You Can Count On It

This is a solenoid on our tractor starter.  Any more I photograph everything I repair just to make sure that stuff gets put back into place.

And of course it is in a terrible spot to work on; you can barely reach a couple of bolts to get it off and then putting it back on takes a minor miracle to line everything up.  And for goodness sake you hope that the bolts do not get cross-threaded in doing so.

Here is what I know.

You can thoroughly work over your farming equipment and have it work flawlessly throughout the year, but when the day comes to harvest hay it will break down, especially if rain is forecast, which it is.  You can bank on it!

It had been working fine for years.  Yesterday after a minor repair to the hay wagon, and needing to rake the hay that had been cut and was now dry and ready to bale, yesterday I turned the key and nothing happened but a low growl…once.  I knew what it was.  And it was the Saturday of a three day weekend.  No one would be around to fix the starter for four days.  I found a new starter.  I stood next to another man my age at the counter who was going through the same thing as me.  He had the same knowing look in his eyes.  I spent four hours on the road.

By the end of the day I had a new starter installed and everything was raked in readiness to bale.  We have never had such light hay, perhaps one quarter of our average hay crop.  Two and a half months of no rain caused it come up and then at about four inches high is headed out and that was it.  We hope that there will be enough for our regular customers but perhaps not, which would be a first.  We know that some of them have a stockpile so that may be a help to them.  I will have the old starter repaired and put it on a shelf in the shed so that this scenario at least cannot happen again, but with a new starter it would be a very long time before I have problems with it…or maybe not?


Three days ago I spent a few hours picking apples off the ground around our apple trees and then using an apple coring knife to cut them into pieces and fed them through our juicer (240V).  Then we canned thirteen quarts of juice.  It is the best.  Fresh.  Pure.  High fibre.  it is a great way to use apples that are not quite ready for regular processing.