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Combines & Harvesters Discussion Forum

STUPID!! and lived to tell about it..... long

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j hikemper

10-06-2012 21:15:16

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It certainly can be said that there is learning curve with any machine ..Most of You Fellas know I cut my teeth on 300 masseys, i have also run a Gleaner F a few yrs too ,And I know a lot of their quirks now ,.This season I Was able to acquire my Brothers 750 Massey ( he sold it 8yrs ago to a neighbor in the riverbottom ...I should had bought it then )./..this fall put it to use with a offset 43 cornhead,,. after running one farm, my nephew led me thru the ramblin hills home ,The 750 HYDROSTAT gave me the security of believing it would climb any hill.. WRONG !!!, after coming down a moderate hill with about 60 bu.corn in the bin , i turned at the T to go up the steep hill to my home place ..THIS Is WHERE I GOOFED BIG TIME, It Is EMBARASSING ! because there were other options that would had worked safely ..I did not want to write about it , HOWEVER MY Goof mite Save a life , ..I went up the 1st 200 ft and got nearly to where the hill leveled off somewhat when the hydro stalled and gave me some jerking action ,, I had Pulled it back to neutral ,Decreased Engine speed to 1500 or so ..Thinking that STRAIN was Hurting my tranny ,. I punched the clutch and held the foot brakes, and BELIEVED that the brakes were holding well Enuf for me to INSTINCTLY , shift the column shifter to a lower gear ,,All this happened soon as i shifted into Neutral it was impossible to catch any gears, The 750 rolled backwards FAST , it was all i could do to stand on the fading brakes and steer it straight down the hill ACROSS the County ROAD intersection .. HOPING NO ONE WAS coming down the road (in the time You could say GOD Help US All).. Thats when the ladder platform on my left busted thru the electric pole,creating a lightning event that went on for nearly minute ,i continued past the lines out of harms way and settled with the taillend in some small sasssafrass trees UNHARMED .NO WIRES BROKE , the pole was suspended up some 3ft higher because of the hills on each side after it was snapped off ... LATER when given the all clear by the REMC , I was able to drive out of the hole in a lower gear , and take the 750 home .The unloading auger had a paint rub on the side from the pole ,the drive tire and steeringtire had no marks to show any contact ,YET, because of the slope the drain cap of the rear of the cab had very minor contact damage that proved the pole was that close.. There Is a lot of WHY DID 'Nt You do this or do that instead of INSTINCTLY shifting and trying for a lower gear??? ,YES , I SHOULD HAD Downshifted to a lower range at the bottom of the hill !,And Yes , I have a WORKING PARKING Brake that i should had set before attempting to shift,, And Finally , Just Because I was no longer moving up the hill, i was stationary ,,and i could had PROBABLY eased it foot by footback down the hill ,My Brother told me today ,That i could let that 750 set there hammering on that hill all day and it would not hurt the tranny . THE MISTAKE OCCURRED because of Previous dry clutch machine experience , I INSTINCTLY at a seconds notice shifted to a lower gear.. .NOW . I have coached my sons and nephews about this event ,, HOPEFULLY , it will not ever happen again here ,, and by relating this event to you fellas , no one will make a stupid mistake like i did ,.I suspect I will get some feed back of All Types and i welcome those comments P.S. Had the unloading auger struck dead on,it would had destroyed the machine beyond repair or worse the auger could had snapped , went thru thecab rear glass and done a lasting number on me ..

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formerly ny bill

10-07-2012 17:56:04

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 Re: STUPID!! and lived to tell about it..... long in reply to j hikemper, 10-06-2012 21:15:16  
glad you are ok jim. going frontwards without control is bad enough, can't imagine backwards.

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10-07-2012 11:30:33

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 Re: STUPID!! and lived to tell about it..... long in reply to j hikemper, 10-06-2012 21:15:16  
That reminds me I need a left slave cylinder in my 550. The right brake works fine, but the common reservoir master cylinder is a stupid idea.

Don't feel bad Jim I pulled a similar one in my 970 a few years back. I was hauling a load of manure to a farm a few miles away. I had just adjusted the brakes and taken a shim out of both sides. Smelled that all too familiar hot brake smell about the time I got to where I was going, got them too hot and glazed them, no brakes... I thought I could get home safely just by being careful and using the powershift, it was all good and fine till the fuel strainer on the lift pump plugged up when pulling a good hill. When the engine dies you have no steering. As luck would have it she just coasted backwards into the ditch at 15 miles per hour, don't know how it didn't jackknife. Got off and cleaned the screen, primed her and she fired right up and drove out of the ditch. Sometimes there has to be someone looking over your shoulder steering for you.

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10-07-2012 08:43:38

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 Re: STUPID!! and lived to tell about it..... long in reply to j hikemper, 10-06-2012 21:15:16  
Theres not a more helpless feeling than rolling backwards in a combine and can only hold the wheel and hope for the best. Back when we had a 1460 had a field with a really steep hill to climb to get on the road. Always climbed it in lower gear cause I knew it wouldnt make it up in road gear. Put in 1st gear pushed hydro lever forward off I went till I got almost to the top and it jumped outa gear. Anyone whos ever run a 1400 series IH knows they just put brake pedals in them for looks. So held on the wheel and hoped for the best as I flew down the hill backwards not able to do a thing. Luckily I was just rolling back into the field and just had a powerline pole to worry with. Things happen. Especially when we get in a hurry or just dont think about what your doin. I think every farmer has done something like this at some point in there carrer. Just be thankful nobody was hurt and learn from it and share it like you have tp prevent others from making the mistake you did.

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10-07-2012 08:25:39

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 Re: STUPID!! and lived to tell about it..... long in reply to j hikemper, 10-06-2012 21:15:16  
First thing, I would have dropped the head to the ground, if one was on. BTDT. "backup braking system".

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10-07-2012 08:24:51

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 Re: STUPID!! and lived to tell about it..... long in reply to j hikemper, 10-06-2012 21:15:16  
I could write a book about the mishaps I saw or heard about during my days on the wheat harvest. Hundreds of combines driven by eager young men translates to plenty of interesting stories. That's why factory engineers are out there following the combines.

One of the incidents we had was when a young man on the crew was driving a 580 Lexion with a 39 foot MacDon draper head down the road full bore at night in Idaho. He was going around a curve when the end of the head hooked a guy wire to a pole holding up a big 3ph power line. The combine spun around sideways on the road and the pole came down, lighting up the night sky with a big blue flash. The young man in the combine was screaming into the mic that he was going to die while the other guys were waiting for him to quit screaming so they could tell him to just sit in the seat and wait.

To give credit to MacDon, we only had to do a small amount of blacksmithing to the adaptor to get the head back in the field again, and it spun around and stopped a 40,000 pound combine. I saw two Deere drapers bent back when one hit a ditch bank and the other a pole. The first combine hit the ditch and the combine behind it panicked and hit a pole. This stuff does happen. I dont go as far as to call someone stupid but some of us certainly are less attentive than we should be. Jim

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10-07-2012 07:20:37

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 Re: STUPID!! and lived to tell about it..... long in reply to j hikemper, 10-06-2012 21:15:16  
Well Forest, stupid is as stupid does!!!

1)That pedal you are calling a clutch is just a dump valve. It is not to be used to shift. The hydro will still turn the transmission in neutral enough to not get it to shift.

2) NEVER move a combine with grain in the bin. I believe you will find several stickers telling you this and pages in the operators manual. That 60 bushels of grain added 3500 lbs to the total weight of the machine.

3) FIX the brakes!!!! You would not take a car/truck on the road without brake but a 15,000 lbs combine is OK with no brakes???

4) The hydro stalling is just dumping a pressure relief valve. You could set there for a long time and not hurt anything. Leave the combine at full engine speed and pull back on the control handle. Many times you will be able to go on. Even if not this is not a panic time deal. The hydro will hold it there. So back down the grade. You have control of the machine then. NEVER try to shift a combine of any kind while moving. Plus the MF 750 shifter is a PIA at the best of times. When you lower the engine speed you loose pressure in the hydro. Learn to leave it at speed. This is why many of the new combines are either at idle or wide open too many people idling them around and tearing things up.

4) Always go to a lower gear BEFORE a steep grade. I have several hills that my JD 6620 or JD 7720 will not pull in 4th/road gear. I stop at the bottom and shift to third and away we go.

What is it going to cost you for the pole repair?? My Dad turned a corner to short with a trailer a few years ago. He hooked the brace wire to a electric pole. He dropped the pole that had a transformer on it. It cost his insurance company about 30K to pay the electric company for the damage. Then his insurance company dropped him. His new company charged him double for several years.

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10-07-2012 06:38:37

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 Re: STUPID!! and lived to tell about it..... long in reply to j hikemper, 10-06-2012 21:15:16  
Been there! Scares the pants off ya. I got lucky and got it stopped just when one of the rear wheels started down a steep ditch. Now I ALWAYS shift to a lower gear at the bottom. Glad you and the combine escaped relatively unharmed. How long did it take for your heartbeat to go back down to normal? Mine got to thumpin just reading your story! Jim

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10-07-2012 06:18:05

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 Re: STUPID!! and lived to tell about it..... long in reply to j hikemper, 10-06-2012 21:15:16  
20 years ago had to switch combines because of a problem with one. Put 6 row cornhead on 1660 Case without weights or chopper. Finished combining and headed home. Steep hill down to my driveway. Coming down in 2nd gear and all of a sudden the backend came up and headed to steep ditch. Dropped head and stomped on brakes to stop! Clutch foot was shaking so bad could hardly let clutch out to back up from the edge of the ditch! Could just see combine on its top, me squashed in the cab! Other combine ,1665 Case, has axle 10" farther foward and never has a problem being light in the back. But always come down that hill now with heads down low!

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Bob Bancroft

10-07-2012 03:52:41

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 Re: STUPID!! and lived to tell about it..... long in reply to j hikemper, 10-06-2012 21:15:16  
I think one of the downsides to a hydro machine is becoming totally confident in the hydro, and not maintaining good brakes. I recently got my first hydro machine. The convenience of the hydro was one of the main reasons for trading up. The brakes were basically useless. I rebuilt them after the first season, and it wasn't cheap! A neighbor fortunately escaped injury, and only totalled his corn head(no damage to combine) when his hydro machine popped out of gear going down and around a steep curve on a back road. If the trees hadn't been there to stop him, the ravine would have swallowed the combine easily, driver and all!

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jon f mn

10-07-2012 02:40:57

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 Re: STUPID!! and lived to tell about it..... long in reply to j hikemper, 10-06-2012 21:15:16  
We've all done something like this. Glad everything turned out ok. As my other post says, bad decisions make the best stories tho.

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Deere Scotty

10-06-2012 23:19:52

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 Re: STUPID!! and lived to tell about it..... long in reply to j hikemper, 10-06-2012 21:15:16  
I've learned a few lessons too. Most recent on a JD 60 naroow front. Not a fast tractor at about 11.5 mph. turned about 60 degrees going around a turn to cross a small creek bridge. didnt slow down, & left tire started coming up in the air. I turned straight, & when tire cames back down pulled the clutch slammed the brakes, & just tapped the bridge sidewall with the right tire... No injury, or damage. Just a lesson learned!!!


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Erik Ks farmer

10-06-2012 21:49:01

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 Re: STUPID!! and lived to tell about it..... long in reply to j hikemper, 10-06-2012 21:15:16  
Glad to hear you are safe, an experience like that is one to leave a lasting impression.

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10-07-2012 08:44:48

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 Re: STUPID!! and lived to tell about it..... long in reply to Erik Ks farmer, 10-06-2012 21:49:01  
Not to hijack the thread but hows the new combine workin out for you Eric.

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