|Finally done with this field of hay|
Then, the disc mower pulled the three-point apart, so we "borrowed" the part needed to fix it from the other tractor. Sometimes it's handy to have two half-worn out tractors so that you can keep one running, other times I wonder if two half-worn out tractors are about as useful as one completely worn out tractor.
|Tractor split apart, waiting on clutch parts|
Soon after I started to bale the first half of the field, the throwout bearing and clutch in the tractor blew apart, which meant that we had to take the duals off of the other tractor so it could be used to bale the rest of the field. For some reason, I must of really been worried about the lug bolts coming loose the last time I put those duals on the tractor because it took almost all I had to break them loose (alternating between jumping up and down, and hanging off the end on a long piece of pipe I was using as a cheater).
The stupid A/C in that tractor refuses to do its job just like A/C in the other tractor, so the doors also had to be taken off so that I wouldn't pass out from the heat, fall out of the open door, and get baled up into a bale of hay.
I finally finished up baling the first half of the field, and was getting ready to start cutting the second half when I noticed a low tire on one side of the tractor so I put some air in it and kept an eye on it during the day. The next day when I was getting ready to rake hay, the tire was even lower and now the other side was also low, which was a little concerning because I needed to get this hay baled. All you can do at this point is air the tires up and hope you can rake fast enough to get done before you run out of air, which is what I did. Just make sure that you stop once in a while while raking to check your tire pressure so you can make a quick run back to the compressor in time to avoid a flatter than flat tire in the middle of a field.
By some stroke of luck, the tire held enough air long enough for me to get the hay raked, but the next day it was low again and the other tire was flat. What are the odds of that happening? After airing both tires up, and driving slowly back and forth looking for something obvious stuck in the tire, nothing was found except that one tire was losing air faster than it could put it in. The consensus of everyone standing around looking at two flat tractor tires is that cheap tubes that have failed in some way might be the reason for all this trouble (there's no way to know until I get around to fixing both tires).
Since desperate times call for desperate measures, after a little "woe-is-me", expressing my displeasure with the unfairness of it all, and arguing back and forth, it was decided that the solution was to put one of the duals back on side with the flat tire and air up the other tire so that I could at least try to bale the rest of the hay. The only bright spot in the whole crazy business of driving a lopsided half-dualed tractor around baling hay is that I was far enough away from the road that hopefully nobody had the chance to wonder why the heck I only had duals on one side of the tractor.
Surprisingly, I was able to get all thirty acres baled in almost record time, then was able to get the tractor back to the barn right before the "better" low tire also went completely flat (which makes me think even more that it might be something to do with the tubes disintegrating somehow rather than a more typical puncture type of flat tire).
As soon as all the parts get here, we can start putting one tractor back together, can get both tires on the other tire back to where they will hold air, and I can start getting ready to bale about forty acres of sorghum-sudangrass which I'm hoping isn't also going to be a knockdown drag out fight.
Wish me luck, sometimes I need it.