Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Oh this is so cool!

One difficulty we have found with the Kenworth is the bed is so tall you can just barely see in it ... if you stand hanging with your fingernails in the cab door.  We looked at Cab Cam kits  a couple places, but kept talking ourselves out of it.  We stopped at Bristol Hillbilly's (aka Palestine Auto Parts) one day and played with one Steve had on display.  I took a deep breath and said "OK"

Boy am I going to regret this.

Because now we will end up having to get one for the other trucks and one for the combine and if Wifey Dearest realizes how well it works we may have to get one for the Honda.

It worked out very well.  We (OK, Aman did the work while I was spending the day doing bookwork.  I'd MUCH rather have traded him jobs) put one camera on the front of the bed

and one at the rear pointing down at about a 45 degree angle.
That was a really funny incident.  Littlejohn is hauling corn for us, and we decided to make a run or two to Martinsville with the blue truck.  We'd never done it and had the time. We're unloading and the two guys in the photo were just kind of standing there unconcerned ... until one looked up, nudged the other with his elbow and pointed at the camera.  You could see him saying "Oh **** look at that"  What he didn't know is there is a microphone built in the camera as well.  I kind of wished I didn't have the volume turned down.

But like I said, it worked well for what we intended.  You can set in the cab and see how the truck is loading without risking falling by standing on your tip toes to see.

I mentioned it to a neighbor yesterday.  He said "Yeah, I put one on my combine.  Still backed the auger into the wall."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's been a good week ...

Setting here Sunday evening with the wind blowing and snow falling and getting colder by the minute ... last week was a pretty good week. Looking back I'm going "Oh, that WAS this week."

We had 2 big accomplishments on the farm this week.  Monday Aman and I bought newer forklift together.  Nice little Toyota 42-5FG25

I don't know what all those numbers mean, but it runs on gasoline or propane, has air tires on it, lifts 4000 pounds and will reach higher than Gramp's shed.  It's probably what I should have bought in the first place when I bought the AC.  So I listed the AC on a couple ag classified sites.

Littlejohn FINALLY got some room Thursday for some corn.  Greg called a little after 7 AM and said "I'll have a truck there in 20 minutes."

I told him that was fine, but they were supposed to let us know a day ahead and it would probably be an hour before we got the tractor set up and ready to go.  They showed up about 10:20.  I just love waiting on trucks.

But we got everything set up and working and were waiting when he got there ... 1 truck and unloading was taking a while because there were lines..  So the next day we loaded out more corn.
By Friday afternoon we were down to the sweep auger.  But we didn't have enough time to clean out the bin before everyone had to be someplace Friday evening.  So I climbed back out and closed up everything and we went home.
Kind of wish now we were able to get it cleaned out.  We for sure won't be loading corn tomorrow. Rod Scott took this on the way home Sunday afternoon.  It's gotten worse now
As I set here I have been listening to the Sheriff's department handling multiple multi-vehicle accidents on I-70.  Dispatch just asked the Sheriff what road conditions were between here and someplace further west.  His response was "Terrible".

Yes, last week was a really good week.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ever have a week when you didn't accomplish anything and took all week to do it?

My big accomplishment of the week wasn't really farm related.  I completed the Freedom Of Information Act Officer training online from the Illinois Attorney General Office.  I guess it qualifies as an accomplishment.  It should have been completed in June.  I started in June  ... 8th I believe.  First there was an internet glitch, then I got busy and it slipped my mind. all 58 pages of it. But now I am official certified as the FOIA for the West Union Community Fire Protection District and the Walnut Prairie Cemetery.  I had a couple other entities ask if I wanted to be their's as well.  I was even offered 3 times what the cemetery was paying me.  Still amounted to the same money...

Have gone on a couple fire runs this week.  We saved the frame on a caravan
It was fully involved before we arrived.  Same for a house trailer run today.  I saw the smoke on the way to a Birthday party, so I dropped Sue off and went to check out the smoke.  Before I got there we were paged out and told it was mostly burned already.

We are slowly working on a new web site.  In fact, try it out and see if you can gain access.  You are not supposed to be able to.  It is at  Our goal is to set it up so landowner's can enter a password and access information about their property, planting info, yields, grain stored, photos, who knows what might tickle our fancy?  But we want it to be secure, so we are in the testing stage right now.  Right now it is hosted by  I'm not sure how comfortable I am with that.

We've been contemplating selling some less used equipment. 
The 26 ft IH 496 ft disk we bought last year to disk in ruts was purchased with the idea if we didn't need it had some market value
 I've had a for sale sign the big orange wagon for a couple weeks.
  We don't need the little head hauler since a bigger one is coming with the combine
And of course there is the Ford tandem truck we have listed 2-3 places already.
Plus there are some things like the extra rim off the 8440 plus we have some 30.5 32 combine tires off the 2166 last Spring. As well as probably a few other things.  I'm just not sure I want to go through the hassle.

Monday, November 29, 2010

I said I'd never do that again .... well ..........

The last time I went to a Groff Machinery Consigment Auction I said I'd not be back.  Well ... never say never.  I went with one specific purpose and a couple side interests if they went cheap enough.  Didn't come home with any of those.  I did come home with this
That is a 70 foot 10 inch diameter belt conveyor.  It was more in my price range than the 2 10" augers they had.  I kind of think the guy in the trees was bidding on it.  Maybe I should pause and explain that.

One of the things at Max's auctions that irritates the **** out of me is the guy up in the trees bidding. There has to be one, because too often the auctioneer is taking bids when nobody seems to be bidding. I know, some guys are masters at hiding their bid.  I watched one guy I know bid on something and if you were not watching him carefully you never knew it.  The ring man was standing right in front of him, and an almost imperceptible wink or nod and there was a bid.  But I was down on the far end of the lot when they sold an old Safety Klean box truck.  Ugly, theft resistant green.  There was me and two other guys there when the bidding started.  Everyone else had walked off to where the auctioneer would be next.  We were talking.  None of us bid.  But the truck sold for $3500.  The guy in the trees must have bought it.

OK, so I am standing there watching this conveyor sell.  It was cheap for what it was.  REALLY cheap.  But 2 guys kept bidding it up.  And then I noticed I was standing there all by myself, just me and 2 ring men.  And the price kept going up slowly.  One ring man came over trying to get me to bid.  Then both of them.  I finally said I would bid one time, a very small increment higher than the current bid.  And I won it.  I think the guy in the trees almost bought that as well.

Oh, and this:

Yes, I bought a semi tractor ... at Groff's.  THAT might cause the end to get kicked out of the coffin.  It was clean, but not too clean.  I heard a couple guys talking, one was a company employee, and it had been driven up from Florida.  Not hauled, driven.  300 Hp, 8 speed transmission, air conditioning, good looking.  The only problems I have found is a broken mirror, the air hose to the fifth wheel slider is leaking, a rear fender is missing, and the gear shift need a worn pivot pin replaced.  Ralph says that is common in this transmission.

So, for the next question, "Now what?"  Ralph has a set of twin screw tandems that will fit it, and gave me an estimate on switching the axles, lengthening the frame, and moving the bed and hoist off the Ford to it.  It was less than a trailer will probably cost.  So I told him to put me on the schedule and I was going to advertise the Ford as is.  If someone wanted it bad enough before he started we'd cancel and I'd go trailer shopping.  I figure I have a month or more to try and sell it.  Anyone want a good old Ford?

Do you know what a $500 disk looks like?

Yes, that brought $500! I would have hauled it home for it if I had a empty truck.  Not paying $25, you pay me to take it.  They also sold a really good M&W big red wagon with a seed auger on the side for $2500.  If I weren't trying to get away from wagons I would have been really interested.  Big orange is for sale, too.  Guess I need to take some pictures of it.

Friday, November 26, 2010

So what have you been doing this week?

Ever have one of those weeks where Friday you look back and ask yourself what you did that week?  In my defense, this was Thanksgiving week.  Aman was on vacation so I didn't have anyone pushing me to accomplish anything.  I took a couple mostly personal days ... but even then they are not entirely non-farm.  For instance, Sue and I went shopping.  Coming back I saw a seed tender for sale.  It's just what I want.

I called.  His price is actually pretty fair ... if it weren't for some of the other stuff I did this week.  I mentioned shopping. Sue bought some Christmas presents, I bought a combine ... yes, we signed papers on the Big Green Machine.

Yeah, I know, I should get some real photos of it.

I've been hoping to haul grain for the Prust Farm.  The grain has been sold, augers are in place, just waiting for Littlejohn's to come get it.  I called Wednesday and was told they were full and waiting on a train.  And I might be a couple weeks before they could come after it!

So not a lot happened on the farm this week.  Put the disk, roller, tandem axle trailer, and Soil Saver away away, moved the grain trucks to a different location, pushed a little dirt and modified a field entrance, cleared out some parts drawers, bought a combine, took the platform off the 2166 and put the corn head on ... "piddle jobs".  Also the thing I am worst at.

Dad did the piddle jobs.  Once field work was caught up I took off and hauled propane.  It's been a difficult task for me to master, the odd-job off-season stuff.  And now I am setting home waiting for a delivery.  I hate waiting.  Gotta go, someone just pulled in.

Later Y'all

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fixing the unloading auger

The last time we unloaded the Prust bean bin we weren't happy with how it worked, so we decided to pull the unloading auger out and check it before using it.  The screw wasn't totally worn out, but it was worn enough it wouldn't handle the volume it should.
An opportunity to use new toys!  We got a new screw from Dale Crumrin and used my new SawZall to cut the shaft and take the head off.  When we got it apart we found the tube was getting pretty thin,
so we repaired it.  Aman cut the old ring off,
  used the plasma cutter to cut a new piece, welded it in with the wire welder, cut a new opening with the plasma cutter,

and it was as good as new

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

And end to life as we know it ?

No, I haven't changed religions.  No, I haven't become a Vulcan.
 I did agree to buy a combine.  Yes, a green combine. This isn't the actual combine, but it's just like it.
I hope Adam understands.

I didn't want a green combine.  It's kind of like speaking a foreign language.  But I survived the switch from Massey to IH.  It's not quite that big a change.  (Remember what they told us?  Just think about what you would do on the MF and do the opposite.  It usually worked!)

We traded our 2166 with a 20 ft platform and 6 row corn head for a 9660 with a 30 ft platform and 8 row corn head.  I said when I started looking I had 3 requirements.  It had to be 4WD, under a certain number of hours, and a specific maximum annual payment.  I didn't go to every dealer in the country searching for the absolute bottom dollar.  I did go to my local dealers (one in particular I bent over backwards trying to work with) as well as contacting others.  I told them what I had and what I wanted (4WD, hours, payment) and would consider most any suggestion. two dealerships have not gotten back to me at all.  One did send me an email with one combine late Monday after promising to email me several options the previous Wednesday.

It's obvious these guys never sold copiers.

OK, so what is this big green thing?  I won't give specs because they would just be numbers to you. Here is the bottom line: This machine will cut as much in one two rounds as the old combine did in 3.  In corn I don't know it will be 50% bigger but it will be at least 30%.

We've watched folks around here with red combines and 30 ft heads.  I don't know if it is the combine, the heads, or the operator, but unless you get to a BIG red combine they just don't seem to get a jump in productivity over the 2166.  We demo's a 9660 (not this one but one just like it) in double crop beans with green stems and it just walked through them.  It doesn't spread straw quite as perfect at the 2166 with a 20 ft head, but then again I haven't seen anything that was as even as it was.
Another thing it will allow us to do is switch back and forth quicker between corn and beans.  The head has a ... I forget JD's term for it but most folks call it single point hookup.  Instead of unplugging several hoses and an electrical connection then unlocking the header, you plug in one connection and latch it and the header is ready to go.

The other feature that really appealed to us is setting everything from in the cab.  With the 2166 to switch from beans to corn you disconnect 4 hoses, unplug the electrical connection, unhook the driveshafts, drop the safety latch, unhook the header locks, raise the safety latch, remove the platform, put on the cornhead, drop the safety latch, crawl under the header and lock it on, hook up the driveshafts, change the concave, sieve and shoe settings, change the chopper belt, move the chopper knives, adjust the fan speed, get back out of the cab and raise the safety latch you forgot, and if you were practiced up you could be going in half hour to 45 minutes.

I've not actually done this yet, but I've watched the neighbor do it on his Deere.  Unlatch the single point, drop the platform, pick up the cornhead, latch the single point, change one belt (from the ground, no crawling up inside the combine), touch the corn setting on the screen in the cab, and go.  He says "Yes, it is that easy".

One change that we asked for was the tires.  This one has rice tires and we asked they switch them for regular tread.  Neighbors had a lot of wheat a couple years ago and rented a combine identical to theirs with rice tires.  On wet sand they are too aggressive and dig a hole too quickly.  The rig with rice tires was stuck (more than once as I recall) and the regular tire combine just went around it.

I have a new black John Deere hat in the display cabinet.  I did wear it home, but decided to put it on display for now.  Boy ... 2 green planters, a green lawn mower, a green combine ... I'm not sure my heart can take this.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

More non-field work

Earlier this week I mentioned working on a barn roof.  I don't know if it's finished but I worked on it until I ran down both cordless drill batteries.  I don't think they were fully charged.

It actually turned out pretty good.  I got the edges of the sheet back in place and shot a deck screw through the side of the rib. (Deck screws are just like drywall screws but coated to be used outside.)  Once I got done with that I got out the caulking gun and tube of silicone and covered the heads.

Well, to be honest, I got the ones I could reach off the ladder.  I guess this cold I've been fighting has affected my balance.  I got up on the roof pulling down loose roofing sheets when I got a bit off balance and decided those spots weren't nearly as loose as they looked.

I think this will be a good day to stay in the office an catch up on paperwork.  Actually I need to spend a week or so in here doing stuff like that.  I'd rather run a chain saw.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

On to the non-fieldwork part of farming

There is more to farming than just working in the field.  It includes things like mowing roads, maintaining non-crop areas, etc.  Today we got to use the bucket truck and my new John Deere chain saw and do some tree trimming.

OK, so it was in Mom's yard.  She is one of our landowners, and we've done similar things for other landowners.  We do kind of limit how big a job we will tackle.  The persimmon tree had some broken branches, and the ash tree had split last summer and needed to come down. I forgot to get an "after" shot.

After Aman did the trimming I went up and did some repairs to the electric line where the branches had rubbed on it.

We wonder if Mom has noticed her tree is missing yet?  She was gone when we did it.

The bucket truck was one of Dad's "toys".  He always wanted one.  A business in Terre Haute bought a sign business and put this one came with the deal.  It isn't a good sign truck, so they pulled it out front and put a For Sale sign on it.  Dad saw it, and they'd go past it every week or two on the way to a Dr visit.  He finally stopped one day and asked about it.  The guy there shot him a price, which Dad declined.  He told Dad "Well, leave me your name and number and I'll have the boss call you".

When the boss called Dad told him he just couldn't justify giving what they were asking for it.  The boss asked Dad what he'd give?  Dad shot him a number about half what they were asking.  Boss thought about it a second then said "Well, I've had it for sale for a couple months and nobody has bought it ... OK, you got a truck"

We've used it to work on Gramp's barn, put a ladder on a grain bin, trim trees, work on wiring, change light bulbs in security lights, work on irrigators, etc.  But because Dad put farm plates on it we just can't go do too much off the farm with it.  Plus Dad always said that once the boom goes off the cradle we don't have any insurance.  I don't guarantee that is true, but knowing insurance companies I wouldn't be surprised.

Tomorrow we need to secure some sheet metal on a barn roof on a place we farm.  More stuff that doesn't make us any money, but is just part of renting the farm.  We've learned trying to nail down old roofing is a waste of effort.  We have much better success using drywall screws and cordless drill, then dabbing some silicone over them.  Generally on an old barn the roofing is pulled loose on the old boards  don't take or hold nails very well.  A drywall screw is much more secure.

And I still need to mow a road or two.  I know, in November?  It's on some ground  I own, so it gets done last after everything else.  I think I have the Bush Hog repaired again.  Maybe this time I can finish without backing off into a washout and breaking the linkage, or hitting a culvert and tearing the wheels off it, or hitting a rock and bending the shields under the deck so much the blades hit ... I just love running a Bush Hog (listen closely to the sarcastic tone in my voice).  But it makes thing look better, and if I mow late in the season the grass is low enough along the roads it doesn't catch drifting snow so bad.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Done ?

Our long time fall operating plan has always been finish harvest by November 1, finish fall tillage by November 15.  Well, actually finish fall tillage by deer shotgun season.  This fall has went so quickly that by October 29 we were down to a day or so of tillage and we'd be done.  Sue and I both didn't have to teach the next Sunday, so we did something we'd never considered.  We went to East Tennessee in October to see Jill.  We told Aman he was in charge, loaded up some things Jill had been storing at our house and took off.  One thing we noticed was an almost total lack of anyone in the field.  The entire trip we saw maybe a half dozen tractors and even fewer combines.  It was nice to get totally away from the farm for a few days.  See a few photos at

Today we didn't get a lot done but took all day doing it.  We did a few things at Mom's, then headed west.  Aman had taken a friend's truck for a safety test ... and it failed.  So he left it and I went after him.  Today it was supposed to be done so we went after it.  We combined about 3 trips in one.

First we went to Casey and checked on the truck .... not done yet.  We stopped by Farm Pride and talked to Stan about what it might cost to work over the combine.  After we discussed a few options he ran us up front to talk to Cary a little.

We ate lunch at the Oilfield Store then ran over near Lerna and looked at a forklift that had been listed on Craig's List and in AutoRV Trader.
Not a bad looking forklift, but Aman suggested we would be better off putting that money into ours instead of just buying another. I wouldn't mind having another forklift, but it was a bit more money than I need to be spending for a spare.

We came back through Casey.  On the way Cary called with a used combine for us to look at.  It wasn't this one, but looks just like this one
It's closer to my budget than anything else red we have been shown.  We stopped by Schillings's for a minute and stumbled across a deal on a chain saw ... or two.
 Dad's big old Homelite won't run, and after a talk with a chainsaw mechanic I'm not sure it is worth trying to get it to run.  He said the common thing they find with the old Homelites is this: first we'll have a minimum shop charge ... probably around $50 depending upon the shop.  And what they are most likely going to do is put a few parts on it ... plugs, etc, and  find is it needs a part no longer available.  So then we have a saw that is not running and cost us to find out it was not fixable.

John Deere has made an arrangement with Stihl for all its dealers to be able to sell Stihl , so they are closing out the John Deere chainsaw line.  I bought 2 chainsaws for the price of 1.  It isn't quite the saw the old blue Homelite was when it was new, but surprisingly close. I was looking through the owner's manual (GASP!  People do that?!!!) and noted the engine idles at 2800 RPM and working speed is 12,500 to 13,000 RPM.  WOW!

I found my handheld radio was missing when I got home, so Sue and I ran BACK to Casey to see if we could find it.  She found it waiting patiently in the combine cab.  So to celebrate we ate supper at Pizza Hut

Big spenders, huh?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

"Maybe it will feel like we got something done today..."

Yes, today was Thursday.  It doesn't matter that we have reached the place we should have been about noon Tuesday, it's still Thursday.  But look on the bright side.  We haven't been to the hospital, no fire runs for us, we've not been the family being comforted at the funeral home, I guess in perspective this week hasn't been so bad.

When it starts out like this a farmer knows he isn't going to be having fun
 Perhaps I need to explain that one.
We've always been able to put dry corn, or almost dry corn, in the old government bins at Gramps, put a fan on the unloading tube, and keep it all winter. This fall we were putting 14.5 to 15% corn in them straight out of the field.
But ... we never tried it with corn 95 degrees out of the field.  So many nights were above 65-70 that it never cooled out.  We were checking the fans a couple weeks ago and noticed a couple of the housings had water in the bottom of them.  That confused us.  The only way we could explain it was the moist air being pulled out of the corn was hitting the cold fan housing and condensing.  So we started watching it more closely.  Late last week we decided maybe it was time to pull a load out of each bin and check it.  We finally got around to it Monday.  That's when we decided it was time to halt fieldwork and move corn.
 Steve can probably look at this and tell you what we were doing.  We had saved back the bean bin at Mom's in case the elevator got full.  Fortunately we didn't need it.  We also saved back one of the dryers at Gramp's for corn from True's.  It came out dry and the elevator had room, so we took it straight to town. That photo is moving corn fom one of the north government bins at Gramp's to one of his dryers.
Eventually you get down to this point:
 The old government bins are beginning to concern us.  They are aluminum ... at least 50 year old aluminum. And the bolts are the same vintage. Dad put stiffeners on them because one started to wrinkle.  When we were cleaning out the last one late Thursday we noticed this:
Daylight shining between the bin sheets.  The Bible tells us everything has a season.  We are wondering if these old bins are nearing the end of their season.
We've also fought dead batteries on 2 tractors and a grain truck (most of them were new or almost new), an unloading auger that just would not work right, broken belts, a funeral I had to attend, on and on and on.  Been a long week.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Papaw drives red combines

Adam is beginning to get a grasp of colors.  It was mentioned Papaw was test driving a green combine.  He was a little bothered by that because Papaw only drives red combines.  Today we tested a red combine.  Bane Equipment has an 8120 they are demo'ing around. 

Lot bigger combine than I can justify.  But it gave us a chance to play with the bells and whistles we don't have on ours. Touch screen monitor, computer controlled everything. But you put corn in one end and it comes out the other just like a 55 John Deere.  It just does it a lot faster and easier.

One thing we were surprised by was the corn head they brought.  We have been looking at cornheads.  Regardless of what we do, ours needs replaced. One of the reasons we went to Louisville to the Farm Show this year was to look at heads.  We had discussed Drago and Geringhoff, and Surprise! They brought a Geringhoff Northstar head
 I was really glad they did, because I would have hated to spend more than $40,000 on a head that disappointed me so much
I had some planter problems and double planted a couple spots. That gave me the opportunity to see how it handled down corn.  My old worn out IH head would have done a better job.  Part of the problem is the snouts do not get low enough
This is about as low as they go. Maybe just a bit lower, but I think in the position they are in the gathering chains re touching dirt. The tips of the snouts never contact the ground.  They don't get under the downcorn well enough, and when it does pick up down corn you get this

It doesn't seem to slide well.  To be fair, we had some drizzle in the morning and the leaves were still just a bit damp.  But I was rather disappointed in the head.

The combine worked great. The 7010 is a similar machine just a little smaller.  But I ... well, I haven't seen any numbers but will be very surprised if this class (size) of machine fits in my budget.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A GREEN combine?

No, it is not an end to life as we know it.  But it was educational.  Actually kind of fun.  And a bit bewildering.  Jerry from Schilling Brothers brought us out a demo combine Monday.  We have been talking and I commented I had never even driven a John Deere combine.  He said he could take care of that.
This is not it, I didn't get a good shot of the side. But it looked just like this one I found online.  This one was experienced.  It wasn't some shiny, carefully gone through by the shop demonstrator.  In fact it still had someone's seed corn jacket stuck behind the seat where it had been forgotten. This was how it would look after being used a while.  Steve asked me to take pictures.  I took a few, but was too busy to take very many.  This is Aman finishing out a land.
We were cutting double crop beans in a field with an irrigator without an alley, so we had to start in the middle and work one way so the 'gator could be moved. So he ended up with a 2 ft or less strip near the road.  The header is 30 ft wide.  The combine is sized to run about the same speed we run our 20 ft head.
This is the operator console.  The 3 orange buttons on the left are the throttle. It's like Mom needs on her lawnmower.  It has idle, high idle, and operating speed.  No lever, just touch a button.  The big yellow buttons at the top turn on the separator and the header.  Other buttons turn the rear wheels on, adjust fan speed, etc.
It is an interesting machine the header has a one touch connection.  You unhook the header lock and disconnect all the hoses and lights in one motion.  To set the combine you just select the crop on a screen and it automatically adjusts.

Am I going green?  Good question I can't answer yet.  I have to look at some numbers, do some thinking, still haven't decided if my best move is trading or rebuilding what we have.  But  I could get used to a 30 ft head.

What would Dad think?  If you look in the NW corner of the tool room there is a board Dad saved.  It was from the box the cab came in for his 55 John Deere combine.  If we went green Dad would understand.  He's also the one who bough the Bush Hog from the dealer across the river.  Yes, there's more to that story ...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pondering spending money

I know, it doesn't take much thought to spend money.  That's why I am pondering on it.  Mom and I were thinking today about combines.  Dad bought a used John Deere 55 ... long time ago.  I can just barely remember it.  He traded it for the 410 MF, then (as I recall) Gramps traded his year old 510 for a new 510 with a quick attach head.  That was a real innovation.  You could change heads in less than 15 minutes!  Then they traded both for Massey Ferguson 750's (photo is one I found that is similar, not actually ours)

 These were especially memorable for Sue and I.  On our first date I took her to Casey and we looked at Dad and Gramp's new combines setting on the lot waiting for delivery! (She should have gotten a clue what was in store and lit running).  The only thing bigger than a 750 was the MF760.  We ran the 750 for ... had to be about 8 years.  Dad traded for a new International Harvester 1480.  A HUGE combine, even bigger than the 760! (photo is one I found that is similar, not actually ours)

We ran the 1480 for 17 harvest seasons and traded for a used 2166.  The only used combine I really remember Dad buying.
 but the 2166 is showing its age  it is a '95 model and anything grain contacts is wearing.  For example, before harvest started we replaced the elbow on the unloading auger because it had worn the heads off the rivets!

We had Farm Pride inspect it this summer.  When Dale said "replace the elbow"  I kind of laughed ... until it was explained to me if the elbow failed the auger literally fell off the combine.
We have been pondering on whether to rebuild the 2166 or replace it.  We haven't actually figured rebuilding cost yet, but we are told if we do it right it will be at least $10,000.  We'll be putting in things like rotor cones

Which will cost $1500 to $2000.  We know the bottom of the grain tank will need replaced

because we have 2 or 3 holes patched in it already.  Plus augers and bearings and auger tubes and chains and  on and on and on.  $10,000 is probably low, and that is us doing the labor.  On the other hand, here is a used combine for only $239,000

... plus heads.  I turned down a used combine last year for a lot less. I probably should have traded then.  I've been pondering which is the best direction.  Actually, I know what I want to do. The questions are "Can I afford it?" and "Is this really the best way to go?"

I mentioned our ponderings on AgTalk As of a few minutes ago there had been 48 replies and over 25,700 views of the discussion.  And the really amazing thing to me is no salesmen have called!