A Word To The Wise

Mishaps can happen  at any time. After a mishap the phrase ‘If only I had known…’ seems to pop up. It seems like even a hint of an issue ahead of time could change a calamity, perhaps this is true or perhaps we just don’t hear the clues we are given. Such is the case with our new front loader tractor.

After picking out the tractor at the dealership, we needed a few things configured for the type of farm use it would be used for. We did have a canopy installed so we wouldn’t have to hold an umbrella over our heads on 100 degree days in the hay field. We ordered the larger bucket for the amount of barn refuse we move around. And we ordered farm tires a different size and tread pattern to get us through swampy areas as well as hay fields and barns.

While the enhancements were being made to the tractor, we were busy with hay season and did not pay too much attention to the goings on at the dealership until the day they said the tractor was ready for delivery. We should have asked more questions.

The day the tractor was delivered was very exciting and we found there are many different, subtle changes of basic driving. Summer had then been high activity in the woods and the tractor education was put on the back burner. When Mike brought home two-2000 lb bags of grain and tried to lift them out of the back of the pickup with the front forks of the loader, the back end of the tractor lifted right off the ground.

A quick call to the dealership let us know that they did indeed change the tires, but did not add weight to the tires that would keep the vehicle solidly attached to the ground. If only we had known that before the tractor almost flipped over…well the truth is that maybe the clues were there and we simply missed them, or the dealership missed the fact that we had planned to use the front end loader with heavy weighted commodities.

Rear tires of tractor getting filled with ballast.A quick call to our local Les Schwab Tire business had a service truck out to our farm where several 100 lbs of ballast was added to each tire. Calcium used to be the ingredient that was inserted into the tire, it is heavier than water but corrosive and could do a lot of damage to the tractor over the years. Beet juice was an alternative for a while, it was still heavy and not susceptible to freezing like water but now the tire shop uses a product called Bio-Tire, a non-corrosive environmentally friendly composition.

Bio-Tire Ballast.I have to say, the new and improved Bio-Tire Ballast looks a lot like enhanced beet juice. That is absolutely no complaint. I am thrilled the tractor is now weighted correctly and much safer to drive.

Now maybe I will get the opportunity to seat in the driver seat and learn how to run the thing now that I am in the know…

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