The Useful Duck!

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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hay and straw sales to horsey folk

Yesterday I sold several loads of hay. Small loads of hay. It hardly made a tent in the barn. We have like ten semi truck loads to go.
I was going to work on my pickup truck engine. I took it to a shop to be repaired and there were a lot of small things wrong with it. Turns out that I bought new main bearings, oil pump, cam set, water pump, radiator and half the exhaust manifold bolts were broken off. The mechanic suggested that I drill them out for him. So, that was what I was going to do Saturday.
The last sale was at 3:30 for a load of straw. I had to meet them at a different barn for the straw. The lady had talked her neighbor into hauling for her. He had a extended cab dodge 4wd with racks, and a trailer made out of a 1968 Chevy 3/4 ton truck. First the hyster squeeze wouldn't start. (actually I think it is a cat) Then she decided the bales were not as heavy as I said so she wanted me to weigh the bales. There is an old Fairbanks-Morse truck scales there. She had asked me the weight and I said 100 to 110 lbs which came out to 18 bales to the ton. What I needed to say was $3 per bale. That would just be simple. Anyway.... I put the block of straw on the scale and weighed the block, then I divided the weight by the number of bales. I got 107lbs. Last block I sold-a couple months ago was 109 lbs. So this was a little lighter. Still in the 18 bales per ton range.
She thanked me for weighing it.
Next we loaded the pickup and trailer. I lifted the block of straw with the squeeze and parked it behind the truck. I threw down the bales and the fellow with the pickup then stacked the bales four high in the pickup. But, instead of going on layer at a time and taking advantage of the height of the squeeze, he the threw the bales back up and worked his way from front to back instead of up one layer at a time. I didn't say anything.
They got two tonnes on their truck and trailer and headed off down highway 18. I could see the traffic back up instantly. I took an alternate route to Sheridan.
You know the way to get a good deal is not to question the weight or the price. It is to be nice and friendly and complement the farmer on the quality of his product. It he is going to rip you off he will do it no matter. She did not watch me set the scales, (I actually forgot to zero the scales before I used them so the error could have gone either way...) I was going to throw in a few extra bales and had thought about selling the straw for $45 a ton instead of $50. It is kind of annoying to be questioned on the weight and the price. That is why I needed to have a per bale price. It solves that whole question of how many bales to the ton.
The mechanic was getting his supper so I went to CarQuest to pick up a couple things I had driven off and left setting somewhere. I forgot my hammer and my 3/8ths tap, I also needed a center punch but I forgot that also.
It seems that when ever I claim to be really good at something I soon get cut down to size. The first bolt I drilled out went crooked. I didn't see his torch which is what I should have used. I ended up tapping the hole but instead of the old threads coming out I drifted into the side of the block. So, I suppose the manifold won't fit right. I got the next one crooked as well. We heated that one and it came out. The third one the mechanic "showed" me how to center punch the bolt which was exactly what I was trying to do. It was a frustrating experience. If I would have been in my own shop by myself I could have done it. As it was I did three holes and it was 8:30 pm. I went home and played lego trains with Sadie. Later we had a "sleep over" as she termed it. She put blankets out on the floor and we laid on the floor and watched movies. It turned out to be a lot later evening than I had thought. We slept on the floor. I am a bit stiff this morning and Sadie is grumpy. She wants me to teach her her how to play guitar. I don't know how to play guitar but have had lots of lessons. She get frustrated because she is not instantly good. I don't know how to get her out of that attitude.
Update at 11:42. I think we stayed up to late last night. I've been a bit under the weather and so when my wife suggested that I go back to bed and she take Sadie to church I took her up on the offer. Well, the second time she made it. I was in bed with my head under the pillows when I heard the meltdown. I don't know all the details but S. started crying. I got up and tried to figure out the problem. There were two unhappy females in the house. One was sent to bed and the other is taking things to GoodWill. I retreated to the bedroom. I needed to just get it done this morning. I just wanted a break... I didn't notice the time last night as I got home late. Such is life...


  1. You're probably right about setting a per-bale price for your straw. I suspect the weight may change a little with humidity anyway (and heat and cold).

  2. I'm just used to doing it by the ton. I forget the price per bale. People think they are smart shoppers by making sure all the weights agree. You know a weight difference of 2lbs on one 110lb bale is not so much when there are 18bales per ton and the price is $50 per ton. Have the time I just throw in an extra bale anyway.

  3. bud, yep same way with me, pricin is alway affected by attitude. if the attitude is right i may give em the gate free when i build a fence, if not, oh well, 135$ please.


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