A Challenging Harvest

 The 2017 Harvest for many here in the UK will be best forgotten certainly it wasn't the worst we've had here but from late July as the winter crops were being harvested August decended into a very wet unsettled month which unfortunately as I write this late September hasn't improved much! And there are still some wheat and oats still here to cut.

Harvest for us started with the moving of the 860 to its first job about 10 miles away early August with the weather dictating a possible later start

After a 10 day unsettled spell with low pressure systems constantly bombarding our shores, we had a brief respite from the 10th and 4 dry days although cool and very windy.

This gave us a start On the afternoon of the 12th with the spring barley at 15.5% moisture which was quite surprising, and we had 3 days cutting before the next front of weather moved in and lasted another week.

with our harvest this year I have concentrated a bit more on the older combines and especially my 1967 410 which was given to me a year ago.

preparations to bring the 410 back into work started in June, the first job was to clean off 50 yrs of harvest grime!

 

 

Bringing the 410 home from its winter storage the work begins!

As she arrived!

After many hours cleaning the assessment of the combine begins!

The table guards required a lot of TLC ! and straightening out, also new rubber retaining straps fitted.

To get this old maiden back into Harvest order required 6 new belts and 2 bearings, plus a new power steering pipe and repair to the gear selector arm which selects first and reverse.

Plus a great deal of adjustments and lubricating of various adjusters around the combine that have laid idle for so long.

Preparations pre harvest on the other two combines used this year was also underway with the basic oil and filter changes plus  the standard  check around of all the belts chains and bearings.

One problem we found while checking around was this  bearing gone on the straw Walker crank arm which was completely shot.

 

More than likely failed at the end of last season!

Far better a job like this before the season starts ! Than out in the field!
Shaft speed sensor bracket can be seen at bottom of picture.

A couple of days preparing the 860

The trip to tss banks .he first farm is always eventful! and worse on the wet grass banks.

Parked up and awaiting its 30 th harvest.

Every year you can expect to spend considerable time on the Combines preparing them and limiting the chances of breakdowns in the field, but as we all say just expect the unexpected.

Work on the 410 continued after servicing and repairs were completed on the 860.

The 410 needed 6 new belts and two bearings plus the standard servicing.

Unfortunately the combine has suffered paintwork damage on the top surfaces caused by oil and diesel being poured over to protect the bodywork! So I think a full strip and respray is required, and I think she's well worth the work which is considerable; but to me she's a very special machine being a local combine and rare 8ft 6 cut.

My fellow combine collector Howard had prepared his 50 yr old MF 400 ready for our crops of Barley at Stratton on the Fosse , this combine required a tank fuel pump as the old one had got very weak and struggled to supply enough fuel up to the engine and it caused some issues last season.

Apart from that and the customary service it was good to go.

The following photos came from the 16 th August as we started cutting our own Barley, but by now the weather was very unsettled and dry days very hard to find.

 

Crop moisture 15.5%Howard making a start early afternoon

The Old 400 goes about its business with Howard at the Helm

Interesting rear shot as the precious crop completes its journey.

Despite the consistent rain this crop still stands in pretty good order patiently awaiting its harvest.

The sharp red paint in contrast with the dark skies and golden crop.

An upper shot looking back on its work.

Standing up gives a far better view of the crop and feed into the combine and with these modern short stem crops feeding the crop can require full attention at all times!

The precious cargo safely gathered in.

A local contractor baling up close behind as the forecast predicts heavy rain overnight.

As daylight fades on comes the lights! We rarely cut after dark but this season you have got to make full use of any dry conditions.

Onward with the lights!

Harvesting in the dark focuses your attention more but in some way you haven't got any other distractions around you so in some ways it's easier.

More harvest 2017 photos  PT 2