Saturday, October 20, 2012

Did something this morning I haven't done since May 30

I have been a regular on the AgTalk+ blog pages. In fact, I lead the list in number of entries there. My May 30 entry was my number 99.

I paused to ponder on something special for #100 and the spam postings, advertising posts, and non-blog entries ( things that are good questions someplace like Machinery Talk) just kind of blew up.  I decided to hold off on # 100 until I was happy with the blog site again.

I'm not sure I am happy, but it's time to reclaim the AgTalk+ Blog pages.  Funacres (John Jones from Lubbock, Texas) made a post he says will develop into a series of several blog entries over the next few weeks.  I'm going to commit myself to something similar. So I wrote number 100 this morning.  I encourage others to join in.  Write, comment, just set back and read.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

So what did you do today ?

Sometimes you don't want to ask that question.  I might tell you.  If I say Stirator
that is enough explanation for a lot of people.  But maybe you haven't been blessed with working in one so here is the procedure:

Oh, normally this is done in a bin with corn drying, about 110 degrees F and 140% humidity.  Don't tell me that isn't possible until you've been in one.

1. Climb up grain bin, open man hole, put in hanging ladder, turn off Stirator.

2. Climb down ladder, remove ladder, carry across bin to Stirator and hang from track.

3 Climb ladder, adjust part.

4. Climb down ladder, remove ladder, carry across bin and hang from man hole.

5. Climb ladder, turn on Stirator, observe did not fix problem, turn off Stirator, climb down ladder and repeat step 2, 3, 4, 5, and 2 again.

6. Remove part, decide to borrow one from another Stirator, repeat step 4 then climb out of and down bin.

7. Get Gramp's old long wooden ladder from shed, carry to next bin, open, put up in wall, climb, tie to Stirator rail so ladder doesn't slide to the floor with you on it, examine Stirator (OK, could be several steps)

8. Realize this one has been upgraded and does not even have THAT part on it.

9. Reverse step 7.

10. Go to other bin, repeat step 1.

11. Repeat step 8 (Realize this one has been upgraded and does not even have THAT part on it either ) and reverse step 1.

12. Go to Mom's. get 25 ft ladder from shed and repeat step 7 with it

13. Remove part, climb down, take to original location, repeat 1, 2, 3 (except replace instead of adjust), 4, and .... most of 5.  It was a later model and was slightly, ever so slightly different.  So you remove the replacement part, reverse step 1,.

Here is the one I borrowed and the one needing repaired:

14. Go eat lunch.

15. Repair and modify old part, reinstall, test, pray and leave. (Yes, that did involve 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 again.  I'm tired just writing them.)

It isn't hard work.  It isn't difficult work.  But it does try on you just a little.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Watching the tractor plant wheat

For many years I was the wheat drill operator. Even during the time I had a full time career off-farm I usually took a few days and ran the drill.

To be honest I dreaded planting wheat.  You started early, worked late, ate dust all day and coughed it back up all night. You started the day wearing insulated coveralls, but by afternoon were down to a t-shirt and by the time you came in you were in the coveralls again.  If you worked hard you planted 90 acres in a day.
You were pulling a drill instead of the planter in that photo, but it was the same tractor and the drill was the same width. I was planting wheat Thursday thinking about how things have changed.
Now we are pulling a drill 30 feet wide that folds for transport to tractor width.  And the tractor not only knows where it is and where it should be, it steers itself to that point
So you turn the end, play George Jetson (push the button)
and set back and talk on the phone or answer text messages.  Oh and start late, plant that 90 acres and be done by 6 PM.

Way too easy.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

I think there is a problem


We're up here at ____. (A neighbor)'s irrigator engine is running and it looks like the end tower is upside down."

"I'll be there in a minute."

I find just what was described to me, an irrigator in a harvested field being ran dry to park. Except the last tower which is now a long way from the road is upside down.

Cell phone 1  ...  no answer, went to voicemail

House phone 1 ... no answer (may have been an answering machine.  If so I didn't leave a message)

House phone 2 ... no answer

Hose phone 3 ... answering machine.  Leave message or if emergency call (cell phone 2) or (cell phone 3)

Cell phone 3 ... went to voicemail

Cell phone 4 ... "Hello?"

"Hey, I'm at  ____ and the engine is running but it looks like the last tower is down."

" ...............  Ummmm ... Could you turn it off for me?"

I probably should have just done that to start with.   Curiosity go the best of me so I ventured out across the field in my pickup to find this
(It's really a better photo than I expected, as it was just at sundown with a cell phone camera)  Obviously a safety failed, but I didn't see any other problems ... well, except for that one little thing.

This is why I put contact numbers on all our irrigator pivot control boxes.