The Message Between the Words
Farmers and mechanics often speak different languages. For example, picture a broken-down combine in a field during the heat of harvest, with a farmer and mechanic surveying the damage:
Farmer: "I was going along, there was a big bang and that sheave fell off the side of the combine." (Translation: "I thought it could handle that big wad of weeds and green stems.")
Mechanic: "I gotta tell you, that’s the first time I've ever seen that particular sheave fall off like that." (Translation: (a) "I thought that piece was unbreakable, but you proved me wrong," or (b) "I’ve fixed five of those in the past two days, but the manufacturer doesn’t want to admit there’s a design flaw.")
Farmer: "Is it something I did wrong?" ("Can I blame this on somebody else so I don’t have to pay for it?")
Mechanic: "By the looks of it, you stopped just in time before there was a fire." ("The bearings are so dry I’m gonna have to wear welding gloves to take it apart.")
Farmer: "That’s odd, ’cause I greased it every day." ("There’s a grease zerk on that sheave?")
After assessing the damage:
Mechanic: "Our store doesn’t have all the parts, but we have them at another dealership 50 miles north of here." ("How bad do you want to combine today?")
Farmer: "I want to get this field finished, so I guess I could go get the parts while you tear this
apart." ("Road trip! Let's see—100 miles. If I don’t run into any cops, I bet I can do it in an hour and 15 minutes.")
Mechanic: "I’ll be ready as soon as you get back." ("With you gone, I can beat, bang and pound to get things apart in ways that you really don’t want to know about.")
Later that afternoon:
Farmer: "That didn’t take as long as I thought it would. Nice job." ("I’ve never seen anybody use a sledgehammer, a hydraulic jack and a 6' pry bar to do what you just did.")
Mechanic: "No problem. The secret is to have the right tools." ("I’ve got to get a bigger sledgehammer.")
Be sure to visit Dan’s "In The Shop" blog at www.FarmJournal.com, where he’ll share more tips and insights. Send comments and story suggestions to email@example.com.
Notable figures and milestones in the machinery industry from the past year:
40% of Case IH Magnum tractors made in Racine, Wis., are exported.
70 Record number of Apache sprayers made by Equipment Technologies in one month
130 Number of countries John Deere exports tractors to from its Waterloo, Iowa, factories
10,000 Average number of components in a Fendt tractor
$535,000 Auction price for Jay Leno’s New Holland Boomer tractor, Lil’ Tug; 100% of the money went to charity
1 million snowmobiles, ATVs, side-by-sides and motorcycles have been manufactured at Polaris Industries’ Spirit Lake, Iowa, factory since its opening in 1994.
What a Day!
Bigger Isn’t Better
Big machinery is always better, right? Not for this farmer. Try as he may, his grain cart was too wide to pass through the grain dump at the local elevator. His bushels-per-minute unloading average sank at that point!
If you’ve had one of those days—or caught someone else’s on film—we would love to share it with our readers. E-mail high-resolution images to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail prints to What a Day!, Farm Journal, P.O. Box 958, Mexico, MO 65265. Photos for publication will be selected on a first-come basis.