Shop projects – spring 2019

After harvest our machinery gets cleaned and inspected with a list of what needs to be done to ready it for the next crop year. This list gets prioritized into winter and summer projects. This winter seemed to be busier than usual. Not only did we spend way too much time moving snow but the pre-spring project list was longer than usual.

Every fall the air conditioner condenser, on our semi tractor that actually has a working AC, fills up with bees wing from all the corn chaff flying around. As you can see in these images, it’s rather nasty and in a very difficult area to see. This means blindly cleaning and using a phone to take these photos to monitor the progress.

Another project that has been needed for some time, was to convert the swinging gate on our cattle trailer to a slider. The trailer was originally built to handle horses to the swinging gate was easy to build and preferable. Now that cattle are hauled in it, the gate causes issues with moving them in and out of it in a controlled way. After building the main structure the gate was taken to a neighbors machine show and he cut and bent the panels for the door and non-sliding portion of the gate. We were very pleased with how this project turned out!

Our skid steer loader developed a leak in one of the wheel seals. There is no ideal time to take a loader out of service but it had to be done. We tore it apart, documented how to put it back together by taking photos, ordered parts and repaired it. Not an easy task to deal with in the tight areas inherent to a compactly built machine!

We started work on our planter earlier than usual before Lance had his rotator cuff surgery in March. Power washing the planter prior to bringing it into the shop makes it much easier to work on. Between the dust and spider webs it’s a filthy job if not cleaned up first.

Power washing the planter in February 2019

After researching the benefits of putting some early summer fertilizer on with Y-drop devices and settling on a company to purchase them from, we moved the sprayer into the shop in early April. Because of the impending planting delay, there was time to tackle this project before getting into the busy planting season. We had to manufacture our own mounting brackets but after looking at images of what others had done, we settled on a simple one that just required pulling a pin to mount and take off.

We had to travel to offsite storage to repair this trailer wheel whose bearing failed on the way to storage last fall. As we backed it in the shed, we found the failed bearing.

Failures are always best when they happen in the yard. The first run of the water trailer pump as well as the planter fertilizer pump resulted in water escaping through seals. The planter pump had been repaired by the factor last summer but they apparently failed to put one part back in. The water trailer engine shaft was rusted beyond repair and a new seal would not help to the engine and pump unit had to be replaced.

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