Sunday, April 22, 2012

Started Planting

Sorry it's been so long since I posted last. It's been a busy last couple of weeks getting the planters ready to go. Had to spend some time working on Grandpa's stuff, then Dad's, then mine. It just seems to take forever to get tanks on and all that jazz. I had to put all new chains on my planter and a few gauge wheel bearings. Technically, I started planting Friday, but I only did 2 rounds in about 2 hours, trying to get everything adjusted. I really got going yesterday morning, but I ran out of seed about 11:15, and I was going to Mom and Dad's for dinner anyway, so I headed over there. After we ate, I helped Dad get going. He bought a new (to him) planter, and it has hydraulic drive, so I helped him get used to that a little bit, since I have hydraulic drive on my planter. After a call to a service tech and a lot of messing around, I think he got it all figured out and has about 70 acres planted. I, on the other hand, only have about 55 acres done. It was about 3:30 before I got going again yesterday afternoon, and then I had a bearing go out this afternoon and had to quit early for Bible study, so it's not going too fast for me. It's ok, though. It'll all get done.

Yesterday, my brother Sam came out and rode with me for awhile, then I turned him loose for a little bit. The planter was getting empty, so I stayed out and shuffled seed around while he planted, as I didn't want to open another bag. I got a few pictures:

And I'm using the '87 as a seed runner:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sometimes I Space Off

When you drive 5-10 mph all day as much as I do, you have plenty of time to space off. Lately I've been spacing off about equipment, but not the new and shiny stuff. No, I sometimes wish I would've done it differently, and gone old(er) school with my equipment.

This has all been at the forefront of my mind since about 5 o'clock this afternoon. The 8320 is split in half, a lot of it is in pieces, and they still can't figure out what's wrong with it. We are hoping the bill doesn't end up being more than $5,000, but at this point, who knows? There was a pretty much brand new John Deere tractor in the shop today that had some hydraulic gremlins that they couldn't sort out.

I sometimes wonder if these newer, fancier tractors are better than the mostly mechanical beasts they're replacing. I think if I was to start over, I would buy older stuff. I love the twin row, and I think if I converted it to mechanical drive and used a piston pump to put on my fertilizer, I could use an older tractor to run the vacuum and the markers. I'd probably have to put lift assist wheels on, too, but that's not a big deal. I'd go with a 4850 2 wheel drive if I could afford it, but I'd probably go with a 4840 for the sake of saving about $10,000. I'd also use it to shred stalks in the fall, hill corn and possibly put on fertilizer with:

For my big tractor, I'd buy a 4850 MFWD. I'd use it to disk, run the field cultivator, chop stalks, cultivate, and run an auger wagon. Grandpa had one, and I spent a lot of time in it. I was sad to see it go, but the 8300 that replaced it is a nice tractor. Anywho, here's a nice 4850:

If I had any money left, I'd buy a nice 4630, get some saddle tanks and a spray boom for it, and use it as a sprayer tractor. Maybe shred weeds with it. Use it on the blade, box scraper, etc. It'd make a nice chore tractor. Grandpa also had one of these, but I don't remember much about it. I just know I would like to have one around:

I could buy all three of these tractors for about 1/3 of what a Deere 8335r would cost. I'm probably wrong, but I think it would cost less to maintain these. They don't have computer problems. I don't remember having hydraulic problems with them. You start them, slam them in gear and go.

If you ever wonder what I think about day in and day out, now you know.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Helped Grandpa clean out a bin today. Wisely, neither of us wore a dust mask, so we both feel like crap. Basically, when a bin starts getting empty, you have to get in and scoop it out while using a sweep auger:

The sweep auger carries corn to the floor auger:

Which carries corn to the auger, which takes it to the semi:

Tools of the trade (Yes, a lot of sweeping and scooping is involved.):

In more suckery, Green Line has the entire front end off of our tractor and is going to have to split it. Tractors can be basically taken apart in half in order to service some things. You can generally count on spending $1,000 or so to split a tractor, plus whatever it's going to cost to fix what was wrong in the first place. There goes all my fun money.

I'm going to give a little shout out to Ag Services. Apparently, someone sent them a link to my blog from yesterday. I got a call from one of their agronomists today asking if I was home. I wasn't but would be shortly. He was already there checking out the stuff they had sprayed, and wanted to know if I had any problems with their fertilizer spreader yesterday. I showed him the tracks and told him I wasn't too happy about it. He wanted me to know that their operator should've known better and that he would talk to him and get it taken care of. We're also meeting with the chemical rep tomorrow to try and figure out why the weeds that got sprayed didn't really die. So, Ron, Rich and Matt, thanks for getting everything taken care of.

And I thought only Shay and my mom read this blog.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Bad - Wheel bearing on the disk went out, mechanic said "That's not good" when I demonstrated the noise coming from the front end of my tractor.

Good - Leftover prime rib and cheesy potatoes for dinner, hanging out with Shay in the tractor, driving around with Shay while she was creating a new genre of music where the only instruments are guitar wall hangers, watching Shay chop stalks on her own while I had some other stuff to take care of, making Shay laugh a lot while watching American Pickers, eating those bumpy Nerd egg things, and the knowledge that none of the bad matters, because life doesn't stop just because some stuff doesn't turn out the way I thought it should.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Weird Day

With the sprinkles on and off and the wind blowing and it not being 85 degrees out, I wasn't too fond of today. I didn't get much accomplished. I was supposed to take my driving test to get my CDL tomorrow morning, but neither of the semis will pass the air brake test, so I guess I'll have to wait. I was ready to get it done and over with, but I'll get more time to practice now, I guess.

I've mostly been chopping stalks. I'd like to work on my tractor and planter, but Dad's planter is getting worked on, so I'll wait until he's done. Hopefully it should only take him another day or two. I think my planter needs all new drive chains, so that should be fun. And pricey. I've still got a lot of field work to do before I get to planting, anyhow. Chopping and disking. I always get to about this point of the spring and feel like I'm way behind. Anyone want to come sit in a tractor for hours on end for a few days? I'll pay you. Maybe even tens of dollars if you are lucky.

Wife made some chicken pizza for supper tonight. It was pretty tasty: