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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Working Weekend

Across the river the boss needed to replenish his hay supplies and my contact who had supplied us earlier in the week was able to provide 150 bales immediately. With the arrangements made we headed over early this morning in two vehicles and a trailer.

The farmer had also fuelled and loaded his ute with 40 bales for us all tied on and ready to go. He was unable to be in attendance but had passed on explicit instructions as to which piles the hay was to be taken from. I like this farmer he didn't have to loan his vehicle or load it for us but this is the old country way of doing business. A certain generosity of spirit not all that common today.

The loading took little time because the hay is stored on large trailers and the bales can be loaded down onto the vehicles as opposed to throwing up.  This makes a big difference. Fresh Lucerne bales become exceedingly heavy after a while.

So with three vehicles and three drivers (the bosses wife) we were able to bring back 127 bales in one trip. Quite a convoy (without the music).

Unloading and stacking was also relatively easy as the vehicles could be back right into the hay shed and the bales stacked directly into the holding area.

A few years ago 400 bales were delivered on New Years day in 40 degree heat. The truck couldn't be driven into the hay shed and each bale had to be carried inside. And of course the truck driver is in a hurry so there is that added urgency. Never again said the boss. This time we were able to work steadily with no external pressure and far fewer bales.

A buyer was coming later in the day to select some of the heifer weaners and they needed to be yarded. Although they were only a couple of paddocks away they as all young things do had no idea of what we wanted and so there was a lot of toing and froing before they were all yarded and the steers removed.

And so my Saturday at home started at 1 pm with breakfast which had been skipped through lack of time.

When connecting our trailer that morning I'd checked the tyre pressure and noticed a wobble in one wheel. A damaged bearing? And that became Saturday afternoons job. As it happens both wheels had a slight wobble but proved easy to resolve. Remove one wheel, tap of the axle bearing cover, remove split pin, then the nut and examine bearing. Working fine just some wear. Tighten nut, replace split pin, cover and wheel. Productivity gain on the other side by not removing wheel.

While on the maintenance trail a quick look underneath the trailer. Not a pretty sight. Some of the suspension bolts are loose and some nuts look awfully rusty. Bring up the tractor and turn the trailer upside down. Try tightening the loose bolts. They shear off because of the massive wear. Ok then remove all bolts (most of which shear off ) ready for replacement next week.

This will require a special trip to my favourite nut and bolt supplier. Will try to incorporate other jobs into that trip rather than use fuel for a single task. Fortunately there is no urgency as we can live without the trailer for a week or two.

And then it was 6pm and time to sit down with a beer.

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