The stars at night are big and bright...

The stars at night are big and bright...
The stars at night are big and bright...

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (or Farrrrrm livin' is the life for me!)

Ever have one of those days? Yesterday was mine. I had big things planned so I started early. Had to be at Thomas Fuels in Bridgeport by 8am before the driver left on his route to pick up a 55 gallon drum (don't call them barrels) that I bought to store diesel in. Then I decided to run over to Brandi's Country Kitchen for breakfast.

That turned out to be a very good idea because it was the last thing I had to eat all day.

On the way home I filled the drum with farm diesel at Chico Butane then stopped by Chico Auto Parts to get a replacement hydraulic hose that had sprung a leak on my big tractor. Unfortunately, they haven't got their machine up and running yet so I had to resort to Plan B. I headed over to my Brother In-law's shop,  M/R Fabrication in Alvord, and had one made there. Then back to the house and replace the hose.

While doing that, I noticed that the tractor was low on hydraulic fluid. I had some in the garage, but not enough to fill it, so a trip to Tractor Supply in Decatur. I could have picked it up at Chico Auto, but it was over $2 a gallon cheaper at TSC. But before I left I filled up the fuel tank on the tractor so I wouldn't be driving around with a drum full of diesel in the back of my truck. That was easier said than done.

My plan of syphoning the fuel had 2 minor flaws. The fuel tank on the tractor, even though it's side mounted was higher than I thought and my syphon hose was shorter than I thought. I was only able to get about half the fuel transferred before it quit. I proceeded to swallow a few good swigs of diesel trying to get it going again and managed to wear a good amount, too. Lovely.

OK, off to Decatur. At least I had good luck at TSC with the hydraulic fluid being on sale, found a cheap transfer pump for the fuel drum and a cheap garden hose I didn't mind cutting to use part of it as a fuel hose for the pump and the rest for a new longer syphon hose.

When I left I couldn't help but notice this jackassery.

Who parks like that right in front of the door? There were plenty of parking spaces, too. It wasn't even a senior citizen or somebody waiting on one. It was two young guys.

Baaaack to the house, put the pump together, cut the hose, finish filling the tractor with fuel and hydraulic fluid then unload the plow I'd borrowed from my trailer. By now it was after 4. I'd planned to be finished with plowing by then!

I still had to hook up the plow which turned into it's own little rodeo. I'd never used the 3-point hitch on my big tractor and couldn't get it to work. (It's more complicated than it sounds) It was fully raised and wouldn't lower. I messed with it for nearly half an hour before I got it working right. Hooking onto the plow was a pain, too. I had to maneuver perfectly and I do mean perfectly into position for the hitch arms and pins to line up. I just couldn't get it done.

A 7 ton, 110HP tractor isn't as easy to move 1/4 inch as you would think. But after trying for 45 minutes I finally managed to get everything lined up just right and pinned in. But brother, I was pooped!

While hooking up the plow I noticed one of the tires was flat. Yep, a 3-point plow with tires. Who'd a thunk it? So drive over to the garage and fire up the compressor to air it up. I check all the other tires to make sure they're good and right as I finish... it starts to rain. No way I can plow now.

Just perfect. Whole day shot to Hell. I'm worn out, dirty from head to toe and smell like a refinery.
Only one thing to do. Take a long, hot shower, put on my Stewie Griffin pajamas, make a sandwich (those eggs had long since worn off) along with a nice stiff drink and kick back!

On the bright side, I did manage to stay awake long enough to watch the new episode of Better Call Saul so the day wasn't a complete loss.

UPDATE: Talking to my BIL today and he informed me there is a latch on the 3-point hitch arms  that releases them to be extended by hand so you can easily hook them up once you get close because it's extremely difficult to maneuver a large tractor into position. Boy, that would have been nice to know.

1 comment:

el chupacabra said...

Still, being a farmer beats being a Nigerian astronaut. Amiright?!