Sunday, August 6, 2017

I Fixed the Mower!!!

My husband has been laid up the last few months.  So, I have been doing all the farm work--fence repairs, working with cattle, working in the barn, mowing, cutting trees....  Needless to say, a good part of it I have done before and a good part of it has been a learning curve.

I have always done the mowing....and the breaking of the mower.  But, he has always done the repairs on the mower.  Until this time.  Last week I just started to mow.  As usual, the lab comes out and thinks he has to lead the way of the mower.  So, to humor him, I followed.  We cut a few crazy patterns in the yard  (I don't know, maybe he was trying to cut his name in the grass).  Then the mower stops, with a loud bang.  The tractor still runs, but no mower.  I look down and the belt is off.  Further investigation reveals the bolt that holds one of the 7 pulleys on has broken.




So, the pilot daughter and I head into the city to Lowe's.  We got a new bolt and nut (that was an adventure in itself.  New kid working, had no idea bolts "came in metric" or how they were sized....

Today, I got it the broken part put back together and went to get the pulley back on. Even though I had a diagram to go by, it wasn't easy.  I had to watch two different places at once and hold the belt on 6 of the 7 pulleys at once, and push a nosy lab with bad breath out of the way.  To replace the belt  requires 9 hands and 2 heads.  I only have 2 hands and 1 head.  Childbirth was easier.  Finally, I got it back on and pulled the tension rod back.  Still had slack.  Too much slack.  Further investigation revealed that the diagram I was looking at (on the back of a package for a new belt) wasn't right.  The belt fit 2 different models of mowers.  The diagram was of the other mower.  It took me another 5 minutes to figure it out and another 20 to get it back off and back on the correct way.  When I said childbirth was easier, I meant that.  And, I have had twins.  Birthing twins was easier.

All for a broken $2 bolt.

But it worked.  Saved about $250 (what the shop I called wanted to do it--but I will admit, they would have earned every penny of it).  And, I got about 2 hours of mowing in.  Eight more hours of mowing and then I get to start all over.  Yes, it takes 10-12 hours to mow our  place.

Tomorrow, I am going to send an email to the manufacturer.  This mower is less than a year old, and only has a little over 100 hours on it.  This should not have broke.

Burning Hay

Ever evening that it is not raining, I work in the barn.  Even though the barn is now rebuilt, there remains a lot of work to do in it.  The hay that was stored in it was all ruined when the tornado hit.  It is now wet and moldy.  We could not remove it prior to the barn being rebuilt, as the damaged part was partly resting on top of what had been the pile of bales.  Rains and wind, reduced it to a pile of wet moldy hay.

So, when it is not too windy outside, I have been taking small loads of the hay out and burning it.  I also have been burning brush that is from the broken trees that we are still trimming.  It sure stinks up this corner of the county when I burn it.

Hard to tell that at one time, this pile was around 75 small square bales.  I don't think there is a single bale that is still intact.
It definitely puts out a lot of smoke when it is burned.







Hopefully this project will be finished in the next week.  I have a lot more to do in the barn, but this has to be done first.  Having wet hay in the barn is a fire hazard.  It is also in the way of getting the rest done.  At one time, it was partially blocking the door at the end, but that door is now usable again.  I have about 40% of it left.