Saturday, May 4, 2013

Last Phase Mobile App

I put a fuel tank in the back of my portable shop.  It is only 100 gal. and I would like it to be bigger, but bigger tanks are more expensive and heavier when full.  I generally don't burn 100 gal. in a day, except for really long days with hard plowing.  So, it should be enough to top up a tractor each evening.  I will keep more fuel in a bigger storage tank at the house.
(cutting torch, fuel tank, air compressor)

By the WAY! Stupid EPA is putting more regulations in effect for farmers and their fuel storage.  If you store more than 1350 gallons on a farm you have to have an expensive spill prevention plan, and spill containment measures in place.  What is so stupid about it is if you have 14 separate tanks scattered all over the farm and they all add up to 1350 gallons, you have to have this prevention plan.  Now how likely is it that all 14 tanks spill at the same time?

I am fine with spill prevention plans in place for large fuel storage tanks.  I have heard of some doozies over the years where a whole truckload of fuel went on the ground.  But this new regulation is so nitpicky, it is impossible.  Anyway I am not going to meet the 1350 gallon limit, but it is a foot in the door we will all roll over and take, the next will be a bigger more expensive encroachment.

I digress. I plumbed the tank to a cabinet on the trailer where the fuel pump will sit.  A couple of reasons:  One, limited access to hopefully prevent fuel theft.  Two, keep the hose and pump cleaner.  That is if all my pipe fittings are sealed up good and don't seep.  Fuel plumbing is hard to keep clean.  It seems every little joint seeps just enough to catch dust and make a mess.  I also had to weld a fitting in the tank so it would custom fit my trailer.  I'm anxious to put fuel in it to try it out, but I'm not anxious to buy $350 of fuel right now!

(this has been a really good pump considering I bought it as a refurbished unit when I started farming 15 years ago! Pipe is screwed into tank fitting through wall of trailer cabinet.)

(Hose and electric cord fit nicely. This cabinet has holes in the floor and I can wash it out if it gets messy.)

Now if we could get rain and the weeds started to grow, I would gladly shell out the dough to buy fuel if I had a bunch of plowing needed done.

Hard to believe not too many years ago we were using a 55 gallon barrel and a hand crank pump to have a little extra fuel for the combine from time to time.

Now for my latest busted knuckle project.  And this was a typical messy, difficult, greasy, stinky, messy, messy, oily, slimy, project.  If you have never had the pleasure of experiencing gearbox lubricant, you have really missed out when it comes to greasy stinky messes.

I have some CRP grass that needs shredded down in some spots.  It is more government busy work where we are going to mow down some grass, to eventually kill it out, so we can sow more grass back!  Isn't that a worthwhile sounding project!  That is how government works.

I was just getting started mowing the other day when I found a big wad of fence wire with the shredder.  It wrapped around the main set of blades on the mower.  I had to open up the gearbox to get the blade swinger arm and shaft out.  I did not get any pictures of the project when I had it scattered all over the shop.  Only pictures of the wad of wire.

 It wrecked the oil seal in the gearbox when the wire wrapped around the shaft, so the stinky nasty oil drained out all over everything.  Here is the gearbox after I got it loose from the deck of the shredder.  I had to park the shredder over the ditch so I could have room to work on the parts underneath.

 Here I have the box back on and so far no leaks.  I ran it for about 10 minutes to get it all warmed up and everything seems a OK. Now if we would get some rain to get the weeds growing I would have something else to mow.

I enjoy my mechanic projects from time to time as it is a way to save money so I feel like my time is not entirely wasted fixing stuff all the time.  But it seems like that is all I have been doing the last 12 months.  I don't feel like I have been doing any real "farming".  This drought just goes on and on and on.  I wish all this mechanic-ing would pay off with some long trouble free days plowing weedy ground and planting some crops.  Right now it seems I am more of a "tinkerer" like an old retired farmer.  

That is enough about my projects for a while.  I'll try to blog about the kids next time.......