Colin and the 525 cutting Spring barley September 2015
Harvest for us started about 10 days later than 2014 on 8/8/15 near Bath cutting Tipple Spring barley! for our regular customer! .
This would be around the time
for harvesting here unlike at home which is about a 1000ft above sea level and slower to ripen.
Th 860 this year required a new 90 amp alternator which was purchased from Germany! we also replaced a set of
belts on the shaker shoe shaft, and despite the customary pre season check over and engine oil and fuel system filter changes and the replacement of one of the two batterys she was ready to go!!
Storing the combines
over the winter in a clean condition helps to prevent damage from rodents, these issues can be very frustrating especially on the 860 as it has speed sensors on the various shafts and more electrics than the sixties and seventies built combines,
and troubleshooting these issues can be very time consuming indeed!!
Without doubt for me the worse part of combine driving is actually getting to the various farms!!
Here in Somerset the lanes are very narrow with steep banks and most years we will have to negotiate getting to the crops across fields! Some not belonging to the customer!! but it usually works out ok.
12 ft wide we always use an escort as required and pull in at regular intervals during the journey, unfortunatley every one following you is in more of a hurry than you are!! But in reality they are probably not, as when the crops are ready it's a race against
Mother Nature and the weather windows !!and there's no time to lose!
Operating these older combines you have to bear in mind that they have done their work for other owners and were frontline machines
for many seasons, and now although still more than capable of doing the job! operating and maintaining them requires a great deal of respect! But for sure in these cost conscious times they suit our small operation.
Our season got off to a great start with 3 good long days and late evenings cutting! The crops were above average yield as was a lot of growers this season.
During the third day we had fuel starvation issues,
which caused the engine to run slightly underpower, on inspection of the usual suspects! The fuel filters, and the lift pump filter, nothing out of order was found! And any work on the fuel lift pump should if possible be tackled with a cold engine!!?
Because the lift pump is located just a few inches under the turbo charger!! On these 6 cylinder A6 engines! And if you are slightly big in stature? You would need to lie over the engine and dangle your head into the engine
bay!! To see the job in hand, failing that you will have to feel your way!! Yes not the best of jobs!!
So the problems continued! And an inspection of the tank suction pipe filter! Proved
negative, by the early evening the engine power was fluctuating erraticaly , and the only other thing that could shut fuel off was the Murphy valve!! This electric operated shut down valve is a safety feature used to cut off the fuel to the engine in the event
of low oil pressure overheating etc.. These devices are normally reliable but on this occasion we decided to bypass the valve with some flexible hose and that rectified the problem.
On the 4th day we moved the 525
combine to its first job to cut some winter wheat, unfortunately after testing the grain the moisture was to high to continue!!
And the forecast was not looking to good for the following week! But little did
we know then this bad weather would continue for at least 10 days!!!
More to come and pictures!!