Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ever have one of those days ...

Ever have one of those days when things didn't necessarily go wrong, they just could have gone better? That kind of summarizes Wednesday. It wasn't bad, just could have been better.

We've been trying to haul corn. Seems simple, Right? But when you factor in more snow than we are used to, posted roads, a new county road commissioner, soft yards, trucks not being available, etc. it has been a challenge. Monday Littlejohn Grain had trucks available and we had permission to get them on the road. Sue had a follow up Dr. appointment so I was away from the farm for the morning. First 2 loads went well. Third load the semi had to be pulled out of the yard with a tractor. So we stopped that for a few days.

We decided Wednesday it had settled enough our trucks could load. But we had committed to something else for the morning so it was just before noon when we were finally able to start. We are loading corn out of the old government bins and don't have much choice where the auger is set. Well, we could set up a wagon to feed a second auger to a truck in the drive … but odds are it would be in the wrong place. And that is a real joke trying to run 2 tractors and augers to fill a truck. Been there, done that, learned it was not a good idea.

Got the white truck out and started filling it. We had 2 bins feeding one auger with the unloading augers Aman put together this winter, and it was working great … until we tripped the breaker. Had to run a cord to a different outlet for one motor.

Got the white truck full and went for lunch. After dinner Aman took the white truck in and I got the black truck out and filled it. Took it to the elevator and on the way back I HAD to get fuel. Put the nozzle in the tank, turned on the pump … and gasoline sprayed everywhere. The hose was good, but the factory crimp on the end was loose and let it leak. So I cut it off and hose clamped it together. I'm sure that violates a half dozen fire, electrical, and other safety codes. It is a temporary repair until I get a new hose.

This time spent fooling with the hose delays me enough Aman catches up to me. So much for the efficiency of running 2 trucks. I get mine fueled, get back to the bins and start loading .. and almost get it loaded when... yep, I'm stuck.

But at least Aman is there to help. We unhook the auger tractor, pull it out, and decide maybe a tag axle truck was not the best choice today. I noticed the radiator on the truck is overflowing badly. Well, we recently replaced the heater core and maybe it was overfilled. I took the load to the elevator, watching the temp gauge all the time. It stayed right where it should have.

I stopped at Mom's to blow the crud out of the cab before parking it and notice the overflow is still running and the engine sounds like it is boiling. I got out the water hose and cooled off the radiator. That was when I noticed the upper radiator hose had collapsed. I called Ron, he said most likely either the radiator had been low on water (I don't think it was but my pre-trip inspection was lacking a bit this time) or the thermostat stuck. The those probably collapsed because cooled it off too quick for it to draw water back in fast enough from the overflow tank.

So I put the black truck in the shed and parked it so we could change the thermostat when it cooled.

I get back to the bins to find one bin is low enough Aman has the door open on it. That is not a big surprise, because I knew one bin had probably 500-1000 bushels more than the other. One was really full, the other wasn't. It's also 4:00 so the elevator is closed for the day. I decided we weren't going to fight getting out the sweep auger today, we'd scoop a little in the one bin and run out of the other and fill the truck and park it in the shed. Aman gets back, I climb in the bin, and we start loading. Works good until my unloading auger quits working. Motor still runs. Belt and shaft still turn. Screw doesn't turn. The unloading auger has a tube the pulley fits on and goes through a bearing that then bolts to the flighting. Broke where it all comes together.

So we take the head off it and Aman goes to repair it while I finish loading the truck. With one little auger. As Dad used to say “If you think that is slow get a shovel and a bushel basket”. Then I realize something sounds different. The noise is the empty unloading auger rattling. Yep, second bin stopped flowing. I shut everything down, put everything away, and call it a day.

Calling it a day means go home, clean up, go to the funeral home for Frank's visitation, eat supper, and be at a Fire Department MABAS meeting in Flat Rock by 7:00. And since I'm secretary they really would like it if I was there.

It wasn't a bad day. Nobody got hurt, nothing was damaged but a foot of inch tubing, overall it was an OK day. But I was glad to be home when I finally got there to stay.

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