The 730 Diesel is a pretty impressive machine. It was Deere’s largest row-crop two-cylinder, and also happened to be the last series to feature the two-cylinder before their introduction of the “New Generation” machines in 1960. The 730 was about the same size as the 3010, which according to Deere literature at the time, was its direct replacement.
Driving a 730 Diesel is unlike any other machine, before or since (with the exception of the 720). This particular machine is a direct-drive electric start. The 720, which was a near-identical model before it, had more pony engine starters than electric starters. The Pony, or cranking engine, was a small gas engine that you would start up first, which would then be used to turn over the large diesel engine. The electric starters were large 24 volt starting systems.
Since not everyone will have an opportunity to drive a 730 Diesel, I thought I’d share this video to replicate the experience as well as I can.
Ever since I watched the movie “The Straight Story” for a class in college, I’ve had a desire to do aerial photography and videography of events on the farm. I’ve recently purchased the DJI Phantom 3 Advanced drone, which has been one of the most amazing pieces of technology I’ve used in a long time. It has more than met my expectations for what I have purchased it for.
I took the opportunity to have some seat time with the Model A and Number 5 mower. There was some tall grass that needed to be cut down as to not be a fire danger once it dries up. The grass was really tall, but the mower and tractor did a good job. Most of the issues were with the operator, as I’m used to using more modern equipment to cut hay with…
The Number 5 Mower was fun to use though, as it used to be my grandfathers mower, on my moms side. My grandpa used to spend a lot of time with it, so my restoring it and using it has a sentimental value to it as well.
Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve updated the blog last. Basically, as far as farming goes, my spring/summer can be summarized as the following.
The first project was the restoration of the 1957 John Deere 420 Utility. I went to Utah and picked up another 420 parts tractor. I was pretty fortunate to stumble across one online for a good price, so I jumped at the opportunity to take it. I brought it home, and used it to fix my current 420 utility. They were both the same year, too, so it worked pretty well.
After that, the crank of my 1959 John Deere 630 was finally fixed. I brought it home too, but then had the 420 project come up, so I spent time getting that done instead. Once I was finished with the 420, I spent some time working on the 630 and was able to get it working as well. The 630 project was completed after spring planting and alfalfa cultivating, which cut into the projects time, but was a priority.
Afterwords, it rained. It rained and it rained. The good thing was, we never had to use the sprinklers for first crop. It did stop raining, and instantly went to very hot/dry temperatures, so I was able to cut the alfalfa with the John Deere 4230 and 945 MoCo (mower conditioner, aka swather). We then waited about 3/4th of a week, then raked the hay. I used the newly restored 420 Utility for most of the raking–and it worked great! It was fun spending some seat time on a machine that I spent so much time with the restoration process.
After the raking came the baling. With all the rain we had, there was a very good high yield of bales. The yield was much higher than last year. I used the JD 4640 and Hesston 4790 3×4 big baler for the baling.
Anyway, that about sums it up. I’ll post some videos here and in future posts. Enjoy.
This weekend we will be moving the beef cattle to the dry farm in preparation for calving season. The dry farm has shelter (trees) and the hill, which is good for keeping dry once the snow starts to melt. If you’ve seen a flat field with cattle on it in the spring time, it can get pretty messy. Anyway, I took the G over to where they will be to help keep the road open, where we aren’t using it daily (yet). It’s always fun to have an excuse to get out on the two-cylinders, and the G does quite well with the 3-point mounted blade.
Feeding in the Fog with the John Deere 3020 and custom-made bale feeder. Here I am feeding 3x4x8 feet large square bales. Hereford and Angus beef cattle on an early January evening, 2015. Taken from a GoPro that was strapped to the top of my head.