One of the highlights of my time in Stuart was riding a giant combine with Cousin Leo. Everywhere we drove in Iowa we saw corn stalks drying in the field or soybeans dropping their leaves both awaiting harvest. The rain had delayed the schedule a bit.
Leo was anxious to get the combine out and try it out a bit on his own place. I jumped at the offer to go for a ride. The tires are bigger than me and you have to climb up a steep ladder to the cab. The machine is very complex and powerful. The cab is designed with a floating lumbar seat for the driver and relatively quiet.
Leo and Geri make a great team and they were getting the cutter heads onto the front and checking the machine to make sure it was ready for its maiden voyage for 2014. Both of them drive it at different times and they are both knowledgeable about its operation and maintenance. The big red Case International Harvester tractor costs half a million dollars, so it is important to keep the thing running as many years as possible.
We clampered into the cab and began driving down to the bottom of the first field. Alas one of the chains broke on harvesting part of the machine, so we had to abort our mission. I was impressed that this machine uses a chain much like my the chain on my bike, albeit much bigger. Unfortunately, the parts store sent the wrong size connector so in spite of everyone’s best efforts, we did not get to harvest. Another visit because I am not waiting so long to return to Iowa.
When they send me the video of them harvesting, I will post it here.