Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Harvest: Part Four

Five o'clock one evening I found myself admiring the shadows growing in the corn field and that is when it hit me. There is the adage about the five o'clock shadow referring to man's beard stubble starting to show up and here I am seeing a field of stubble at five o'clock. When you are alone in a cabin of a tractor all day long (and then some) for weeks on end, your mind starts to grab at straws for things to think about. Fortunately most of our cabbed tractors do have radios so I've done a fair sight of listening to NPR, pledge drive and all, these last few weeks.

We had to quit early one evening to celebrate my Mom's halfway through treatment milestone with some pizza when she got back to the farm one weekend. Thus I helped my Dad unload the last two wagons of grain for the day and nabbed this picture. Our smaller wagons hold about 540 bushels of grain each and we pull them in pairs. Our largest wagons hold 640 bushels of grain and we pull them in one by one. My grain cart in comparison can hold nearly 1200 bushels of grain. Our modern augers have an articulating portion that swings around in an arc which makes unloading the grain fairly straight forward. You just pull the wagon up near the auger and swing the red part underneath the shoot and unload. Back in my youth, the business end was fixed which meant that you had to get the wagon in exactly the right place. Doing paired wagons back then was for the highly skilled people only because you had to back up both wagons after unloading the first in the pair and then get the second wagon just right from the steering wheel of a tractor thirty feet away at that point.

Although I don't have any overall pictures of the 12V conversion on the 3020 tractor my dad bout for $1000 out of a barn site unseen, I did find this picture of the 24V wiring to the starter assembly that I took for future reference. I had to replace the starter with a 12V one and thought perhaps a picture of the old wiring might come in useful. Since I haven't yet had time to wrap up that project and wire the 12V starter that I already installed, I haven't determined if I will need this picture or not. Because the new starter is longer, it interferes with the fuel filter which means I have to install a different fuel filter complete with new lines. I also had to put on a new alternator, new batteries and because we could, a new seat. If we get this conversion done and the tractor starts up, it will serve out life as an auger tractor powering the screws that lift the grain from the wagon into the top of the grain bins.


Kelly said...

We had a wonderful farmer who could work on anything and get it (keep it) running. It's a true talent.

Still smiling at the whole 5 o'clock stubble business.

Ed said...

Kelly - I wish I was more talented at it than I was, especially when it comes to working on engines.