Obvious Trouble

Water leaking from tractor.It’s always a bad sign when you are filling the fluid levels on a vehicle and the ground gets saturated as fast as you are pouring.

The water pump went out in the little tractor. This is the tractor that we use a lot during hay season. It is powerful enough to run the baler, nimble enough to pull the rake, and comfortable to drive the fluffer.

Repairs during the middle of hay season are always a bother, first parts need to be ordered. Then once the parts come into the dealership a trip into town is needed, before the repair can even be started which takes valuable time away from the business of making hay.

In the meantime, we are limping along with one tractor. It much more work to switch equipment for each task, and it takes longer because only one job can be done at a time rather than having one tractor fluffing while another rakes.

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Mechanical Dentistry

A rainy day leads to teeth replacement for the hay rake. Unable to go up the hill and work in the woods gave us the time to fine tune the equipment before hay season goes into full swing.

The teeth of the rake work to corral all the drying stems of the drying grass into rows for the baler to pick up.

A Gifted Tool

A dear friend of mine recently gifted me a reciprocal saw that she no longer wanted. Never at a loss for tasks around the farm, it did not take long before the saw was used on a variety of projects.

man using a power saw on a wood plank.A little zip here and a little zip there, the saw makes those jobs easy and quick.

This picture is a little deceiving, we are not making wood with the recip-saw, just using the stack of firewood to lean against as Mike cuts a board for a repair out in the bull barn.

It sure comes in handy to have friends that outgrow their toys and gift them rather than letting them sit unused for decades.

Thank you D.

Boot Goop

I finally departed with my old faithful boots. I had worn so many holes in them, they were no longer useful unless the ground was frozen solid in every spot on the farm. A new pair of boots was purchased at the local farm store (when they were on sale of course).

I have become a Muck Boot devotee, now that I have had several years of the sweet cushion of neoprene uppers and layers of soft pads under my feet I doubt if I will ever be able to go back to plain old rubber boots. I have been pampered, and it is going to have to stay that way. Continue reading

Controller Repair

With the abrupt change from summer to fall, we found the need to start up the wood fired boiler after turning it off four months ago.

The firebox was cleaned out along with the chimney and the ash trap under the firebox, but when it came time to return power to the unit the control box was dead. Now we had been having issues nearing the time when we turned the boiler off in June, but we were hoping that a vacation from work would put the unit in a better mood. It did not.

A new unit was ordered and one of my brother’s scheduled a time to come up and wire the control box to the boiler. Easy-peasy. It was a small box, not that many wires with a fairly simple design. Shouldn’t take more than an hour or two to fix.

Before removing the old unit, a quick picture was taken for reference installing the new one. This proved to be very helpful.

Wiring inside a controller for the wood fired boiler.The new control was installed between downpours and breezy winds. It only took about 7 hours total.

My advice to anyone thinking about a repair that is more complex than screwing in a light-bulb, take a picture before you start your project. It worked for me.

Repairs Needed For Hay Equipment

As we were maneuvering each piece of hay equipment into the barn after being cleaned up, we were remembering all the repairs that will need to be done before the hay season of the summer of 2018.

We limped through the end of hay season knowing about the repairs that are needed but was able to get by until the last bale. The biggest repair issue is the the side arm of the elevator on the bale wagon. This is heavy metal that broke and will need some major welding to get the part solid with its base. The emergency repair done during hay season includes a strap of metal fastened with bolts and firmed up with wraps of baling twine. It doesn’t look pretty, but it got us through the season without losing valuable time in the field.

These repairs will be put on hold for the summer months with the goal of completion during the winter or early spring. In reality, these repairs may be last minute just before we start the new hay season.

At least for now I have them documented so that if the fix-it-bug does hit we will remember what the needs are.