Sep 20, 2014
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In the Shop

RSS By: Dan Anderson, Farm Journal

As a farm machinery mechanic and writer, Dan brings a hands-on approach that only a pro can muster. Along with his In the Shop blog, Dan writes a column by the same name as well as the Shop Series for Farm Journal magazine. Always providing practical information, he is a master at tackling technical topics and making them easy for all of our readers to understand. He and his wife, Becky, live near Bouton, Iowa.

About duct tape, baling wire and zip ties...

Aug 21, 2008
 This isn't bragging, It's more of a confessional, a clearing of my conscience, as I prepare for another harvest season. Forgive me, father, for I have sinned...

I used a hose clamp to hold a bearing inside its housing, after the lock collar came loose and wouldn't "lock" the bearing to the shaft any more.

I used magnum-sized zip-ties to hold a hydraulic hose into the coupler on a tractor, when the tractor's coupling mechanism didn't quite have enough strength to stay coupled.

I put a 5/16-inch nut on an 8 mm bolt..

I duct taped a headlight into a bezel broken by a rogue tree branch.

I used a steel fence post borrowed from a fencerow as reinforcing to welding done to the frame of a field cultivator.

I Vise-Gripped a hydrostatic cable to the control lever on the side of the hydrostatic pump, so the combine would have "forward" and "reverse."

I know I've done things with duct tape, baling wire and zip ties that would make Rube Goldberg envious, but... I can't remember the details. Sometimes the human brain blocks out experiences that are embarrassing, humiliating, or prone to lawsuits.

Of course, all these "repairs" were okayed by customers desperate to finish a field before a storm, etc., with the customer's full and often enthusiastic approval.

Sometime, if we want to get into some REALLY scary territory, I'll discuss the patch jobs and innovative repairs I've foisted on my own vehicles and equipment...
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COMMENTS (2 Comments)

You mean a hose clamp isn't meant to be used as a lock collar? Who knew?
5:20 PM Aug 31st
D. Piper
When we experienced gear-shifting problems on our JD 6600 combine (in 1973), I discovered that the previous owner (brother-in-law of our Deere dealer) had used electrical tape to secure a corn cob, split in half, to the transmission end of the shifting cable. That looked pretty silly, so I re-attached the cable, correctly (without the corn cob). Two hours later, I again lost the ability to shift gears; unfortunately, I was now buried in a wet spot, in neutral, and could not access the cable end on the bottom of the combine. This was before the era of today's big tractors. We used, connected in series, our neighbor's 4020, our 3020 and 2020, to pull it out. I then crawled back underneath the combine and re-attached the cable end, this time including a new split corn cob, with a generous length of electrical tape. We had no more shifting problems for the next twenty years of using that combine.
10:45 AM Aug 22nd

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