Well, I wasn't planning on buying any equipment until 2005 but something came up I could not resist. Jim Johnson was a friend of mine and someone I very much admired. Jim was one of the most creative farmers I have ever met, I had the privilege of working for him on his hog farm and learned a lot from him. Unfortunately Jim was fatally injured in a farm accident at the end of 2002. When I went to his estate sale there were apparently not many people there interested in a smaller combine and from a sentimental perspective it meant a lot to me to be able to buy Jim's combine.

The 1973 JD 4400 was a little older and a little rougher than I had planned on getting but it runs really nice and has new tires, Jim recently did quite a bit of work replacing return augers, etc, and kept meticulous maintenance records. It was used to bring in his crop in 2002 and was just pulled in the shed at the end of the season.

It was a real deal and even though I now have a larger combine I am keeping this as a fine backup machine. My only regret is not having a picture of Julie's face when I drove her to the auction and showed her what I had bought-the look on her face was priceless as she pictured the combine sitting in our driveway in Maryland Heights. (Thankfully Kathy Johnson let us keep it in her shed while ours was being built.)

I used the combine my first fall and it did GREAT in my corn. We lost a couple bearings and I learned a lot about combine maintenance and repair-exactly what I needed from this combine. She didn't do so well in beans but it turns out it may have been as much operator error and cutting the beans a little green more than an actual combine problem.

Below are some pictures of my first piece if farm equipment!!! Click on the images for a larger view.

After looking for several months I finally found a decent corn head for my older combine at a reasonalble price that is not too far away. It needs a little asthetic work but mechanically it looks good. Click on the images for a larger view.

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