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Everything posted by SDman

  1. Many BTOs around here depend on a lot of South African labor. Many of these guys have worked for the same farmer for several years...they have to go back in the winter and come back every spring. In the last couple years, many of them tell the same story when they see what's going on over here. Something to the effect of, "Your country is going through the same stuff now that we went through 10-15 years ago...and it didn't end well in our country." And most of them are just trying to give our country what I would call a "friendly warning". Most of these guys don't even really want to go back to their own country anymore...there's nothing to go back to.
  2. Not sure how it is in Europe, but in the US farmers have paid subscriptions to be able to use GPS receivers for 15 years or better. Lots of prescription farming applications use a subscription fee of some sort.
  3. That’s where I’ve sent all my rotors for 10+ years anymore. They do excellent work. They spin balance the Flagship rotors at 1300 rpm. They come back running smoother than new combines right out of Grand Island do. Just got this one back from them. It’s for a 9120.
  4. I know everyone blames the Chinese for poor quality (insert item here, whatever it may be). But I blame the problems back to our side of the Pacific Ocean....usually when there is a complaint about a poor quality Chinese-produced item, it usually comes back to the fact that an American corporation spec'd the poor quality to begin with...the Chinese were just building what we(as in American corporations) wanted over here. Many times you can't blame them...they were just following orders. As Americans, we allowed the "disposable/throw-away society" to happen. Can't blame the Chinese for that, unfortunately.
  5. And how I remember MANY farm people from our grandparents' generation remembered so fondly about the day that their farm was hooked up to REA so they didn't have to depend on an unreliable wind generator keeping the light plant on the farm charged so it could be used when needed. Remember last winter when Texas was freezing, rolling blackouts throughout the Midwest as they were necessary to keep the whole electric grid from collapsing? All while this was going on, we had over 100+ windmills not even turning 1 RPM as there was absolutely no wind in the -20 degree cold. And also, we have 4 hydroelectric dams here in SD on the Missouri River that were not putting out any energy due to the river being exceptionally low. What saved everybody when all that happened? Coal plants were more than able to ramp up to provide all the electrical power when nothing else could. And what is our federal government doing to solve this problem? Encouraging all these utilities to retire their coal plants. Just makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? I think many from our grandparents generation would truly wonder about some of the decisions made by the "people in charge" when it comes to our overall energy policy today. The utility that serves our town had two big GenSets here in town; IIRC, they were Fairbanks-Morse engines. About 15 years ago, we had a ice storm that knocked out miles of power lines...those Gen Sets ran for over a week nonstop to keep the power going around here. The utility removed them about 5 years ago because they were not emissions compliant...said we didn't need them anymore. After what happened last February, a lot of people are questioning if that was a good decision or not. The whole idea of replacing coal plants with windmills just seems to be risky, at best.
  6. You guys are on the right track. We went through all of this 3-4 years ago. One of the county commissioners for our county works right beside me.....works on the yellow combines here at work. He had people visiting him daily about this wind farm when it was being proposed. He went along with the whole project because of the "economic development and all the tax revenues generated". Hardly any of the tax revenue generated stays local. All the economic benefit goes out of state...in the form of giant tax breaks to out of state utility companies because of "green investment". One interesting thing that happened here when they got started with construction. It was written into the project that the contractors were responsible for maintaining all the roads from our major highways to the towers themselves.....all the gravel roads and the roads to the towers....referred to as "rope roads" here. The problem? All of the contractors were from Kansas/Oklahoma/Texas, and this project was started in October/November....just before winter. Once we started having our first blizzards, it soon became apparent that these contractors didn't own one piece of snow removal equipment....and this was on top of the fact that we had record precipitation in 2019, over twice our normal precipitation annually. The roads turned into a disaster...and they were bringing in tower pedestals right and left. Its not like you can put a tower pedestal for one of those big wind turbines just anywhere....they don't exactly stockpile with ease. They ended up having to hire our county road maintenance people and equipment to straighten out the roads to get the tower pedestals to where they were going to be raised eventually. Quite a mess. I've tried to keep an open mind about the whole wind tower project here...but many around here aren't exactly happy about them as a whole.
  7. https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/crime/2014/04/29/ntsb-focus-plane-flying-low-fatal-crash/8453365/ I remember that night well. That wind tower could have had a red light as bright as Rudolph's nose in the Christmas tale and it wouldn't have made any difference. I live just on the edge of town...you couldn't see any of the lights from town that night as the fog was pea-soup thick. This was completely a lack of good judgement on the part of the pilot...he should have known better. The whole problem was four young guys who had "get home-itis" after a business trip to Texas for a cattle show. One guy was the son of a cattle operation over by Ree Heights that does a lot of business with us. Now...I will say those 27 towers on the original batch of wind towers have had complaints about their lights....but that wouldn't have made any difference that night. Unfortunately, four young men lost their lives that night due to a poor decision.
  8. Its funny, but I've probably owned or used nearly 2 dozen 1/2" drive ratchets through all of my years as a tech....but I've just never been able to replace the "feel" of the 1/2" SK ratchet that my Dad had for all those years growing up on the farm. Pretty sure he bought it from our IH dealer back in the day. I just always like the finely-knurled handles on SK ratchets that allowed you to get a good grip on the ratchet regardless of how much dirt/grease/grime you had on your hands....its never been duplicated by anybody else. Sure you can grip a Snap-On, Matco, Craftsman, whatever ratchet just fine when everything is clean, but its so hard to get a good grip on an oily ratchet with greasy hands. Every time I see someone comment about Chinese tools and their quality(or lack of), I'm always reminded of a quote a custom cutter told me years ago..."makes you wonder....what do the Chinese actually use for tools?"
  9. Forgot about their 510s....you are right, they had them for awhile as well. I can remember they were looking at a nice 1680 Cummins-engined combine we had on the lot back in the mid 1990s. They knew all about the problems of the high engine RPMs of those 8.3Ls in the later 1680s. They were going to redo the PTO gearbox with the 1688 gear ratio to slow the engine down, have the injection pump recalibrated to 1688 specs, and have someone rebuild the hydrostatic pump so that it put out the same GPM as a 1688 hydro....typical stuff that those guys do whenever they redid any of their Masseys. In the end, the deal fell through so none of this ever happened. The name of the Gleaner custom cutter doesn't ring a bell to me, but there used to be so many custom cutters that traveled from Texas to Canada every year back then. Now....you hardly see anybody on the CC trail. The ones I remember were Kuder Bros(sp?) and Tom Snell Harvesting from Ellinwood, Kansas. I think Snell has been a green guy ever since John Deere came out with the STS machines in 2000 or so. I'm sure I can come up with more names if I stop and think for awhile.
  10. Pretty controversial issue here in my county. Last year they put up 92 new ones, most within a 10 miles radius of town here. There were 27 of them put up in 2003 about 10 miles south of here....they're all still running so far. About 7-8 years ago, 4 cattle guys were killed when they were flying back from a cattle show in Texas. The fog was extremely thick, the pilot lowered his altitude, and they flew right into one of the 27 original ones. In all fairness, that wasn't the wind tower's fault....the pilot should have used better judgement. Lot of these newer windmills were placed on land owned by absentee landowners. Just want the $$$ and don't have to deal with the negative effects.
  11. Some further thoughts here about the 4/560. When my IH dealer and I got to discussing the 4/560 rear end fiasco, he alluded to the same thing Ken Updike has mentioned in some of his IH books.....IH dealers had seen the rear end problems that the 4/560 were noted for in the 300/350 and 400/450 models before the 4/560s came out. Evidently it wasn't a big enough problem to deal with at the time(at least in IH's eyes), but the problems were known. My old IH dealer talked about installing the 4/560 updates in previous models as well; he said that in the 60's several IH dealers around here would give a trade premium to a farmer trading in a 3/400 or 3/450 that had been updated to the 4/560 updates, as they knew that would be one less problem to deal with when selling a used tractor to the next guy. As far as IH's thinking leading up to the 4/560 release, this month's Red Power Magazine has an interesting article written by Bob West that spells out a lot of the problems IH was running into in the mid-1950s. First off, with John McCaffrey as IH's CEO at that time, it was obvious he came from the sales side of the business; R & D budgets were cut across the board at nearly all of IH's many divisions, affecting testing, new products, fixing/eliminating old problems, etc. This all came to a head in about 1957-58 when IH released the 4/560s on the ag side, and the TD-24 on the construction side. From what I've been able to discover, many people in the engineering side of IH's ag & construction divisions warned higher-ups that there were some issues on both products that needed to be dealt with, but they ran into a road block with management higher-ups. The "sell, sell, sell" mentality won out, which would come back to haunt IH as we know. From what I've read about IH over the years, the 4/560 problems paled in comparison to the TD-24 problems; at least with the 4/560 problems, IH was able to recover from the nightmare and still be in good standing with most of their customers. On the construction side, customers just left IH altogether, never to return again. As far as the 06 auto transmission, one guy that I can remember being attributed to that project was Gordon Hershman(sp?), who was known as being involved in many different projects during his years at IH. Sadly, he passed away years ago. Who knows....maybe the idea was so far-fetched at the time that it wasn't even close to being a real prospect for a workable design
  12. Is that Helland Harvesting....from Anamoose, ND? I remember those guys well in the 1980s as they custom harvested around here. I first remember them harvesting with Super 92 Masseys.....this was in the early/mid 1980s when most custom cutters were running 750/60 or 850/60 Masseys if they ran MFs. They had cabs with AC....and I want to say they had a 354 Perkins cobbled into them IIRC? They were beyond unusual to see something like that in the same field as a 77/8820, 1460/1480, L2/N5/N6/N7, but they did custom combining with those machines for years. Years later I thought they had "moved up" in the world to 760s or 860s....and supposedly had retrofitted one or more of them with 903 Cummins engines in place of the V8 Perkins they originally came with?
  13. My old IH dealer would sure agree with that. When we were putting tractors/equipment into the big barn for RPRU 2014 in Huron, a beautifully restored 660 drove by. He looked at that and said something to the effect that the 660 was the biggest piece of junk IH ever made...IH's failed attempt to build something to keep up with a 5010 John Deere. There were a couple 660s still around when I was a kid growing up in the 1980s. One neighbor had one...although by that time it had been relegated to duties like auger work, running a batch dryer, hauling bales....menial tasks for a "big brute" tractor. I remember driving that thing a couple times....the front end of that tractor felt it was a city block away from the seat....remember that big looooong nose. IIRC, my old IH dealer told me he reworked 37 or so 560s for rear end updates over the course of 2 years at his dealership. He would have been just out of college at the time...his Dad would still have been the principal owner at the time. I know the 560 was considered somewhat of a failure for IH, but every neighbor around me that had one spoke rather fondly of them overall. Everyone sure felt the diesels would run forever on a tank of fuel. As far as the 06 tractors introduction, wasn't part of the problem that IH and General Motors were working on a joint venture for some kind of Turbo Hydramatic automatic transmission to use in the 06s...but they could never make it shift smoothly? I know Ken Updike has mentioned this several times over the years, but so far there sure doesn't seem like anybody has ever spoken about it from an engineering/development point of view. My understanding was that the IH TA transmission that came out in the 06s was kind of a "midnight hour" production as IH was running out of time to bring something to the market to compete against the New Generation John Deere tractors.
  14. Maybe the corn head was a prototype that never reached production? Not sure, but I know several of the guys that worked there at the time and they all talked about what a big machine the White was in irrigated corn. I'm not really even sure if the operation ever bought the White...or if they just got to use it one fall for practically nothing on White's behalf. This would have been 1981 or so....wasn't too long after the White Harvest Boss rotary came out. Pretty sure they had an N7 Gleaner at the same time as well. They had 90 irrigation pivot circles of corn at that place at the time...plenty of irrigated corn for several combines to harvest. I can sure remember when the Gleaner N series came out in 1979; Gleaner was a very big player in the custom cutter business from 1979 to 1981 with the new N series rotaries. After about 1982, the N series Gleaners really disappeared from the custom cutter trail....just as the 1460/80 Axial-Flows were really starting to be popular with custom cutters. Since then, you see a few Gleaners here or there on the custom cutter trail...but nothing like they used to be.
  15. White 9700/20s did, too. We had one big irrigated farming operation along the Missouri River in the late 1970s/early 1980s that had a White rotary when they first came out. The guys that worked there claimed it could fill a semi trailer in 10-12 minutes repeatedly. I also have a John Deere brochure from 1979 when the Titans first came out that shows a 1243 corn head on an 8820....with factory duals. But the duals look like about half the size of the 30.5x-32s they are mounted to.
  16. Everyone within New Holland around here refers to it as Maserati blue. We got one right now at our other store. This is one at CNH’s training center in iowa a few years back.
  17. In addition to all the bad press Navistar got with the Ford/Navistar 6.0L mess as well. To go from being the #1 supplier of diesel pickup engines with the 7.3L Powerstroke to being completely out of the business after the 6.4L engine was dropped by Ford in 2009-10 in favor of something built entirely within Ford...had to really hurt Navistar as well. Its interesting...you would think Navistar would have had enough management people in the early/mid 2000s to remember all the bad decisions made by IH in the 1970s/80s that something like this should not have happened, but evidently there were still enough bull-headed people that were set in their ways to not realize what was going on. https://www.freightwaves.com/news/navistar-clears-final-regulatory-hurdles-to-become-part-of-traton
  18. What vintage of 7230? Early one that uses a lever for the PTO, or a later one with electric PTO? The AC system changed substantially when the PTO control changed. Early ones used 4 lbs, later ones use 4.5lbs. When they went to the newer-style AC system, some bean counter decided it was no longer necessary to install heater shutoff valves on the engine to shut off the water flow to the heater core in the cab....the heater valve in the top of the cab was all that was necessary. We started having problems with AC performance that first summer, due to the heater system having water circulate through it. We installed shutoff valves on a number of tractors, and that fixed the issues with the AC performance. Later on, CaseIH sent out a service bulletin identifying the problem....the person installing the heater control cable and cab heater valve did not adjust the valve/cable relationship properly, causing the hot water to flow to the heater all the time. After we adjusted the cable/valve as described in the service bulletin, the external heater valves were no longer necessary.
  19. Its still new? I sure wouldn't pitch it. That's a commonly replaced item when redoing a Magnum speed transmission. Put it on e-Bay?
  20. 100’ x 250’. Not sure on snow rating. I was going to start a separate post on this, but I guess I’ll just put it here. Yesterday’s adventures consisted of working on the remote valves of a 620 Quadtrac. When I got there, the local Deere dealer was working on a 9620RX right next to my tractor. We laughed once we saw each other there to work on identical red & green tractors. This shop was virtually empty except for the machines we were working on. Those track machines(and our service trucks) look small from the other side of the shop. The other tractor in the far corner of the shop is a 9630 John Deere.
  21. Our local John Deere dealer organization just got new service trucks. Can’t believe they got new Internationals like that.
  22. We still sell any and all of the above. Sell numerous Rowse double 9’s every year, disc mowers as well as sickle mower conditioners. The Rowse sickle mowers work great for all the ditches that people put up for hay. Like Dale says, disc mowers work great on fields of seeded hay, but there are many situations they aren’t desirable, either. Rocks and gopher/badger mounds can be hard on them as well like Big Bud guy says. We sell Rowse mowers, MacDon haying equipment and CaseIH/ New Holland haying equipment. Here’s a Rowse double 9 getting unloaded off of a Rowse delivery truck last winter, complete with IH heads.
  23. 6620s were scarce as hen's teeth around here. One neighbor bought one when they first came out in 1979-80. He blew the engine up on it driving it home from the dealership when it was new...never even had a kernel of grain run through it yet. The next year, he bought an IH 1440 to run beside the 6620. In 1984 or so, he traded the 6620 in for a new IH 1460 so he had 2 Axial-Flows eventually. He ran those two machines side-by-side for several years. Many 7720s around here at that time...and several 8820s as well.
  24. Our Versatile dealer at the time said the same thing....it was a "done deal", too. They were very worried as Versatile was their main tractor line at the time. Otherwise, their other lines were Massey-Ferguson in tractors/combines, New Holland in hay equipment, as well as selling Hesston tractors, too. Later on, they dropped the MF line as Ford/New Holland/Versatile all went together to eventually form just New Holland in the late 1980s/early 1990s. I forgot to mention in the previous post that Deere didn't bring the electronic tractors to the market in the 1980s as they felt that the market wasn't good enough to sell very many of them at the time. Like your discussion above about Deere not bringing a rotary combine on the market in the 1980s as they couldn't recoup their costs in the market that was going on at the time.
  25. Just thinking about some things today for perspective on this. When I started at my first CaseIH dealer in 1991, we had a combine open house at the dealership. My job...was to get a new 1680 combine into the shop for the open house. I had to take the operator's ladder off to narrow it up enough to get it in the sides of the door. Then, I had to let enough air out of the tires to get the height of the combine down low enough to get it in under the door...just enough air in the tires so it wasn't running on the rims themselves. This was what I would call a run of the mill 1680...with 30.5x32 single tires with no extensions. And this dealership sold 4-6 new combines a year at that time....usually 1-2 1660s and 3-4 1680s. Then in 1994 I moved to another dealership that had a much bigger shop...but no overhead cranes or anything fancy as far as shop equipment was concerned. About 15 years ago I was seriously considering retiring from the service department as the machinery kept getting bigger and I....was getting older. Once my old boss sold out to my current employer, they put up a bigger shop with overhead cranes, well-equipped service trucks, bulk oil delivered right to your service bay, and many other amenities I could never have dreamed of before. Its actually easier for me to work on today's bigger equipment now than it was to work on stuff that was considered big years ago. As far as companies, dealers, and contracts are concerned, New Holland begged for years for us to sell NH combines. My boss didn't want to stick more $$$ into another line of combines to stock parts for and service, when he already had good business with Axial-Flows. So....we didn't sell NH combines until the CRs came out in 2002. There were many New Holland dealers in SD that didn't sell combines back in the 80s/90s. Many NH dealers at that time had another major brand besides New Holland....they mainly sold New Holland haying equipment, skid steers, and smaller ticket items for New Holland, while selling another line for combines. Like you say, selling a major line like 4wds or combines requires a pretty good investment in tooling/shop equipment and parts...and not every dealer wants to get into those lines with that kind of commitment needed.
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