In record harvest, old beats new

Staff writer

Jeff Williams and his father, Dean, went to a custom cutter’s auction several years ago and bought an old Massey Harris 82 combine for $400. They intended to restore it.

But as time went on, Jeff’s father became ill and later died, and the combine gathered dust in the corner of a barn.

“Jeff has a gift for working on machinery,” his mother, Wanda said. “He just never had the time.”

When the Williams 95 John Deere combine blew a head gasket and brought harvest to a halt last week, he found time.

“He changed the oil, went into town and bought a couple of belts, and hooked it up to an old pickup battery,” Wanda said. “I couldn’t believe it, but it fired right up.”

Jeff figured he could test the old machine or wait a week for parts to come in for the broken combine. “I went to town and spent $100 in belts,” he said. The old combine cut 35 acres before breaking down last week. “It overheated,” Jeff said. “It’s not shot, I can fix it.”

Once again without a combine, the Williamses reached out to neighbors to help them get their wheat in.

“We just couldn’t get the old thing going again,” Wanda said, “so Eugene Just came out and finished it all up Thursday.”

 

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