Saturday, February 03, 2007

Ramblings on a cold Saturday morning

Global warming my ___.

Spent a good part of an hour getting my feed truck going. I plugged in the block heater last night, and when it didn't fire right off this morning, I put a little ether in the air filter. Sure enough, it started, but did not appear to warm up (i.e. it wouldn't rev past idle very easily). So, I went to town to the local auto parts store and picked up a few necessities:

2 bottles of PowerService 911
2 fuel filters
1 magnet fuel tank heater
After replacing the fuel filter and using one bottle of PowerService, I'm still not running. I'll let the fuel tank warm up for an hour with the magnetic heater and see what happens.

Yesterday I got a load of distillers grains in late in the afternoon. Half of the unloading went fine. Then, I lost a bolt out of the top of the auger that was transporting the DDGS from the semi to a wagon. No problem - I found the bolt and nut, put it back in, and away we went. However, I lost one my my wrenchs in the DDGS in the wagon. I'll have to be careful when I unload that wagon to see if I can find it.

So, back in business, got that wagon filled, and pulled the next one around. It's 6 PM, getting dark, and the windchill is easily below 0 degrees F. The auger decided to pull another stunt and shear a shear pin next to the PTO drive. The truck driver and I spend a better part of an hour trying to drive the old pin out with no avail. I finally told him to go home and we'd unload the rest Sunday afternoon, probably with a different auger. He's not needing the truck until then, so that was OK.

Engineers from the auger company need to come out and fix their equipment in temperatures like this so they can learn to design better serviceable equipment. Replacing a shear pin in a warm, well lit shop is not a problem, but doing so in the cold and dark is another. In addition, these monkeys thought that encasing the top drive of the auger in grease would be a good thing! Not until you have to replace the shear pin and have to deal with gops of grease! At least Westfield augers have a greaseable zerk at the top, not a bath of grease to run in. Keep in mind I'm not giving any engineering awards to Westfield - they have their own share of stupid designs.
These engineers should take an oath, similar to what doctors take, and swear that they will not design something that will be difficult to fix or service.
Well, its times like these that one would imagine I'd be questioning my decision to farm and run an ag service company. In spite of everything listed above, I'd rather take this kind of life than waste it in some cubicle farm in West Des Moines pushing paper around for a multi-national corporation. Sorry if that's the life you lead, and you may well enjoy it, but it's not for me.

Oh well, it could be worse - I could have been driving this (courtesy of here):


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