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john-in-ga
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Eli Whitney’s Legacy

This year, while the cotton gathering season was in full swing, I had the privilege of riding along on a module truck as the driver made the trip from the cotton gin to the cotton field to pick up a module of cotton and haul it back to be ginned. There was no reason not to take a camera along, so I did, with The Tractor Forum in mind. The pictures you are about to see was taken over a six day period. The pictures are not shown in the sequence they were taken but instead in order that the cotton makes from the stalk through the ginning process.

Some of these trips were forty miles or so one way so I had plenty of time to think back to earlier times during the ride. I wondered if any of what I was seeing would be possible had Eli Whitney not have given us the cotton gin in 1794. Needless to say a lot had changed between the time of Eli’s 50 Lb. per day cotton gin and the time I worked in the cotton field as a young boy. However, cotton at that time was still being picked by hand. Now most of the back breaking work has been taken of the cotton business since “those olden days” and the pictures will show the huge strides made in the modern day the production of cotton.

In the language of the younger generation, the trip to the field in the module truck was a “trip”. We left the gin traveling on a paved four lane state Highway. We turned off that onto a paved two lane county road. We turned off that onto a semi two lane dirt county road. We turn off that onto a single lane pig path. Sometimes they were graded. Sometimes the streams they crossed had bridges. Finally, we turn onto the farmer’s field road, number of lanes if any undeterminable. Graded? Maybe run over sometime in the past by a tractor dragging a fairly smooth log. Needless to say, module trucks will go places no one would believe they could go.

Enough of my rambling talk, here’s the pictures. They are numbered should someone have a question about a particular one.

1. This is what a cotton field looks like after it has been defoliated.
<IMG SRC=http://users.nlamerica.com/colemanj/img00001.jpg>


2. This close up of cotton on the stalk. Defoliation has made the cotton ready for the picker.
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3. This is a cotton picker moving along at a pace a little faster than a walk. Yes the cab is air-conditioned.
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4. One row’s view of cotton picker.
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5. Here the cotton picker is dumping it’s full load into the module builder.
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6. Boil Buggy. Picker dumps into this as the picking gets father away form module builder. Lets the picker keep picking while the boil buggy carries the cotton to the module builder thus saving time.

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7. A module builder that has just been lifted, opened at the back and moved off a module. Notice it has no floor.
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8. The inside of the module builder showing the hydraulic ram packing the cotton. The operator moves ram back and froth as well as up and down.
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9. The module truck picking up a module. A module weights about 12,000 lbs. which will produce about twelve 500 lbs. bales of ginned cotton and about 6ooo lb. pound of seed.
<IMG SRC=http://users.nlamerica.com/colemanj/img00009.jpg>


10. Here you see a “crawler”. There is one on each side of the truck. Once the truck is in place at the module, it’s transmission is placed in neutral. The truck’s PTO driven hydraulic pump is switch on and the bed is raised. Then the hydraulic motor powering these crawlers and a series of parallel chains on the bed of the truck are engaged. The crawlers move the truck rearward as the chains turning toward the interior of the truck move under the module. Once the module is on the bed, the bed is lowered. The truck at this point is loaded and ready for the trip to the gin.
<IMG SRC=http://users.nlamerica.com/colemanj/img00010.jpg>


11. These are placed around cotton fields in a program run by the state in an on going effort to completely eradicate the boll weevil. They contain a chemical that attracts the weevils. By keeping track of the number caught in an area, data can be derived letting a farmer know how much, or if any, insecticide should be applied to a field of cotton The farmer, naturally, has to pay the state a small fee for this service.
<IMG SRC=http://users.nlamerica.com/colemanj/img00011.jpg>


12. This machine is located at the gin. It’s function is to move over the module, loosen the cotton and feed it out to the side onto a conveyer. It is on tracks and upon reaching the end of the tracks in one direction is reversed and operated in the opposite direction. This allows modules to be placed between the tracks in such a way at that the machine operates almost continuously.
<IMG SRC=http://users.nlamerica.com/colemanj/img00012.jpg>


13. Here you see the cotton being fed onto the conveyer.
<IMG SRC=http://users.nlamerica.com/colemanj/img00013.jpg>


14. At the end of the conveyer the cotton will be sucked into the ginning machinery by strong vacuum.
<IMG SRC=http://users.nlamerica.com/colemanj/img00014.jpg>


15. This is the three gins at the gin running as can be seen by the cotton falling down through them.
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16. A close up of one of the gins.
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17. This is the press. Notice there are two sections. Both sections work together and are on a turn table. When the section on the right is full the turn table is rotated and the section on left with the bale of cotton will be compressed and tied while the section on right fills.
<IMG SRC=http://users.nlamerica.com/colemanj/img00017.jpg>


18. The press in operation. The “door” had to be opened in order to pass the wire ties around and to other side so the bale could be tied.
<IMG SRC=http://users.nlamerica.com/colemanj/img00018.jpg>


19. The other side of the press showing a bale about to be removed. A bale was being finished about every three minuets at the time I took this picture.
<IMG SRC=http://users.nlamerica.com/colemanj/img00020.jpg>


20. Wrap machine. The plunger in foreground will force the bale through the machine once the plastic wrap is placed over the machine thus into plastic wrap.
<IMG SRC=http://users.nlamerica.com/colemanj/img00022.jpg>


21. Finished bale of cotton.
<IMG SRC=http://users.nlamerica.com/colemanj/img00019.jpg>


22. High tech sealing machine for plastic wrap/with label maker
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23. This is where the cotton seeds are blown by gin equipment. Seed will be shipped from here.
<IMG SRC=http://users.nlamerica.com/colemanj/img00023.jpg>


24. A view of the waste discharge.
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25. Cotton warehouse. Bales stored and waiting shipment.
<IMG SRC=http://users.nlamerica.com/colemanj/img00025.jpg>

Edited to correct caption on picture six.

The End

:cpu:
 

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Wow! That was truly an informative and well laid out presentation. Lot's of specialized equipment that I was unaware of.

What are the vertical belt looking things that run from the top corners of the cotton picker down to the header in pic # 3?

Great pics and descriptions. Thanks for sharing, John-In-Ga. :thumbsup:
 

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EX Super Mod
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That was great i have always seen them picking cotton but never seen what happens to it once its out of the Fields.
 

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OUTSTANDING piece John! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: VERY VERY intersesting as well as a great read! I learned a thing or two or three to boot. Great post and excellent photography.:cheers:
 

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Very interesting and informative John!!:thumbsup:

What is done with the waste from the process, is there any use for it, or is it "land-fill"??
 

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John…

That was fantastic. Thanks so much for taking the time to document your
experience and share it with the forum. I had no idea how field cotton was
processed so I really enjoined your post.
 

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john-in-ga
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for every one’s interest in my little project. This is the project I was working on with the frog test back in Oct. See Frog Test . Twenty-five pictures in one post is probably a record for this forum, so now it should be obvious why I wanted the pictures “sized” just right. I hope that I succeeded in getting them to show correctly on everyone’s computer screen. I’m still a little concerned about it being a little too much for the dial-uppers. In fact, that is the reason I delayed submitting the post, but I’m on dial-up and after doing a little testing found that this project wouldn’t take as much time to down load as some of the other post being made here. If I miss read my test results, I hope my fellow dial-ups will forgive me.
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Mow, the belt looking things in picture three are not belts, but you are on the right track. They are hollow tubes that the cotton for the heads are blown through and into the big basket that you see being dumped in pictures five & six. Cotton pickers are amazing machines. I took more pictures of them but decided that if I do a “story” on them, I will need to spend much more time asking questions in order to explain what I am trying to depict in them.

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parts man, gin waste can used as cow feed. While cows will eat it I don’t think it would be much more than a filler. It can, some folks do, be use it as a land builder but keep in mind that this stuff contains the seeds of all the pest weeds from miles around. That is the reason I don’t want any of it dumped on my garden. The only thing that I’ve heard that it is really good for is a medium in which to grow fish bait (red wigglers). It is free for hauling off , if you want to come get a load.

As a side note, coming after a load might not be as much of a joke as it would seem. Have a look at this article in our local news paper. True it was seed being shipped not gin waste and the article doesn’t say where in Canada but still - shows it’s a small world after all.
Truck Wreck

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:cpu:
 

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John, thanks for answering my question too, and :ditto: Great post!!

BTW, I'm on dial-up, and it loaded just fine for me.:thumbsup:
 
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