Dan AndersonColumnist

Dan Anderson brings his vast knowledge of farm equipment, technology, machinery repair and field operations to Farm Journal readers with his column. Dan’s first freelance story appeared in Farm Journal in 1986 and he signed on as a contributing editor in 1992. Over the years, Dan has written about everything from wind and hail patterns to farmers who race stock cars in their spare time. Dan and his wife, Becky, live in rural Dallas County, Iowa. Contact him at [email protected].

Dan Anderson brings his vast knowledge of farm equipment, technology, machinery repair and field operations to Farm Journal readers with his column. Dan’s first freelance story appeared in Farm Journal in 1986 and he signed on as a contributing editor in 1992. Over the years, Dan has written about everything from wind and hail patterns to farmers who race stock cars in their spare time. Dan and his wife, Becky, live in rural Dallas County, Iowa. Contact him at [email protected].

Articles By Dan Anderson

Jan 26, 2020

In The Shop: Partial Solution to Removing Exhaust Manifold Bolts

Mention the job of removing exhaust manifold bolts to an amateur mechanic and you'll get an involuntary shudder. Heck, many professional mechanics can't utter the phrase "exhaust manifold bolt" without adding a colorful profanity in front of it. While there is no guaranteed, never-fail method or tool to remove every
Jan 17, 2020

In The Shop: Ode to an Air Tool

Most of my tools are at the dealership. I keep enough duplicate tools at home to do basic repairs around the Anderson acreage. Mainly hand tools for simple jobs, because I get my fill of hard-core repair work at the dealership. But I found one tool, an air tool, that
Jan 10, 2020

In The Shop: How Not To Make Pretty, Strong Welds

My welds are never as good as I want them to be. They are strong enough, and I don't worry about them breaking, but they aren't "pretty." They're not ugly, but I want those smooth, even welds that factories produce. Having said that, I know that "pretty welds" aren't necessarily
Jan 07, 2020

In The Shop: When a Broken Dipstick Isn't Just a Broken Dipstick

I was talking with my friend Tim about work he was doing to his combine. He mentioned that he'd had to do some repairs on a gearbox, and that it all started when he noticed that the dipstick tube for that gearbox was broken off. He fixed that, then later
Jan 04, 2020

In The Shop: Don't Sharpen That Blunt Cold Chisel

The next time one of your cold chisels gets dull, don't sharpen it. Take it to the grinder and square off the damaged end. Years ago I had an old chisel that slowly kept getting more and more dull. I found myself grabbing that tool and using its dull end
Dec 29, 2019

In The Shop: Never Turn Down a Cheap Wrench

Some people resist buying extra tools. For example, once they have a full set of metric and standard wrenches, they see no need to buy duplicates. I take a different view, and never turn down a chance to acquire more wrenches. Whether it's a farm sale or hardware store close-out
Dec 19, 2019

In The Shop: If You're Trading Planters

If you're trading planters, or adding down-pressure or electrical-drive systems to your planter this winter, be sure your tractor is up to the demands of the new or improved planter. Modern planters with hydraulically-driven vacuum systems, hydraulically-driven seed drives, hydraulically-powered down-force and other goodies demand a LOT of volume from
Dan Anderson
Dec 18, 2019

Dan Anderson: The 411 On Leak-Proof Connections

Five types of hydraulic connectors are common in American agriculture. Here are the pros and cons of each, as well as some helpful reminders.

Dec 14, 2019

In The Shop: Things I Can Guarantee

Customers sometimes ask how long I will guarantee my work. My stock answer, when working in the field is, "Fifty feet or 50 seconds, whichever comes first." It's not that I'm not confident of my work; it's just that when you're working on farm equipment there is no such thing