Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Swather and Hay Baler

This is the day Vic's dream machine came home.

Maybe not a "dream machine", but it'll do, for now...maybe. 

He's been wanting to plant alfalfa, to feed our animals, for years but everyone told him it's not a good idea do to the cost of the equipment, seed pricing, land requirements and water needs.

Vic said, "I have the land, I'll buy the seed, I'll get the water where I need it, and I'll find the equipment." 

Never tell that guy he can't do something or have something, or he'll prove you wrong. 

He prepared the fields, got the water in place and planted the seed. Then he began searching for equipment.

Vic was outside of town working on a garage door for a friend when he drove by a rancher who was mending fence posts near where Vic had just finished up. He drove up and got out of his truck to see if the rancher needed some help. The old rancher looked up at him with a deeply wrinkled face and with a nod like shooing a fly away, he said, "what do you need boy?" Vic smiled and said, "you looked like you could use a hand." The rancher said, "no son, I appreciate the offer, but I've been taking care of my ranch for 53 years and I don't think I need help today or any day." As he turned his back to Vic, his hand slipped off of the wire stretcher and his hand slid over the barbed wire slicing his palm wide open.  Vic grabbed the stretcher and finished tying the wire down while the rugged rancher grumbled in anger and pain and wrapped his hand with a handkerchief  to stop the bleeding.

Vic talked to him while finishing up the section of fence that was down and the rancher seemed to enjoy watching Vic work. He told a few wild tales of the good-ol-days during his long ranch career.  He ended the story-telling with the hard reality that he was losing his ranch and was selling everything. He told Vic how the economy hit him hard, first he had to let his employees go, then with the rise in costs he was farming at a loss.  He explained that he had hung on for four years and he's just getting too old to do everything himself.  He planned on moving with his wife to a small house near the city his daughter lived in so she could take care of them when the time came.

 He asked Vic if he knew anyone that needed a swather, hay baler and many other miscellaneous pieces of farm equipment. Vic smiled and told him for the right price he might be interested.  Vic was thinking in his head that the equipment would be 6 or 7 years old but when the rancher took him to see the swather and baler it was old! 

Old as the hills...but it worked.  

He would need to do some minor engine work, replace some hydraulic hoses and do some carburetor work on it but other than that, it would do the job. They agreed on a next-to-nothing price and a few weeks later, the equipment found a new home.

This is how it went....

Loading the new...old...equipment took 4 Trucks, 4 flat-bed trailers, 1 Dynalift, 2 cowboys, 1 fork-lift guy named Johnny, 1 safety inspector (aka Vic's dad) and Vic to do the job. Then drive another hour and a half to get back to the ranch.

Loading the swather.

They had to fork lift the hay baler onto the trailer.

Guiding the equipment took precision cowboy work.

The baler didn't quit fit but it worked out.

Ready to go.

One last check by the safety inspector....Papa.

Here she is, the John Deer swather, in all her glory. This is the piece of machinery that pushes the cutting head through the alfalfa and cuts it.

Vic is holding back "the boys" who want to sit up in the drivers seat Sophia and Papa.

King jumped up on the new Firestone tire that cost 3 times the amount of all of the equipment put together, he discovered there's no place like the ground.

Papa explained to Sophi the importance of the John Deere steering wheel emblem. 

This is the fancy steel wire baler, not what the newer balers use which is a type of nylon string.  

Needs a little cleaning up.

McCormick has been around for years. I'm learning well about all of this stuff!
Not that I will ever need to know it.

This is the part of the baler that lifts up the alfalfa off of the ground.

The short legged bobbsey-twins are worn out ,they take cover under the equipment that looks like it could eat them up.

Sophi got another lesson on how the old baler works.

My two lovelies are home...wonder what are they up to?

I got a smile from each! Mom's happy. 

Nice glasses! Are we in the 80's again?
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