Never Again...

Published on: 12:39PM Feb 21, 2010
There are many learning opportunities for farm equipment mechanics. Some are tool-related, some are situational. For example:

I will never buy another electrical extension cord or trouble light that is less than 25 feet long. I'm tired of walking across the shop with a cord that pulls me up short like the dog on the end of a short leash. Fifty-foot cords are now my minimum.

I will never use WD-40, JB-80 or another penetrating fluid as a stop-gap lubricant for an air tool, such as an impact wrench, die grinder or air-powered drill. Penetrating fluids are oily, but they aren't oils. Nothing but air tool lubricant in my air tools, from now on.

I will never (again) carry two 50-pound bags of Oil-Dri on my shoulder at the same time. I might have been able to do it when I was younger, but that was then, and this is now.

I will never again weld overhead while sitting. If I do, I'll stop welding at the first scent of burning cloth, hair or flesh and immediately identify and extinguish the source.

I will never again use a parts washer without wearing rubber gloves. A friend and fellow mechanic has blood cancer. His doctors say frequent exposure to parts washing fluid may have been a contributing factor.

I will never again go on a service call--no matter how fast and easy my boss or the farmer says it will be--without at least a bottle of drinking water, Band-aids, $10 in cash, a roll of duct tape, and at least one big hammer and a pair of 9-inch Vise-Grips.

I will never again work on a large piece of machinery below a mechanic who chews tobacco.