I picked up my new combine last Thursday. My Uncle Ren gave it to me. It is a late 60's International 503. It is in very good working condition and I was trying to figure out a way to get it home. I had to get it from his farm near Gibbons Alberta to my place more than 50 miles away. I really didn't want to drive it that far, but with the extreme high cost of transport in Alberta right now, trucking was out of the question. I took the day off work and bit the bullet...I packed a lunch and a thermos of coffee and decided to try driving it home no matter how long it took. I was surprised at how little time it actually took. I drove it home exclusively on gravel roads and 4.5 hours later I was home! The combine ran fine and I had absolutely no troubles. There were some concerning times, when I had to go down steep hills and across bridges...these combines are belt driven and are very large and heavy...if a belt breaks on a hill, you have a runaway on your hands. On Friday, I went over it with the grease gun, replaced some lights and prepared for the next leg of the journey which was to my friend's farm down near Thorsby (about 1/2 an hour by truck). This would be a shorter drive, but much more dangerous with many hills and rivers to travel over. Still though, the combine ran perfectly and in 2.5 hours I was there ready to help him with his harvest of over 800 acres of organic grain.
I started actually combining on Sunday afternoon. I started on a field of oats. The combine ran well enough, but we think that it isn't running fast enough. Vince is ordering me a new spring for the governor so hopefully that will fix the problem. We have perfect weather for grain harvesting right now. I spent the whole day Monday helping Vince and it was terribly hot. I ran the swather for most of the day while the dew dried and then later in the afternoon, I started combining again. The 503 overheated a few times (again probably due to the lower rpm problem). Later in the evening when things cooled down a bit, I went along without a hitch.