rust will take hold and render the machine suitable for scrap only! I have personally seen so many abandoned in the open by owners who probably had intended to find storage but
other pressing storage issues prevented this.
Another major problem is parts spares etc.. even well known combine breakers would unlikely now carry second-hand parts for a 60 yr old combine!
So you're last resort would be to find someone with an old machine abandoned on their farm and hope you can persuade them to let you strip off parts for a financial remuneration! Although this isn't always so straight forward! As some
owners are not that obliging unfortunately.
If possible a second machine bought for spares would be a huge advantage for the restoration and future successful operation of the combine.
Andrew was fortunate to of purchased two combines using one for his spares from the same owner in Cornwall, this model is a 1958 780 special the updated version of the 1953 designed 780.
The combine designed
in Canada was badged the MH21, the 7 denotes it was built in Kilmarnock as was their build code.