Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Baler, Swather Break Down Blues

It's been Summer Break-Down around WC Fields.
The Baler has broken down 4 times & the swather twice.... so far.
Farmer Keith says "We must remain pessimistic about the repairs."
First break down on the baler - one of the needles broke - in the middle of baling.
Keith had a look and saw that one of the two needles was not threading correctly.
This is a needle.
Apparently Mr. Whitehall had repaired this needle before and it was slightly shorter then the other and was slightly bent. When Keith started to bale this year the messed up needle didn't pass correctly, instead it banged into something it shouldn't and bent it.
The baler was Messed up Bad.The problem is the only parts store for this machine is in Moses Lake AND they had to order the parts from California AND it would take 4 days for the part to get to Washington.
Lucky for us Roundy saw Keith broke down in the field and stopped by.
He was astonished that the baler had worked the last 2 seasons with that funky needle.
He knew that Keith couldn't wait 4-5 days to bale his cut hay, so he returned that afternoon with his grandson, James.
James baled the hay for us - what a great valley we live in!
Friday arrived and Keith took a drive in Max down to Moses Lake to pick up the part.

And he managed to get it on!

Cinder found the work exhuasting.

It works!
Well, just about 1/2 hour after this video was shot, the baler broke again. and again. and again.
Timing was off, again Roundy stopped by (everyone notices a baler broke down in a field, word gets around up & down the valley)
They got it running again - Roundy was surprized because he wasn't quite sure how it worked on this particular machine.
Then a chain broke.
Then another chain broke.
The field got baled, several days later!

Time to cut the last alfalfa field.
Keith gets the Swather ready and notices that there is a new crack - at least a crack he hadn't noticed before.

He takes the part off and welds once more.

Back on it goes, of course the manuel says nothing about this part so Keith is a little worried, not sure of how much tension/slack there should be.

Keep your fingers crossed that it works!

A scene from Yesterday

It's late evening, it's begining to cool down and Keith is anxious to cut his field with the new repaired swather.

The weather report states that there is a 20% chance of thunderstorms.

He asks me: "Should I cut?"

Me: "Yes, the repair will work."

Him, looking out the window: "Do you think it will rain?"

Me: "No, I don't smell any rain in the air."

Him, looking out the door: "Those clouds look mean."

Me: "It's nothing, but why don't you call Roundy and see what he thinks?"

Him: "I was just thinking of doing that."

He gets a hold of Mary Ann - she says: "Don't cut, I smell rain in the air, I don't know where Grant is, but I'll find him."

She finds Grant, he says: "Don't cut! Wait until the 5th."

An hour later we are sitting on the front stoop watching lightining dance around the sky.

The phone rings, it's Mary Ann: "It's raining here, it'll be at your place soon"

What would we do with out Mary Ann and Grant!

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