Haying is not going smoothly

It has been a long two days. I worked a 19 hour day between my paying job and the farm. The lights we installed last year are really helping. The weather was beautiful and I was able to use the rake while wearing short sleeves and even once the sun went down it never got super cool. I just kept going. Until I broke the rake. It has two legs off the back and square tubing that is bent 30 degrees. It broke right at the bend and this ended my raking at 2300 instead of midnight like I had planned. So now the new welder needs to get in play again and fix this issue. I want to be able to reinforce this angle and purchased some angle iron and flat iron to be able to make this happen. I am going to need to create a spot in the machine shed where I can store all of these scrap metal pieces to use for various projects.

Mr Professional has been out of service for the last couple of days and was returning to the farm today. I gave him the good news that I had broken the rake. But I wanted him to stay focused and just get the old John Deere 336 baler up and baling the hay I had rowed. We need bales made! he got it going this afternoon and in under one hour made 200 forty pound bales before it made a noise and stopped working. Turns out we need a new bearing. I had to come home early and take a nap and had enough time to run into the parts store. I was running on empty and could not keep going. I got a bearing, picked up a sandwich for us to split and headed home. The bearing looked weird but it was a part in hand. Mr Professional was already out in the field making round bales. I looked at the broken baler and broke out the repair manual. Come to find out we needed the gear box bearing seal. All of the oil had leaked out and according to the book we need to pull the entire transmission out of the baler! So this will not be a two hour fix.

I went out in the field just as Mr Professional broke the mini round baler. He took the covers off and the shear bolt was broken. The problem with this is he took the tool bag out of the canvas bag on the tractor. He violated the tool rule!! We both know that the tools have to be on the tractor, this is why we have a special bag with all of the correct sized tools to repair the baler. So we had to go back and get tools and shear bolts and then he left me to go work on the old John Deere Baler. I started in on it and kept getting both gears to turn when I turned the baler splines. The internal gear should be attached to the shaft which should be stationary as the tractor is not moving. The only reason it could move is if the same gear insert problem we just welded on the other side happened on this side. My gut said it was the problem. I was texting Mr Professional who kept telling me to just replace the shear bolt. Hard to do when the gears won’t align. I was saved by a call from work and I had to go into the hospital, problem was I am dirty and covered in grease. I went home, turfed the problem to Mr Professional and went and got cleaned up. Big surprise 30 minutes later he is pulling it into the machine shed. The exact same problem occurred and it needed to be torn down to expose the gear so it could be welded to the insert. I was called off of work but I was now clean. I ended up doing some dishes, putting away laundry, watering my plants and starting Roomba. I even took the time to work on the blog!! I want to get to bed before midnight and I will need to be working nonstop after work for the entire weekend to get the hay thing under control. I am hoping we can get the bearing tomorrow for the old John Deere. We made about 200 square bales and 25 round bales. The square bales are around 40# each and the round are calculated at 50# but probably weigh closer to 65#. We will need to weight some to get an accurate count. So about 4.5 ton are baled and the property owner gets half, we get the other half.

It only took Mr Professional two hours to tear it apart weld it and put it back together! It took 8 the first time on the other side. It is 2230 and he is out on the little tractor in the dark making round bales. I am going to go to bed so that I can get at it tomorrow afternoon and on into the night also. It is nice to work with someone who gets it.

Snoop, the alpaca, is so lazy he is laying down and eating baled hay off of the old baler!! That is lazy.

Progress on haying front

It was a long and an actual productive day. Some days are just long and head pounding, but even though it was a head pounder we managed to get things going and got it done! I had the round baler hooked up and ready from the night before and had started up the tractor and was headed out to bail when Mr Professional showed up and wanted to work on the old John Deere 336 square baler we purchased the night before. I had plans on testing the weld job on the Italian M50 round baler. Four hours later after some blood, a lot of swearing, cleaning and grease application we had managed to get it move all its parts. Surprisingly it was in great shape and had obviously been serviced four years ago when it was sold last. The only thing left to do was to actually try and make a bale with it. I cut through the side of the fields but Mr Professional had to go around with the big baler.

I was able to make round bales! The weld held and I was baling the outer rows and the rows down by the spring. Mr Professional showed up and started to feed loose grass into the baler, it made a couple of squares but it was only tying one side. He had me stop and help, this was slowing production!! An hour later, a lot more swearing and yelling and finger pointing we had figured out how to adjust the bale tension, we had to turn a ceramic grommet that had a groove cut into it by the constant string flow, it was causing a binding point and breaking the string, we also had to adjust the string tension. More bales, less bale tension and now the big loud green machine was only tying one knot on one side of both strings, even worse than a single good string. More reading of the manual, much more swearing and finger pointing and interpretation with more swearing. Me finally telling Mr Professional to adjust it like the manual says and I am gonna go bale or we are not ever going to make hay. He made some adjustments to the tying portion, which is fairly mechanically complicated and was making bales!! I had to jump off once and adjust bale tension again. The first 50 bales are a little lopsided. We are pretty sure its from not having enough feed material to make the bales.

Mr Professional went down to field #3 to bale, I worked on the dregs in #2, I sheared a shear bolt and realized how much I hate relearning to change them out and dug out the jam. When it jammed in the same place again 6 minutes later I gave up, dumped the partial bale and went to get the sickle mower. I had to move bales on my way out of the field and spotted a very angry 3 foot snake curled up and ready to strike. It did not appreciate at getting ran over by the baler! We parted ways amicably but I was unable to get a picture, it kept sneaking under the grass clumps. I needed to cut anyways and the big green beast was chewing through the downed hay.

I cut the rest of field #2 and then moved onto the one small portion of #3 that I had not cut, about an acre. Unfortunately or fortunately, however you fill your glass, the grass is very tall! I was very careful to cut next to the spring runoff so I didn’t end up in the stream. The second pass though you drive on the already cut grass and I managed to get a little too close to the bank and fell into it with the tractor! I did not tip it over, it just ended up very sideways. Mr Professional came and pulled me out and I was back at it fairly quickly. Annmarie and Sarah came down to see my calamity, there was some discussion as to why I did not line each side of the stream with pecker poles like I did in field #2 (the one I buried the tractor in last year). I had marked a wide marshy area but not the running stream. The grass has never looked this good before!! I can usually tell where the stream is and avoid it. So now I need to buy some more poles and drive them in on both sides of the stream. Annmarie was taking pictures of my sideways action and discussing the poles when she fell into the stream. She didn’t see the edge!! Sarah and I did finally go pull her out!

I started cutting the neighbors field until 2200. We should get the rest of the field cut on Sunday.