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Stuck Cables, Rice Tire Help Farmers Get Through Muddy Harvest
Many farmers with wet fields this fall have tried lots of expensive options like tracks, dual wheels, and add-on rear-wheel drive. Here's a couple ideas that cost much less but have been a big help to some farmers.
Cecil Anderson, a Thief River Falls, Minn., equipment dealer, encouraged his farmer customers to install "stuck cables" on combines before heading to the field, according to a story by Lon Tonneson in Minnesota Farmer. Anderson recommends running 1/2-in. thick steel cables from the front axle, back through the frame and out the back of the combine. That way, if you get stuck you won't have to dig under the combine when it's stuck to attach cables to the frame. He says you should never try pulling out a stuck combine by the rear axle because you're likely to pull it right off.
Rodney Sonstelie, a farmer and equipment sales representative, says many farmers in northern states who've never even seen a rice crop have had success in muddy conditions by putting rice tires on their combines. Rice tires are larger and have deeper lugs than standard combine tires and can provide as much traction as duals. A pair of rice tires sells for about $4,000 new.

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1993 - Volume #17, Issue #6