The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgWeb or Farm Journal Media. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.
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.
I was working on a big central-fill planter, trying to fix a problem buried in the maze of hoses and harnesses under the big center-fill tanks. The customer was watching. I resolutely wormed my way under the tanks and finally, by stretching and reaching as far as I could, was able to touch my fingers on the components I needed to fix. I can't say that my position was actually painful, but it was far from comfortable. But after much effort, I was able to tell the customer standing somewhere outside the machine that, "Yes, I'll be able to get it fixed."
It was at that moment I heard the customer working a ratchet wrench above my head. He removed a large panel from over my head and shoulders, and sunlight flooded down on me. He reached down and tapped the handle of the ratchet wrench on the components my fingers were barely touching and asked," Would it be any easier to reach from up here?"
Yes, it would. Yes, it was, and yes, I felt stupid for almost making the repairs more difficult than they needed to be. Once again I was reminded that humility is an important tool in my tool chest.
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