Maintaining your most important machines

It’s important to stay alert when working on machinery that could eat you up and spit you out in a fraction of a second. I was standing beside a combine once and saw the operator’s manual slowly slide off the header and into the feederhouse. I turned my head as quick as I could but […] Read more

There are details to look after before starting that tractor that has been stored all winter. | File photo

Is your tractor ready for the field?

There are details to look after before starting that tractor that has been stored all winter: Loosen all the drain plugs. There is bound to be moisture at the bottom of every housing, and if you don’t drain it, where does it go? It mixes with the oil and shortens the life of every gear, […] Read more

Overloading the returns when harvesting canola can often be traced back to the improper assembly of two key parts.  |  File photo

Inside the old Gleaners: readers’ questions addressed

This article is in response to correspondence from two Alberta owners of Gleaner combines: Wayne from St. Paul and John from the Peace River country. They had specific questions, but both said they would appreciate hearing about my experiences with the entire combine. This column is the first of two about the Gleaner. Let’s start […] Read more


Field experience: a few machines I remember well

I was born and raised on a small mixed farm and started out working on other peoples’ farms. I studied farm machinery in technical school and after graduation in 1970, moved to Steinbach, Man., to work at an Allis and Massey Ferguson dealer. After three years there I became a regional service representative for Massey. […] Read more

Harvest: I bet you’re glad it’s over

Maybe you’ve had a busy harvest or maybe you didn’t have much of a crop to harvest. In either case, you are putting your combine away for the winter and it still needs tender loving care, whether it’s a 20-year-old machine or a two-year-old with all the gadgets. I’ve seen engine bearings in a tractor […] Read more


Safety devices exist for good reason

Safety is so important, we can all agree on this. But sometimes, when things get a little hectic, we tend to forget. These are all personal experiences I have had where I was close to death or I saw someone else in the same situation. Most of us learn through experience, but when it comes […] Read more

Don’t neglect to service tractor

You have been running your tractor hard all spring because of the late season. You’ve been watching the weather and you just haven’t had the time to do much servicing. You know there are some things you should have done, but you shrugged it off and thought it really didn’t matter. Trust me, it matters […] Read more

Harvest: the past and the present

My columns are about older machinery and I tend to write for older people. For them, a normal tractor is one that is shifted manually, and they think synchronizers are a big improvement. They are used to combines that have to be set on the outside of the machine after the operator has scratched on […] Read more


Tips on setting MF8680 for top performance, minimal loss

The amount is determined by a choke on the intake and by the closeness of the cut-off points. You will have trouble with your shoe if these cut-off points are not the same distance Q:I combine with a conventional MF8680 and follow the Combine Forum website for any comments from other 8680 owners. However, there […] Read more