On the farm and out in the field, it’s rare that we have exactly what we need on hand to complete a task or fix a fill-in-the- blank. We’ve managed to find ways and means around a few head-scratchers recently. Here’s a rundown of five time saving tips for the farm.
CAN YOU SPARE ANY CHANGE?
Ben said it would take a quarter, but we needed $2.25 — two loonies plus the quarter. Even at that cost it was cheap and quick. We were seeding about 20 miles south of Ben’s yard and the nearest correct tool. The front caster wheel on the hoe drill decided that this was the ideal time and place for its bearings to pile up. Luckily, we could steal a transport wheel from the back to replace the wheel assembly if we had the tools. What we needed was a 1-7/8 inch wrench.
The closest thing we had, however was a two-inch wrench that we used for tightening the packer bearings. We took that wrench and put the coins between the nut and the wrench and … voila! Off it came. It wasn’t easy, though. Dan had to stand on the wrench and bounce a few times to break the nut loose. The coins did the job, but sure won’t be used again in a vending machine.
If you haven’t got change handy, another flat solid object — such as the head of an open end wrench — will do for this job. Be careful though! This is not in the safety manual as an approved procedure. Wrench slippage and damaged appendages could result.
SHORT CUT TO CLEAR VISION
Chain lube sure is great stuff, most of the time. It sprays out of the can and sticks to the chains and whatever else it lands on. On the usual windy Saskatchewan days we have in the spring, it often lands on my glasses as well. Now if you’ve tried to wipe this off glasses with a dry cloth you’ll know what I mean. It just smears around and you can’t easily get them clean.
I hadn’t packed any glass cleaner on this particular day, of course. But my brain finally kicked in and I went under the hood. I managed to dip a bit of windshield washer fluid out of the reservoir and my vision was restored.
SHORT CUT TO LUBRICATION
While you’re under the hood there’s a place to get a few drops of oil if you have to lube up some small item. Just pull out the dipstick. If you need a bit more, you could get some out of your hydraulic couplers on your equipment.
Another crisis we had this spring was when our 1270 started to use engine oil. Not just a bit but a whole lot. We checked the usual suspects and when they were all found innocent, we ended up at the air filters. The filter indicator always was in the red even when the filters were clean ( “Must be defective!”). We tried new filters and a new indicator. It quit using oil but the new indicator was in still the red. So Ben set out investigating and found some treasures.
Apparently Mr. and Mrs. Mouse had built a lovely nest in the pre-cleaner of the tractor. Not being familiar with this tractor, I didn’t even know such a part existed. The hood had to be removed to gain easy access and once it was cleaned out, our faithful 1270 is as good as ever.
SEED THE OLD FASHIONED WAY
Before mechanization our forefathers seeded their crops by broadcasting the seed. For some reason this has fallen out of favour and we now use complicated mechanical seeding devices.
There were a couple of small wet spots that we just didn’t dare try and seed with the drill. We would be seeding our other sloughs to wheat and we didn’t want two little dabs of wheat in the mustard field. Ben and Dan broadcast a bit of mustard seed in these spots and it’s worked out quite well.
RonSettlerfarmswithhiswifeSheilaand theirsonsBenandDan,andoperatesarepair andsalvagebusinessatLuckyLake,Sask.