Me and my machine: Lucy’s 17th birthday present dwarfs them all
- Credit: Archant
Name: Lucy McVeigh
Job description: livestock manager
Name of farm and location: Kenton Hall, Kenton, one mile outside Debenham, Mid Suffolk
Name of your favourite piece of equipment and its vital statistics: Case Combine Harvester 7088, 15 tons of weight, takes 250 gallons to refuel, has the same break horse power as an Aston Martin and is an all-round incredible bit of kit.
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Describe it: My machine is vibrant red with a 25’’ header, curved glass cab with 2 seats, large engine bay, overflow lids and auger for unloading.
How did it come into your possession and when? It was a 17th birthday present so I have been driving it for five years.
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How much did it cost? Too much!
Why do you like it so much? I love its presence. People soon get out of your way! As harvest only lasts for a few weeks each year it’s the result of a year’s hard work from cultivations, drilling to spraying and finally combining. Combining is an extremely satisfying job but can be hard work, working unsociable and long hours. I love the challenge of having to get the harvest done before the weather deteriorates. We are very lucky to have a great harvest team with my dad (David) always there if we need help and my younger brother Tom (20) in charge of carting in.
What’s your favourite function? My favourite function is the auto levelling header which makes my life much easier! It predicts the gradient and keeps the cutting level. I also love the hands-free telephone function, great for ringing home for ice-cream!
What else can it do? Combines are only used during harvest making its versatility rather limited. It can combine various crops including oats, barley, oilseed rape and lots more!
Would you ever give it up and under what circumstances? I hope I don’t have to for a very long time but I do have a rather keen brother who would like a go!
What difference has it made to your life and your business? It has allowed us to start combining as soon as the crops are fit instead of waiting for a contractor to get to our farm. This allows us to start cultivations as soon as the fields been combined. Has it ever let you down? Only due to my own mistakes. You live and you learn!
Have you a story to tell about it? I have actually been driving combines since I was 15 after persuading my dad I needed to have a go. I have always been interested in how machines operate and thought I was ready for the challenge. Needless to say, he hasn’t got me off it since!