You'll definitely get a chance to see new machines in action at the 2017 Husker Harvest Days. However, to commemorate HHD's 40th anniversary this year, each combine demonstration will kick off with a 1978 International Harvester 1460 — one of the first series of axial flow combines to hit fields in the late 1970s.
Looking at the combine's mint condition today, you'd never know it spent two years of its life sitting idle in a cornfield, full of wet, rotten corn, and collecting rust and rats. Jeff Ewoldt, who farms near Grand Island with his dad, Bryce, found the combine at a farm sale near Shelton in 1994.
"I found it at a farm bankruptcy sale. It sat in the cornfield for two years with corn in it. We bought it and it didn't even run. It was full of rats the size of cats," says Jeff. "We bought it in March of 1994, and used it the fall of ’94 to pick corn. But when we started, the only thing left on it was the cab."
So, Jeff and Bryce went through the entire combine, replaced the unloading auger, the grain pan, the fan, rebuilt the rotor, and everything else that had rusted over the course of two years. Most of the parts came from Fairbanks International Inc. in Kearney. "Physically, from the outside, it looked fine, but the inside was completely rusted," he says. "We pretty much disassembled it and rebuilt it from the ground up and still use it today. It was totally gutted and put back together. And after sitting in the weather for two years full of corn, there were some pretty rusty pieces."
While the engine ran fine at the time, they eventually overhauled the DT436 engine 10 years ago.
Now, the 1460 is his primary combine, and it pushes an eight-row corn header through his fields every year. "It runs fine and does a good job for us. We still do regular maintenance on it, but for the most part, it gets the job done," Bryce says.
That's not his only restored piece of red equipment. The Ewoldts, who are avid Case-IH collectors, are restoring an IH Farmall 400 tractor and have restored several red tractors in the past, including an International 560 propane tractor, a Case IH 3588 2+2 with dual front and rear wheels, a 5288, 5488 and 7120, all of which he still uses. "Over the years, we've restored quite a few red tractors, including some bigger tractors that we've sold," says Jeff.