Baling hay

The dew fell heavily yesterday and I was going to have to keep myself busy until mid-morning. I checked the oil and coolant and then refueled the 1520. I then turned my attentions to the baler and immediately realized that I was running low on twine. Although it was only 8 AM my anxiety level was mounting and a trip to the feed store was not in the planned schedule of events. I hopped in the truck and drove to town to pick up 20,0000 feet of twine. I was, at first, offered two orphaned rolls at a reduced price. Once back in the truck I realized that these rolls had been put on special  because the leaders which identify the beginning and end of the roll were no where to be found. There is a name for rolls like this … garbage. My level of anxiety bumped up a bit at the thought of the near disaster and exchanged the bad rolls for two good ones. I got home and began the hunt for the baler’s thirty-five grease zerks (what a great word … zerk … the term for this endearing little fitting is derived from the name of its inventor, Oscar U. Zerk) which needed attention. Half way through that process I had exhausted the partial tubes of grease in each of my grease guns and so, with ever-mounting anxiety, it was off to the auto-supply store. Upon my return I finished greasing and then hooked the baler to the 1520. Just then Joanna showed up and asked for her marching orders … double ’em up, I said. And so she did. I gave her a head start and within a half hour I was making bales. Five hours later we were done. No breakdowns, no accidents, and very fine weather. We made 29 – 4 x 5′ round bales each weighing around 750 pounds. Evening chores were waiting. I offered to take Joanna to dinner but she reminded me that homemade tacos were our typical celebration dinner at haying so, tacos it was. They were some of the very best tacos I had had in some time. The picture on the left shows the 605C at work. If you look closely you can see hay yet to be made on the left [If you study this image (and compare it to that posted two days ago) you will notice that the windrows have been doubled.] and completed bales on the right. Although the machine is a first-generation round baler it makes bales … and those are the very same words used by its previous owner when describing the one thing it had in its favor … it makes bales. I like the 605C because it’s old school. No electronics, no sensors, no computers, just rollers, belts, lots and lots of bearings, a bit of hydraulics, and quite a lot of personality for good measure. Before Joanna went in for her well deserved shower we, along with our equipment and a single bale, posed for a portrait. Click either of the images below for somewhat larger views.

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