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Jumping Combine Is World's First
"We bent both axles on the combine but we cleared the $30,000 car," reports Tim Brookins, Fargo, N. Dak., designer of the "jumping combine" that his father, Ernie, drove last month for the world's first combine jump, staged at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds in Fargo.
On the night of the historic jump, 6,000 spectators cheered as the combine embarked on its maiden flight. It roared down the 1,000 ft. runway at speeds close to 50 mph, off the 42-ft. long ramp, over a $30,000 Classic Roadstar car and landed on the ground on all four wheels. If the "jumping combine" had failed its maiden flight, it would have squashed the $30,000 car flat.
"Ideally, you'd land on a ramp," says Tim, "but this was the first time we tried it so we had no idea where, or how, the combine would land."
The "jumping combine" he designed as a new spectator attraction for fairs and shows is a far cry from a conventional combine. The 7,000-lb., 21-ft. long rig features a $15,000, 1,200 hp. dragster engine. "It's loosely designed after an Allis Chalmers Gleaner combine," notes Tim. "It's equipped with regular combine wheels, a 14-ft. header and a steering system salvaged from a Deere combine.
"We built the combine from scratch because commercial combines wouldn't be able to withstand numerous jumps and are balanced wrong," Tim notes. "We designed ours with a heavy frame and built it so we're traveling backwards small wheels in front. Otherwise, the machine would be nose-heavy and the header would drive into the ground."
The huge engine is positioned where the straw walkers would normally be on a stock combine, and the driver looks out toward the rear of the combine through a plexiglass plate where the straw chopper would normally be located.
Brookins will be traveling throughout the country this summer performing combine jumps. Coors Brewery, Golden, Col., has been lined up as a major sponsor, says Brookins.
FARM SHOW readers may remember Ernie Brookins from the article in Vol. 7, No. 5, describing the popular combine demolition derbys which he organizes for fairs and shows.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ernie and Tim Brookins, Rt. 2, Fargo, N. Dak. 58102 (ph 701 282-7913).

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1985 - Volume #9, Issue #4