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First Axial Flow Combine Still In The Field After 40 Years
When Illinois farming brothers Matt and Mike Frey bought a used IH 1460 Axial Flow combine in 1982 with just over 4,000 hrs. on it they had no idea it was a “celebrity” machine. Turns out it was the very first Axial Flow ever built by IH. Sixteen years later, in 1998, Case IH featured the machine in a story and video to commemorate the 100,000th Axial Flow built. Farm Show (Vol. 27, No. 2) featured the Frey’s machine in 2003 when it was 25 years old. Now, more than 15 years later, that first-ever Axial Flow is still active in the field.
“We run the machine every year harvesting a hundred or so acres of beans or wheat with the 17 1/2-ft. head, and it still does a great job,” says Matt. “Over the years it has always been our second machine, so it’s semi-retired and now has about 4,250 hrs. on the meter. Initially we put bigger tires on it, but those have been replaced with the original size. We’ve done some work with the hydrostatic drive and keep everything in good working condition. The machine has never had one hour of downtime. The engine and drive train are still original,” Matt says.
In 2019 the Frey’s took their celebrity machine to the Historic Farm Days in Penfield, Ill. and to the Half Century of Progress in Rantoul, Ill. “It always draws a lot of attention and people can’t believe how good it looks and what it sounds like when its running,” says Matt. “We intend to keep it in good working condition as long as we’re farming.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Matthew Frey, 136 Locust Creek Rd., Pocahontas, Ill. 62275 (Matchew65@live.com).


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2019 - Volume #43, Issue #6