Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Seeding Prep

We're in the lead up to seeding now, and now the serious vehicle maintenance happens. Yeah it coulda happened in the last coupla months but... well we haven't got that much maintenance to do. Basically just make sure everything works.

Problem is 1 thing didn't work. Our spray tractor - the tractor that pulls the boom spray. It's a Ford 8401. Just wouldn't start. It does get a bit like it at times, but this morning all it could do was "click" "click" "click" with every turn of the key. The battery seemed the obvious problem, so we put in a brand new one, instead of recycling the old ones that we just charge up.

We even went and found the old battery hold down clamp on put it on.
Well that made no difference. So off came the starter motor and in it went to town to get it checked out. Turns out there was nothing wrong with it. But still it was click click click every time, with the odd time it would turn the engine over. The mechanic in town suggested it could be a faulty ignition switch, so we tested it by bypassing it and energizing the starter motor straight off the battery. It worked! Every time. So the problem is the ignition switch, or safety switch on the clutch (the switch that makes sure the clutch pedal is depressed before the starter can work). I thought that the easiest solution to the problem would be to put a relay in at the starter motor. I knew that if I got a click with every key turn that would be enough to open a relay. So I wired the ignition wire as the trigger that would open a direct connection to the battery to operation the starter. It worked a treat. Every time!

And there she is, the 8401 all ready to rock and roll. This is the tractor that pulls the boom spray so the next job was to go hook onto the boom spray, which is exactly what I did. So That part of the seeding equipment is almost ready to go.

I also tidied up a few jobs on the air seeder. I finished off the wiring at the back of the box where the clutch sensor switches are for my new switch box. That's all done now, and working (still waiting on a triple 5 timer from the electrician - cause my attempts to make 1 were, well, disastrous - but that's not essential for operation. It just means the audible alarm will be constant rather than beeping). I also swapped a drive sprocket on the air seeder gear box to give me more capacity. By putting a smaller sprocket (or cog if you like - the bit the drive chain goes around) on the gear box drive will make it turn faster. Hence I can use lower gears to turn the shafts at the same speed. Hence I can turn the shafts faster than I could before in the higher gears. Hence I can run higher seeding and fertilizer rates than I could before, if I needed to. The chain lengths needed altering slightly too. They just need tensioning up now, and oiling, the guard put back on, and that part of the machine will also be ready to go. Tomorrows job.

I never let you know what I did yesterday (I know, slack aren't I). Well I did do something, but it's funny how, after just 1 day, I struggle to remember what. I know that I did my usual sheep feeding rounds, but after that... Oh yeah, I remember now. I went down to a mates place to help him spread his snail bait. He helped me when I did mine. It's much easier to have 2 people ya see. 1 to drive, the other to keep topping up the spreader. So he helped me so I took the supalux and spreader down and helped him. No problem. That took up most of the day.

Somewhere in there we had 2mm of rain too. A couple of warmer days has really kicked off a good germination and a lot of green shoots are just poking up now. It looks lovely, it's great to see green grass growing again.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't that the way it goes! A simple fix turns out to take all day.

    But what on earth is snail bait!!!