“If you’re not breaking stuff, you’re not working hard enough.” We have all heard this saying at some point, or at least mumbled it as you worked on a broke piece of equipment. I learned to farm with old farm equipment so I know how important it is that you not be hard on the equipment. But it turns out that if the equipment is old enough, it will eventually break.
Our fall hay season presented this very struggle. The disc mower broke a set of belts about half way through mowing. For sure it was after 5:00 pm but luckily I had purchased a new set incase this problem ever arose. It took about an hour and a half to drive the tractor to the shop, change the belts, and drive back to the hay field to continue mowing.
At the end of baling first cutting earlier this year I noticed that the baler had a bearing starting to make some noise. I had it looked at and two bearings were replaced. While baling the fall hay I had another bearing go out. While tying the 19th bale of the day I smelled something hot. I got out of the tractor and upon further inspection noticed a hot bearing which was spitting molten grease out and starting to catch the loose hay chaff on fire. I put out the smoldering hay and our baling was finished no sooner than we started. The next day we were able to find a nearby neighbor that does custom hay baling. He was generous enough to drop what he was doing and come over and finish the job for us. Thank goodness for good neighbors!
But now we have a baler that needs yet another bearing which makes me think it is time to replace all the bearings on the baler. I’m afraid that may be a cost prohibitive project due to the poor condition of all of our hay equipment.
Greg also recently discovered that the axel on our Woods 180 batwing bushhog was cracked. We have had problems with this axel in the past, and after talking around to several producers, this seems to be a weak point of this machine. Again, we relied on a neighbor to weld it back together to last another season. Thank goodness for good neighbors!
Our Gator is also needing some maintenance. It recently got 2 new tires that had steel belts showing in multiple places. And at nearly 16,000 miles it is ready for a new clutch. We are limping along with it until October 1st at which point a new fiscal year starts and we can afford the repairs.
I guess there are two conclusions you can draw from this article. If you own equipment it is going to break, and thank goodness for good neighbors!