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Oldest son Baling Hay

    Just thought I would add this brief video of my oldest son baling hay. He tries to take the time at least one day each year to give me a break.

Snake in the Hayfield

    Robert K spotted this snake the last day we were baling in the Ralph Manley bottom.  it was already dead so I guess one of us had accidentally run over it.

    It is a Prairie King Snake and quite common to the Missouri Ozarks.

Baler Bearing Comes Apart

    Just before I was done baling ( 2 short rows left) Friday June 26  I looked back and saw smoke coming from the baler.  I hastened and tied the bale that was in it and ejected the bale  and got off, ran around the baler with a jug of water,( I always carry a gallon for times such as this) and found a bearing had come apart, and the friction had started a fire in the chaff that builds up.  I poured water on it from the outside then climbed inside to cool the bearing from the inside.  Luckily I had spotted it in time and nothing worse happened except now I had to replace the bearing.  It was about chore time so I went ahead and drove the tractor and baler to the house to work on it.  No where to get a bearing on Friday evening so we went to Lake Dawson after chores and went fishing.  Headed to town early Saturday morning to get the bearing when the tractor place opened.  Purchased said bearing and went home.  Instead of repairing it right away I wanted to get the last twenty cut and so I hooked the cutter up and began cutting hay.  PK came by the hayfield (that is another story below) and invited us to a BBQ at Jerm's that evening but Glinda and I decided we needed to get the baler fixed first.
    Broken bearing before we begin.

    With the flanges off you can see the damage to the bearing.  The lock collar is still on the race.

    Ended up having to cut the lock collar off with a chisel but that did not get the bearing race off and it was going to be a bear.

    Bouedreaux is trying to get a gear puller on the bearing race but there is not enough of a lip on the backside of the race.  He tried/we tried/he tried again, we were just having no luck and it was getting late in the evening and I was getting tired.  I called Robert K and asked him to call his father-in-law, Norman A if he could come up in the morning with his torch and cut the race off.   Robert called me back and said that Norman would be up a little after 7 in the morning to cut it off.

  Norman A. is cutting the race from the shaft.  He really saved the day.  He stayed around and assisted me in getting the shaft cleaned up and the new bearing installed and ready to go.  

Ready to roll.

    The dew was still on the ground and it was too early to bale so we visited a bit and he headed back home.  I went inside to wait for Robert to get here to rake while I baled.  It was just not to be.  I tried the machine at the house and everything was working great but somehow on the drive to the field I discovered when I started the baler that a cam assembly had broken in the pick up reel and the reel could not turn and feed the hay to the baler. Here it is Sunday and no parts store open.  I was there Monday morning before they opened and waited for them.  Got parts- repaired baler and was baling before 10:30 a. m..  Finished at home I began cutting today (Tuesday) in Douglas County on a farm I have never been on before. I think it will prove to be quite an experience itself but that story will wait for another day when I am done at that farm.


Mowing Hay at Kelley's Dairy

First Hay Bale of 2009

    This first bale was rolled from the baler at around 10:30 a.m. on Sunday.  We were rolling around with everything working great until almost noon and then as I was releasing another bale I noticed a puff of smoke from the baler.  I pulled up from the bale and got off and ran around to see what was happening  (I took a little bottle of drinking water with me).  I spotted the right sided bearing on the lowest roller on the tailgate was smoking just a little.  I poured water on it and it sizzled right off,  yep it was HOT because the bearing was gone.  I thought oh no that is it for today so I climbed back aboard and drove the baler to the house to begin repairs.   When I got to the house I started trying to cool the bearing  housing so that we could take it apart.  Just one stud bolt on each end of the roller to take out and then I could clean the shaft and get it ready to receive a new bearing. 
    It just was not to be. The stud bolts are tapered so that they become flush with the frame they are in but the real sticker was they take a 1/2 inch allen wrench.  We searched around and could not find one but we did find one just a tad small, must have been a metric.  We tried it, but no go so we started using a pipe wrench on the allen wrench and put a pipe for leverage on the handle.  All we accomplished was breaking the allen wrench one way and rounding it off the other way so now we were stuck.
    Monday morning I headed to the Bradshaw  Auto Parts Store in Norwood.  I thought it would be simple matter of buying another allen wrench or a set of allen wrench sockets for the impact wrench.  Much to my surprise the largest he had was 3/8 inch.  I headed on up the road to Edgeller and Harper Tractor Supply west of Mtn Grove.  I knew they would have one.  I got the bearing I needed at Edgeller and Harper because they are a Vermeer dealership but they did not have either a large set of allen wrenches or allen sockets period and suggested that I go to O'Reillys in Mtn Grove.  I walked into O'Reillys and went down their tool isle and started looking for either a 1/2 inch allen wrench or a set of allen sockets, one of their friendly personnel came to assist me but he did not find what I was looking for either.  He checked the books and found that they do not carry any that large.  I next tried another auto parts store in Mtn Grove, Westside Auto Parts, but they had none either.  I gave up and went home.
    Robert and Glinda were outside waiting on me and we started studying the baler and trying to think of a way to possibly make an allen wrench large enough but nothing came to mind.  he started calling some of his friends and his mechanic uncle to try to locate a 1/2 allen wrench or socket and I called my oldest son, Francis.  Francis got on the phone and started calling places in Springfield trying to locate one for me.  Francis located a set of solid-forged allen impact sockets at Springfield Brake Co.  Glinda and I loaded the wheeled trimmer as Francis wished to borrow it and we headed to Francis place north of Rogersville as he headed to Springfield Brake Co to get the set of sockets for me.  He was back to his house before we got there.  We visited a few minutes and unloaded the wheeled trimmer and then at Francis urging also loaded up his air compressor then we headed back home with our newly acquired allen socket wrenches.  They are 1/2 inch drive impact in a set of ten so will likely come in useful sometime in the future also. 
    Arriving home we unloaded Francis air compressor and plugged it in.  When it was full of air we gave it a try but nothing happened but brkbrkbrklbrkbrkbrkbrk .  We tried both bolts and got the same results.  Heading back to Bradshaw Auto Parts we got some air fittings so we could hook both air compressors up at once and get twice the air power.  It was why Francis urged me to bring his compressor with me. It took us a little bit to get the fitting worked out aqnd fill the compressor both with air but when we hooked it up - all we got was brkbrkbrkbrk still.  Now what do we do.  We let the compressors fill up again and then on the bad bearing bolt we put a large adjustable wrench on the socket between the impact wrench and the frame of the baler and then we put a ten foot pipe over that and Robert put his weight to it as I hit the air on the impact wrench and viola it moved we took off the adjustable wrench and then just used the impact and it turned on out.  Now to the other side, we could not get the adjustable wrench to fit right on the left side so we got a box end 1/2 inch hand wrench and slid over the impact socket before putting it in the bolt and then putting the ten foot pipe on the wrench.  Robert had to pry up as I was using the impact wrench, he was bending the 1/2 inch wrench when the bolt finally came loose.
    We now had the roller out but had no way to get the old bearing race off of the shaft inside the roller.  We loaded up and took it to a friend of mine who had a torch.  We arrived at Don Dabbs and found Brad Campbell there visiting with Don in the shade.  Brad said that he would get the old race off for us.  We got the shaft out of the roller and then Brad cut the race off and started cleaning the shaft to accept the new bearing when it had cooled.  It was Robert's milk time so I took him back to the farm to his truck and I returned to Don Dabbs' with the new bearing .  I assisted Brad in getting it all put back and headed home with the roller ready to go.  Glinda came out and helped me and it did not take five minutes to get the roller installed.  I  had been broke down for 28 hours but we were ready to roll.  We picked the tools up and since it was milk time we headed to the barn for the chores.
    I left Glinda with the milking after I had the last cows in the barn and headed to the field and finished raking the hay and then climbed on the baler and commenced baling.  Glinda finished up and came and sat in the shade while I finished the field.  She then took the photo below of me and the last bale made in that field.

    Tuesday morning Robert and I were able to bale the other field I had down and then I stored the hay from the two fields in the barns before it rained.  Tuesday evening and all day Wednesday it has rained off and on.  Total time it took to bale the two small fields was five days.  I sure hope things get better as we head into a busy season.

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