Sunday, October 9, 2011
The Combine and the Heimlich Maneuver
Just had to share this one.
There are no pictures to protect everyone involved.
I really had a pretty good day. Both girls rode with me and then two of our little cousins, both boys, also rode with me in the combine and Tall Guy in the tractor with the grain cart. I told all the kids to help me watch for rocks because they are not a friend to the combine.
When combining beans, the row of "teeth" that cuts the beans is very low to the ground so as to get all of the bean pods. While the driver is cutting beans, he/she must be on the look out for rocks in the way. There is even a rock trap in the combine where, in theory, rocks go when they slip through the head into the throat of the combine where all the beans are carried through.
Every once in a while, a driver will hear a "THUMP" or a "THUMP THUMP THUMP." I have learned that three or less thumps means a rock made it to the trap. Any other horrible noise means SHUT OFF EVERYTHING ASAP!
That's what I did.
Then I called Tall Guy and said I had a problem.
Remember this post? This big dude came from the very field I was in today! It gives you some perspective.
Go ahead and click on the link.... I'll wait for you.
I KNOW!!! WOW!!!
He came out and ran me through the procedures for trying to get a rock out of the combine. One involves reversing the head to see if it will spit it back out. That's the one I dubbed the Heimlich.
I tried it.
I saw my 6 foot 3 inch husband do the "OH S*I^" dance. It cracks me up every time, and it's never at a time when I should be cracking up.
I laugh when I am nervous.
The reverse thing bent the metal plate right in front of the throat pretty much straight up. Tall Guy and Grandpa banged it back into place after I ran home for parts. Then I ran about 30 miles south to pick up a new plate that the guys will put on tomorrow while the beans are drying (you can't pick them when they are wet...too sticky).
While I was gone, Grandpa rode with Tall Guy, and the combine tried to swallow three more rocks. I felt a bit better. They really are hard to see with all the dust flying and tangled beans between you and them!
Be safe out there dear farmer friends. If you are sharing the road with farmers, please be careful. We are putting in some long hours trying to get this crop in before the weather changes. One more full day of cutting beans, and we might be done with our. A HUGE thanks to Tall Guy's cousin and her family for watching the girls as this drama unfolded. Family is AWESOME!
I would say "THEY ROCK!", but I'm kind of boycotting rocks for the rest of the day.