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  • Writer's picturejessbernardmm

How To Unplug A Combine Rotor In 13 Easy Steps

Step One:

Begin combining a field of grain. It doesn’t matter what kind of grain and it doesn’t matter if you straight cut or pick-up a swath, either works, but for the purposes of this article, I shall be using barley in a swath.

Step Two:

Get over confidant in the quality of the swath and your skill as a combine driver.

Step Three:

Pick up enough grain to plug not only the header and feeder house but the combine rotor as well. (This will effectively stall the combine).

Step Four:

Swear. Use whatever expletive you like. I believe I used a word that begins with “F”.

Step Five:

Call your Dad because he has much more patience with this sort of thing now that he is retired from farming and you know your husband will be more than mildly irritated.

Step Six:

Swear again because your Dad has once again neglected to bring his cel phone with him.

Step Seven:

Put on your big girl panties and think, “I can do this…. I’ve seen Chris do it at least once.”

Step Eight:

Pull open the combine panels, open the tool box and look up at the REALLY plugged rotor.

Step Nine:

Swear. . . . this time with some gusto. Use a couple of words in combination if you like. I promise, it will make you feel better.

Step Ten:

Realize you DO NOT remember how to do this and you are too short to even reach the thing you need to un-plug.

Step Eleven:

Reluctantly call your husband. You know you don’t want to, because he will be mad, but this is the only way out of this situation. Believe me.

Step Twelve:

Watch as he so expertly does what you could not. Ignore all the snide comments and grumbles.

Step Thirteen:

Thank him and get back to work! That grain won’t combine itself!

Chris's handy dandy patented concave strap (otherwise known as a short ratchet strap with a hook on it). He drops the concaves enough to create a space for the clog of material to work its way out.

Chris then pulls out any heavy, wet clogs that are unlikely to work their way through when he turns on the rotor.

This is pea straw. I know my article is about barley, but I plugged the rotor in pea straw too (multiple times) and that is when I remembered to take photos. When he thinks he has enough material out, we turn on the rotor and it if it clears itself out, we button everything back up and start back combining. If it doesn't, we start again!
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