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Harvesting Peas


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#11 farmall666

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 12:25 AM

I DROVE A CUTTER FOR HORTONVILLE CANNING COMPANY OUT OF HORTONVILLE / WISCONSIN. THERE WAS 3 CUTTERS AND ABOUT10-12 PULL BEHIND COMBINES THAT WERE PULLED WITH NEW MAGNUMS. THE FIRST YEAR OF CASE / IH. US CUTTERS WE COULD CUT AHEAD FOR A FEW HOURS THEN SLEEP UNDER THE TRACTOR FOR HOURS. THE COMBINES WERE PULLED BEHIND IN LOW GEAR. THE CUTTER TRACTORS WERE WHITE 2-70'S MAN THEY COULD MOVE ON THE ROAD. MADE GOOD MONEY FOR 2-3 WEEKS. FUN MET SOME GOOD PEOPLE MET A GAL AT THE END OF HARVEST HAD SOME FUN THERE TOO HEHEHE

#12 Paul DeWitte

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 06:21 AM

In the middle to later 60s I drove a truck for a friend contracted to Del Monte in Rochelle IL. Hauled peas and sweetcorn. The truck was paid by the hour.

The pea harvesters were FMC and Hammachek (spelling?) These were pulled mostly by Minneapolis Molines. 602s with a double torque to get them to go slow enough. One crew had 806 diesels.

The Fmc machines had MM engines and the Hammachek had a 60hp overhead valve Wisconsin.

These all ran on LP (except the 806s). In those days Del Monte was its own MM dealer and ran all MM tractors. The 806s were leased. The LP tank was pulled by a G MM that ran on gas and had a pipe frame on the front so he could push trucks that were stuck. A board on the back of your truck was a must to protect it when pushed by this tractor.

The peas were mowed with farmall Ms with a mower on the back, and they drove them backward mowing. They had a couple of case self propelled windrowers also.
We would not stop for rain, and that was why the push tractor was necessary. If the one pushing was not enough, they would get one in the front to pull also. Lots of 16-18 hour days. Good times

#13 IH Steve

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 08:00 AM

Seems like everyone has fun doing peas, fun crop to harvest, can be done in all kinds of weather (fun in a cab at least) and what I like was that there was no dust. The guys I worked for were all IH, which made it even better. Hydro 70's and 86's on the cutters, anything from 656, 1256, 986 and 1066's on the pull type combines. On the flat and dry they pulled pretty easy, but on hills and stopping at full speed road travel the larger tractors were necessary. Pull types had bullet proof Chrysler slant sixes that just ran and ran. The first FMC stripper that I ran had a Deutz engine, 160 HP that was totally balls to the wall, never felt heat from an engine like that thing. Had a ton of trouble with it the first year due to some timing issues from new. We also ran a Chisholm Ryder stripper with a 4-71T Detroit, now that was noisey, but luckily the engine was no where near the cab, but on a clear night I could hear it from 3-4 miles away coming to the field, once the bugs were worked out it was a good combine. We ran 6 combines, had an emptied out school bus as a mobile workshop with a welder, generator and pressure washer and parts, along with an army of trucks, mostly Loadstars. Crazy as it was we even took them across water on a large ferry to harvest on a large island community, that was a bit scarey when you drove on and the ferry would go down a lot. Competitors ran Hamcheks with JD engines, good machines as well. Back in the day stationary combines were used, called pea viners then, since they harvested the vines and pods together and with a "pea loader" would load trucks to take the vines to the stationary machines. That would then create a "pea stack" of a mountain of pea vines from the stationary machines output, that would be tramped in a stack (kept an army of teenagers busy on the forks) and then would be sold over the winter to dairy farmers as silage, a real great source of feed high in protein, smelled a bit rank. I can remember going with my dad in the late 60's to get loads several times each week in the winter.

The really old days: http://gesswhoto.com...production.html

#14 Paul DeWitte

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 02:15 PM

I had heard that the dairy farmers that used pea stacks for feed, had a taste problem with the milk.

#15 newred

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 02:55 PM

I ran a pea combine 6 weeks summer of 86 and 87 . We were cutting for McCain foods. Hesston swather and a group of 4 combines. Field boss and company mechanic. One tractor was a company Ford TW 25. The rest of us drove tractors rented from the farmers growing the peas . 15 $ per hour for tractor with driver. McCain supplied the fuel. Also hired pea grower trucks. We cut an average of 22 acres per day so they supervised sowing in the spring . For the most part they matured in order by field boss strickly controlling spring planting.

!st year I had 2-105 White with cab , back window out. Second year 966 no cab.Cut alot of peas in rainsuit as they would harden faster in warm rain then sun. We had some FMC and I pulled Mammecheck (SP?) . Those slant sixs were reliable til started missing when a cloud went overhead. Mech repaced more dist,points , wires,coils , etc than anything else. 966 was twice the tractor the White could ever be.
Tractors are like watermellon , red is the good part , throw away the green !


2 Farmalls , 53 SH , and a 460 gas puller

#16 Mark O.

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 03:28 PM

Our combines had the Chrysler Industrial slant six for power. The only problem we ever had with them was sometimes when they were hot they were a little hard to start.

We had a crew of swathers that would go through ahead of the combines-two Owattana's (sp?) and one really old New Holland.

I got to run a swather a little. The Owattana's had two really short joy sticks for controls--a little touchy but once you got the feel of it they were pretty nice. The clutches in the NH were about gone. You had to hold each control at a different pressure or you would go in circles. The NH was a lot better in wet fields than the O's were. I think it was mostly the NH had a lot larger tires and would float more.

The NH had a 30-gallon drum filled with concrete above the tail wheel. Even still, it tended to be rather light on the rear end. You could stand it up really easily if you weren't careful.
Mark O.
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#17 1967806

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 05:40 PM

Nice pictures. Thanks for sharing them. Seems like it would have to be pretty gentle in the seperator area to thrash peas without alot of damage to them. I always like to see stuff like this. Thanks again.
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