Sunday, September 26, 2010

I guess I'm not BTO material

BTO in the farm community is an acronym for Big Time Operator.  BTO's are the "industrial" farmers ... sort of the Wal-Mart's of agriculture.  They intend to take advantage of every opportunity. I guess I just don't think like them.

We had a pretty good Friday.  We expected to be rained out, but instead cut about 20 acres of beans, stopped for lunch with family, then in the afternoon shelled 30 acres of corn.  For us it was a pretty good day.

Saturday we didn't get started too quickly.  We had to catch up on some things we intended to do Friday after the rain (Don't get me started on the weather forecast / local TV weather persons).

Aman had just gotten rolling good, shelled about 10 ares, when a gathering chain broke.  Fortunately it stopped before going all the way through the combine, but in the process somehow it bent a "SUPPORT ASSEMBLY, right hand".  It looks like the one below circled in red, except it it left and we had problems with the right

It wasn't bent much.  In fact you really had to look to see it was bent.  But it threw the idler sprocket out of alignment just enough to throw the chain off and bind up things.  We don't know if this is cause (why the chain broke) or effect (the broken chain bent it).  I'm leaning toward cause.  If I had been a BTO my service vehicle would have pulled up with tools and air compressor and welder and torch and we would have repaired or at least attempted repair on the spot. We decided it was time to go to the shop.

So back to Mom's to the shop.   Took it apart, thought we fixed it, put it together, ran it, messed up again, took it apart again, and went to see Ralph.  Fortunately Ralph was there this Saturday afternoon.  I didn't think Ralph would do anything we couldn't do, but he has better equipment to do it with and (more importantly) he has a better "eye" than I do.  He looked at it and said "Oh, that needs to be like this", stuck it in his press and proceeded to (as Sharp used to say in the copier service manual) "shape to fit".

We put everything back together, tried it, and it worked.  So at 4:00 on Saturday evening with rain in the forecast ... we closed the doors and went home.

I'll never make it as a BTO.   I can live with that.

I went home, cleaned up, took my wife out for supper and spent the evening working on the Sunday School lesson I have to teach.  Some things are more important than being the first one done in the area.

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