Only One "Button Pusher" Per Combine

Published on: 13:57PM Sep 15, 2018

If several neighbors share a combine, or multiple family members operate one machine, only ONE of the assembled multitude should be in charge of programming, calibrating and pushing all the buttons that control the yield monitor, auto steer and header calibrations/settings. Everybody else should just drive the darned thing, and leave the buttons alone.

Time and time again I've been called to fix a combine that suddenly started misbehaving and arrived to hear how, "It was working great, but now this evening (after a second operator took over to run the night shift) it's doing weird things."  At a minimum, the second operator either doesn't understand what the various buttons do and pushed the wrong one. At the worst, that second operator decided he (or she) needed to "make things work better" and started pushing buttons that shouldn't be pushed.

Folks, it is my opinion that ONE and ONLY ONE person should be in charge of setting, calibrating and programming the technology in a combine. Other people can run the combine, but they SHOULD NOT CHANGE programming, adjust calibrations, or "turn that stupid computer stuff off because I can run it better by hand." Yes, it's inconvenient and cause for raging arguments if the designated "computer guy (or gal)" has to repeatedly go to the field to make adjustments, but having a tech person make the adjustments is quicker and easier than fixing mechanical damage that results from a combine misbehaving because a computerized system went haywire.

I understand that every combine operator thinks they know how to make a combine "purr." But when we're talking about operating a $200,000 machine that can be reduced to scrap iron with a few  pokes of the wrong button, it's best to swallow your pride and let the designated button-pusher keep things running right.