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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Getting Ready for Spring Part 3

At the current rate of progress "Getting Ready for Spring" will go to "Part 10". Has everyone experienced one of those days where everything seems to go wrong? A little mistake and the day becomes lost to recovery jobs.

It all started over the river early in the morning.  Down on the flats amongst the poplars the RTV is being used to drag the 100 metre long irrigation hose into its new location. Just squeezing past a poplar at a very slow speed and BANG! Stopped to look behind and there is the whipper snipper with a bend in the non flexible shaft. It looks like a deformed banana. The whipper snipper was sitting in the tray of the farm's RTV leftover from being used the day before. Couldn't be bothered to take it out. Finished setting up the irrigator and popped over to see the local machinery repair man. Can't be straightened, go buy a new shaft. Telephoned dealer, $200 for the bottom half of the shaft and another $150 if you need to replace the top half. New whipper snipper $600.

Down to the workshop. The top half is only slightly bent. Start there. Pull out the inner drive shaft it is  OK. Slowly manipulate the hollow tube outer shaft using a pipe jig and it looks OK. So now the damage is only going to be $200. Well why not give it a go. Carefully bring the lower section into a smaller arc, just enough to be able to remove the inner drive shaft. 30 minutes later the lower tube is reasonably straight. Not great but probably good enough. The inner drive shaft receives some panel beating and it is close to straight. Reassemble everything and test. Works! A little bit of heat being generated by the friction of the not so perfectly straight components but may work long enough for some else (i.e. The Boss) to blow up the engine and negate having to fork out $200 for own stupidity. Will let him know there is money set aside for repairs should this patch up job fail the longevity test.

Just loading the whole thing back into the farm ute and notice a slight arc in the assembled shaft. Mmmmmh I'll just put it on the ground upside down and gently put my weight in the centre and force the arc out. Might reduce the friction. SNAP! the plastic handle disintegrates.

Fortunately there is an identical  handle in the shed from a long dead whipper snipper. Saved.

And then it's onto working on the Tomato bed. Its only 1.30pm.

Cleaned out one side of the chook pen resulting in a trailer load of sawdusty chicken litter. Just enough to put a decent layer over the cow manure. By 4.30 have brought up 20 bales of mulch hay ready to cover the bed. Well progress not too bad, not as good as hoped but it'll do. Off to move the irrigator for its night run.

A little tip: If you look closely at the photograph the trailer is connected to the slasher by having a tow bar on the slasher. This is a bit like a road train and needs plenty of room to turn but it's a quick way of moving the trailer about without continually taking off the slasher. Just a note of caution: if the trailer is fully loaded with heavy material it exerts a lot of push on the small tractor when moving down hill and can push the back of the tractor side ways.

Chicken Litter

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