There were no major breakdowns besides a broken alternator/water pump belt that somehow managed to also loosen the A/C belt. The engine overheated, the A/C compressor puked out a bunch of freon (from the overheating and loose belt), and with all the smoke and stink I thought for sure that the engine was on fire. After I figured out that I didn't have to try to put out an engine fire and my heart stopped doing back-flips, it just took a trip to town to get a new belt and I was back to cutting wheat in an hour or so.
It was one of the quickest harvests I've ever had, one long day of cutting, rain, a day of waiting for it to dry up, then another day of cutting, another rain and day of waiting, then a final day of cutting. The only downside to a quick harvest is that it was so quick because there wasn't much wheat to harvest, most of it was really short, and there wasn't much grain in the heads that were there. So, I had to run faster and closer to the ground to get enough material feeding into the header (at least the header has skid plates so I could run it that close to the ground).
I knew the yields were going to be a lot lower because it was so dry over the winter and the freeze (27 degrees) we had back in April, but I never expected it to be so horrible (about 20-25% of normal). I absolutely hate dealing with buying crop insurance, but at least I had crop insurance this year (I almost opted out of it last fall) and should break even because I only buy enough crop insurance to cover a catastrophic year.
Next year will be better (it shouldn't take much to top this year).
I rent a farm a few miles away, so I need to drive the combine down this narrow paved road while hoping I don't meet some guy driving a semi or something. This year I didn't meet anyone at all, unlike last year when it seemed like I was meeting some sort of an oil-field truck every time I crested a hill. It's a little hard to tell from the picture, but from 8 feet up in a combine cab, the road looks awful narrow, and since it feels like you are bouncing all over the road, it seems even narrower whenever you meet someone on the road.
|Heading back to the barn, hoping I don't meet a semi coming over the hill|