Sunday, October 16, 2011

Rush to finish before Winter.

Saturday was supposed to be the big day to get the hay.  I had a few other things planned but this was the #1 goal.  As in all things that I do the first time, this went about as smoothly as normal.  Annmarie gave me a ride down to the truck (parked at the residence of the guy supplying us with hay).  I remembered to take the rope (I had just purchased it for this reason) so I could tie the hay down.  First problem, there are no hooks on the outside of the truck with which to tie a rope.  I ended up crawling underneath the truck and finding a gap on the cross beams that I could fish the rope through.  Plenty strong enough but very hard to pull real tight.  I definitely need to talk to someone about getting some hooks welded to the bed.  I am pretty sure the other truck (broken) has hooks welded around it.  I got it all tied down and went to start it.

I had just turned the key and the truck was trying to start when I noticed that the overdrive button was in high.  I mashed it down real quick and killed the engine.  Every time I tried to start it a small red light that said "override" came on and the truck would not even turn over.  I then read the directions near the floorboard on shifting into low.  I am supposed to do it with the truck moving after I have shifted the transmission.  Not first.  So I started walking home.  It is about a 2 mile hike.  Halfway home the hay guy shows up and agrees to give me a tow to see if we can get the truck going.  It didn't start.  So now I need to get the pickup battery replaced so I can drive the pickup over to the truck, check the fuses, and attempt to jump start the truck.  This is Monday's priority task.

He did give me a ride back to the house, but had to leave and go do some other things.  I decided that the priority for the day was to pick up all the old aluminum sprinkler pipe.  I would need to use the tractor to do this, but I still had the box scraper on the tractor and I had promised Annmarie a new path in the barn in an attempt to make the creek crossing easier for the horses.  So I made the path first.  It was pretty cool to just drag dirt and make a gradual path.  It only took me about an hour to make the whole thing.  Then I went off to get sprinkler pipe.

The pipe was on a large handmade trailer at the far end of the property near the road.  My mother-in-law had already had two people come to the house and offer to buy the pipe.  We were concerned that the pipe might just disappear in the night some time soon.  I went down and hooked on to the trailer after straightening out the load.  Couldn't go anywhere, used positrack, no where, had to put it in four wheel drive to get the trailer started and to pull it back around next to the grain bins.  It is a slow process, on the way I found another pipe sticking up near an irrigation ditch.  So I stopped and tried to pull it out by hand.  About half way down its length (40 feet) it gets buried about one foot under ground.  I did not have a shovel with me so it will have to wait until later.  I pulled up alongside the fence and sorted it into four piles.  The first pile is pipe that needs repaired but I can do myself (needs a new sprinkler riser or sprinkler), second pile is useable pipe (bent included), third pile is totally trashed and good for parts and scrap or could be welded back together (needs repair by professional) and the fourth pile is pipe that was used as mainline and has the sprinkler hole plugged with a cap (this pile had the straightest pipe).  Now that the trailer was empty I drug it out onto the road and back into the CRP field so I could get the pipe stacked up against the fence.  I ended up dragging the pipe out of the weeds and hanging one end on the fence so I could snag it from the other side later.

There are a few secrets to moving pipe.  Find the center of balance quickly it makes moving the pipe easier.  Pipe full of mud weighs a lot, a whole lot.  When pulling on pipe violently upwards to remove it from the grass and blackberry bush make sure you are not straddling the end with the sprinkler riser or else you may gag and hit the ground.  I reiterate, do not do this it is bad.  When fishing broken pipe out of the irrigation ditch make sure pipe is not full of yellow jackets.  They really don't like being disturbed.  When pulling on pipe that is kinda stacked together make sure that jerking on said pipe doesn't cause its neighbor to jam you in the ribs (large abrasion/bruise).   I ended up filling the whole trailer again and parking it behind the machine shop.  It needs to be unloaded before I can grab another 12-15 pieces behind the machine shop.  I stopped because it was dinner time and because I could no longer lift my arms above my head.  Anyone that pays for P90X can come to the farm and do work for free.  I guarantee you would be fit in 90 days! (after working 4-6 hours a day for 90 days).