Wednesday, June 23, 2010

When things break down

There is an unfortunate principle in general farm maintenance that nothing ever breaks down when it's in the shed and not being used. So it's unfortunate that when the equipment is in full use that that's when the breakdowns happen, and can be quite time consuming.

Since seeding started a few weeks back I have had a few breakdowns along the way, but thankfully none too serious. Here is a list..

  • broken share (pronounced shear) bolts on the air seeder tynes
  • bent air seeder tynes
  • broken airseeder boots
  • split/broken airseeder hoses
  • broken spring on air seeder tyne
  • air seeder tyne fallen off
  • knife points on air seeder either broken or just gone missing (probably because they broke).
  • cracks in the air seeder box frame (they are still there... haven't been bothered fixing them yet... just hope it doesn't completely fall to bits)
  • bolts on the A-frame (the tow hitch) on the air seeder broken. This could have been more dramatic if it happened driving along the road because these bolts are basically what holds the front to the back, and it could have all come apart.

and that was just the air seeder! The seed and super unit grouper has had a bit of a problem with one of the elevator chains. This has been quite a frustration for me because the chain is.. well quite old and has broken on numerous occasions. Not real easy to fix either, being on the inside of the elevator. It also jumps off the sprockets quite often, and bends the chain up a little - very frustrating because this is also quite annoying to rectify.

Now the boom spray... Well my Dad is the boom spray operator during seeding (do I need to say any more???). Damage is often done to the outside nozzles, triplets, support brackets, boom lines when the outer wing on the boom hits the fence, or tree, or stobie pole. It has been a frequent problem. Yesterday I was operating the boom spray and I had a break in the outer wing. The outside for metres of the wing is hinged in a way that is designed to "break away" when it hits something like a fence for instance. It has, what I call, a break away clutch. It swings back and then returns to the working position. Well yesterday for me it really broke away. Let me stress that I didn't hit anything with it, the clutch just gave way, with the bottom mount completely breaking off while I was going along. It meant that the outer wing was left dragging on the ground. It was a bit like a door would be with only a top hinge. Oh yeah... I also had problems with the fuel gauge in this tractor the other night. It told me there was some in there... but I think there actually wasn't. I discovered that the tractor runs better when there's actually some fuel in the tank.

So there we have the fun part of seeding. Seeding is rolling on, while some farmers in the area are starting to finish their seeding programs I'd say that we'd probably have about a week to go.

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