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Rivet Tool Makes Installing Grain Head Poly Skids Easy
Anyone who has ever replaced the poly skids on a combine grain head will be interested in this new rivet tool developed by John Mills of Howell, Mich., and machinist friend Gib Wirkner. It’s designed to “set” the drive rivets that hold poly skids on, and makes installing them a one-man job.
  He uses the Dandy Driver, as it’s called, on his Deere 920 grain head. “Deere poly skids come in 1 to 2-ft. wide sections and after a while they wear down and have to be replaced,” says Mills. “Each section has about 8 holes in it that match up with holes in a steel backing plate. You crawl under the header on your hands and knees, with crop residue falling in your eyes and down your neck every time you touch something. You have to grind the rivet heads off to remove the old skid, line up the holes in the new skid with the matching plate holes, and then hold the rivet in place with a pliers or your fingers while someone else uses a hammer and punch to drive the rivets in. It takes about 100 rivets for a 20-ft. head like mine.
  “It’s a miserable job, but you definitely want to replace worn skids before the backing plates start wearing out because they’re very expensive and difficult to change.”
  The Dandy Driver comes with a gnurled metal handle, with a long, movable “driving pin” inside that extends out one end of the tool. “You hold the rivet in place with your fingers and use the handle to push the rivet through the skid and backing plate until it’s snug. Then use a hammer to hit the driving pin, which causes the rivet to expand,” says Mills.  
  To make replacing skids even easier, Mills came up with a quick, easy way to lift the head off its transport cart and tilt it to an almost vertical position. He modified the front part of the feederhouse off a junked Deere 6620 combine so it can be quickly and easily installed in the front loader bucket on his backhoe.
  “The 920 head is picked off its header cart using the backhoe-mounted feederhouse, and then the backhoe loader is curled until the poly skids are nearly vertical. Replacing the skids is a much easier job when the head is vertical and at a convenient working height,” says Mills.
   Mills and his grandson, Andy, have purchased a lathe, tooling and steel stock and started making the Dandy Driver for sale. It’s priced at $40 plus S&H.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, John E. Mills, 1750 Oak Grove Rd., Howell, Mich. 48855 (ph 517 546-5622 or 517 404-8530).

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2019 - Volume #43, Issue #3