breatherValve2 We don’t put that many hours on our tractor, but it seems like it’s in need of continual repair, since it takes a lot of abuse. This thing broke off recently, it’s called a breather valve. It’s part of the combined transmission and hydraulic fluid system, which contains over eight gallons of oil. (I recently had to change that oil, and it was a pain. Despite my best efforts to be tidy, I spilled oil all over.) This little valve allows the hydraulic system to “breathe” without taking in airborne particles.

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 StuckTractor

Our  tractor got stuck (again) last weekend. Here and there we have spots of old peat bog soil that can sink a tractor tire with no warning. We’ve filled in many of the bad spots, but Kirk found another one mowing near the reconditioned ditch line on our third drainage ditch.

JerrysTruck

Lucky for us, we have a good friend, Jerry, whom I’ve known since high school, who has a 4×4 truck with a winch. It seems like every time we have a tractor stuck incident, it seems we are fortunate enough to find Jerry at home and available to do a rescue! For some gas money and dinner, he comes out with no complaint! It only takes a few minutes to pull the tractor out of the worst predicaments with this baby. Thanks Jerry! 🙂

LiftingFencingWhen I am starting to attach T-post clips to a newly strung fence, I find that it can be heavy work lifting and pushing the fence up against the posts. Field fencing is so heavy (about 200 lbs for a 330 foot roll), it wants to sag or lay down on the ground. I never get the T-posts in a perfectly straight line or perfectly vertical, so there is always some pushing required to get the fence to meet up with them.

If I’m fencing a curve, it’s even worse. Though I know it’s convention to have the fencing material sit on the outside of a curve, I chose differently in several spots on this pasture. I think it’s more important to have the fencing on the side where livestock will be pushing the most, so that when they push, the pressure gets put on the posts, not on the fasteners. So, that has left me with inside curves where I need to push the field fencing, sometimes a foot or two from the main line of travel, against the posts, to fasten it to them. (more…)

Bracket

Last weekend I stretched the first line of fencing in the second pasture. Last summer my dad made me a bracket and rod system for the tractor loader, to help unroll field fencing. There are also systems made to unroll off the back of the tractor, hooking onto the PTO connection. But this one is much cheaper and simpler. It works great. And I imagine it’s a bit easier on your neck, to be able to sit facing forward and visually monitor the fence unrolling; versus having to constantly look behind you if you are towing it instead. (more…)