The Big Show: Featuring Don Van Houweling
Van: I had mentioned earlier during the Big show we’re going to be joined by our first guy when it comes to farm equipment. He is on the telephone line with us right now. Don Van Houweling with the Van Wall Equipment folks with us. And Don welcome back to the Big Show number one and thanks to all the long hours the Van Wall group is putting in keeping things moving this year, but I want to ask you about what’s going on in some of this down corn area you had mentioned to me that it is presenting some unique equipment challenges, what are you seeing with some of this equipment moving through this down corn. And what are some maybe precautions we should be taken.
Don Van Houweling: Well what we have Bob is this down corn. It created really quite an obstacle it’s almost like a wall if you’re going into it and we’re so used to traveling at three and half to four miles an hour and you know, we can probably travel at a pretty high speed going into this corn with these combines with these corn heads what we’re not realizing is the amount of pressure that that creates on the drive system for that combine. And combines whether they’re red or blue or or green they all have very similar hydrostatic transmission drive systems and a hydrostatic transmission is really designed to just roll things forward at a fairly even and a slow pace it really runs into trouble when it hits an obstacle and has to relieve its pressure forward and back forward and back it gets hot and you start having a failures and we started running in to this challenge, two weeks ago, in fact even when we were in beans we ran into a couple of hydrostatics and typically hydrostatic transmission is extremely reliable but in this kind of a situation you can actually tax it to the point where it gets too hot and it and it will fail and when you have a transmission hydrostatic that fails typically you’ll also have iron material that separates and then gets into the whole hydraulic system of the unit and you’re looking at a 60 to an 80 hour project to replace that even if I’ve got that hydrostatic in my inventory, which I do so it really creates a challenge in terms of downtime and I wanted all of the operators out there to know yes, you can probably go a little faster than then you think as you’re wanting to get that corn in the combines got plenty of capacity, but I just want you to slow down a little bit and take some of that pressure off maybe two and a half mile hours instead of three and a half and four make all the difference in the world.
Van: It is a slowdown thing then.
Don Van Houweling: That’s really what you just go ahead and slow down even though that combines got a to of capacity to go faster that pressure that you’re creating and putting on that whole guy’s system you really can’t feel it but it’s there and so I’m just asking everybody. We’re going to have to do that and then we’ll get through this harvest without these major down times, you know, we have a guaranteed loaner program and we can take care of our customers but that’s not what we want we want people to keep going and not have that extra expense.
Van: Andy has been out in the field as well and Andy I know, you’ve been seeing some of these issues.
Andy: Well yeah anything and everything I guess out in these fields Don and that’s what struck me here is is I’m listening to you is you know, not only is the corn a wall but then you start talking about running into a different types of debris than in a lot of cases are covered up by some of this down corn and it’s just almost a Herculean task for that machine itself certainly something that maybe it wasn’t to uniquely designed to do.
Don Van Houweling: Well and then what we’ve also run into as you know about oh what fifty percent of Iowa was what we would call in a drought situation well, you know, then what has happened to that soil pop the bottom the top 20 inches it is almost like play and then the other thing that we’ve run into then is the idea that we want to pull we run into these hard surfaces at speed and we suck those diesel engines down below their recommended rpm level and what happens with the diesel engine when you go from 2200 down to 1200 rpm. The torque goes up but at that point in time everything is is just absolutely at full strain and you’re not only putting it strain on engine but you’re putting strain on the transmission differential the drive shaft, so we’re also going to say hey folks why don’t we just slow down a little bit too on this pillage pass we may even have to make two passes and some of these fields so that we don’t damage the transmissions and load the load those diesel engine crankshaft because they will fail if you take them down almost that point where they want to stop and and so we want to keep that rpm on those diesel engines in those. tractors in that safe zone from 1600 to 2200, and if you’re finding that you’re getting into tight spots where it’s wanting to suck down before the transmission can shift you’re doing damage to the longevity of your machine so I’m going to also ask people if they’re in those situations pull it down another gear go down another gear we’ll get it done.
Van: Hey Don out of time with you today, thanks so much for joining us so in spending some time with us today.
Don Van Houweling: All right, thank you for the opportunity and I hope this helps.
Van: You bet it does. Don Van Houweling we call him our first guy of machinery here on the big show like talking with him with the Van Wall group of course they see a lot of problems coming in at the door. Andy the other thing that I have seen coming out of these combines is they start blowing that corn. They start unloading that corn almost looks like that shaft is on fire cause there is so much dirt that’s been sucked up in there as well a lot of times you know you try to get underneath that corn and maybe you are digging up some dirt and there been a lot dirt blowing into that corn as well. So that was king od an unexpected problem was that blowing dirt coming out of these augers trying to unload them
Andy: Well and you know all your picking up basically pushing around the dirt or pushing through the dirt to try and get this corn out of. It’s almost become one in the same but one of the things maybe we can ask Don about this coming up this way. I was talking to a couple of people today and having trouble getting these machine set to an optimal level because of the condition of the grain is so much different from one spot to another. I’m sure he has got some ideas on that to and maybe we will circle back with him in the future