The Useful Duck!

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Avoiding actual work

I spent yesterday attempting to facilitate my large hay sale.
I do not own a semi-truck and I only own half of a very very old hay squeeze. It is based on a huge old Hyster or Tow-motor or something like that. It is sort of streamlined but has a Perkins diesel engine so I'm betting it is mid 1960s. My half is of course, not the half that leaks a steady stream of hydraulic oil and is not the half with the mast that is so loose you can't tell if you are tilted or level. My half is the good half, the half that never uses diesel or oil or has a flat tire. That is always the best half to own.
I sold six semi-loads of hay at $180 per ton delivered to the press. This is around 150 tons. Small scale when compared to my neighbors, but a major amount for me.
For reference, my hay yield from The MuddyValley Beaver Plantation was around 180 ton. (Since the fellow doing my trucking never weighed a load or gave me a bill for the hauling I don't know exactly.)
Now here is the point that drives me insane...
I sold a load of what I thought was very nice Timothy-Alfalfa on Friday. So, 25 tons at 180 per ton would be $4500. However, when they got it to their barn they were not happy with the quality. It is a friend so it is not an adversarial sort of situation. I suggested they pay me $120 per ton and they counter offered with $140 per ton. The difference per load of hay is $1000 to $1500!
My deal was, I sent 150 tons for export to Japan. That is $27,000! At this point I have probably $18,000 into the hay without the hauling. Will they pay me? I'm just a small guy, I can't fight with them. I need the money. I have to buy fertilizer and baler twine for next year.
Plus, I'm going to owe around $3,000 in hauling charges.
So I do nonsensical things to avoid thinking about it and to avoid actual work...
But, I digress...
Saturday my little helper showed up. On Friday I made him run the squeeze to move 20 blocks of hay to get to the 10 blocks in the back of the barn that were sold. Saturday, I just had some equipment to move. However, my uncle had a magnetic-base drill borrowed to drill holes some steel plate.
The mag-drill is really cool. It is a very heavy hand drill, (a two-hand drill) with a cast base that makes it into a kind of mini drill press. The base has a powerful electro magnet which allows you to attach it to any flat steel surface. I was going to try to use it to demagnetize the tape heads on my Sony reel to reel but it was too heavy to hold the drill and push the power button at the same time so I gave that idea up.
But, I digress...
I suggested that my little helper use that drill to put holes in the forklift forks so we could put a clevis or a trailer ball on the forks to move stuff around. He was looking for a job.
He said he really didn't know how to do that and it was beyond his skill level...
He went home...
Now, you understand I have a lot to do.
Since I am a Lazy Farmer I don't really get a lot accomplished.
My list of important projects this winter
1. Finish the shop, (unfinished for 10 years)
2. MMG1355 in pieces.
3. G706 throwout bearing which scooterboy ruined by not over centering the hand clutch
4. 2-135 throwout bearing and injector pump
5. 2-155 FWA bearings, new tires
6. Great Plains drill, new bearings in presswheels, new fertilizer tubes
7. Sprayer is dead
8. Hydraulic lift on the Ford Louisville tandem
9. 1085 stacker rebuild
Instead I chose job number 23, drill holes in forklift forks.
And so I did it...
Had to start with a 3/8's bit, went to 1/2, 9/16, 3/4, and then 1 inch. Took me all afternoon. But, I just raised the forks part way and I had a nice seat while I drilled it.
Several folks have seen my work. They look at me with a somewhat pained expression and say, "why didn't you just use a torch?"
An artist is never appreciated in their own time!


  1. Nice drill. I have never seen one like it. I'm sure you will take great satisfaction in your work every time you look at those perfectly round drill holes in the forks. Now you are making me feel lazy.

    1. The drill is really amazing. We are planning on installing a hoist on a flatbed truck and the drill works really well for drilling holes in truck frams.
      However, I know that I should have been doing something more important than drilling holes in forklift forks... It is working and being lazy at the same time, but without the benefits of either. No money from working and no relaxation from setting on my butt. Just the buzz from 15 cups of coffee...

  2. Dad's got a drill like that. Mine you I think he uses the gas to make holes in the forks...

    1. I should have burned the holes but I shake when I use the torch and everything at our farm is so old I hate to make anything look worse!

  3. Weren't those drills invented for drilling safes?

    And: I have a tape head demagnetizer somewhere in the basement. You can have it.


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