Monday, July 21, 2008

The Sun is Shining, so...

...the Cowman and the Bag Lady are making hay!

This is alfalfa in bloom.



They spent the weekend trying to put up some hay. The baler was a little balky, though, and they spent almost as much time repairing it as they did baling hay.

This particular baler consists of a series of belts that roll the hay up into big round bales. The belts go around a series of rollers, and the rollers run on bearings. When a bearing seizes up, the belts keep the roller spinning. This creates friction with the seized-up bearing, and the roller starts to heat up. Many a baler has caught on fire this way (yes, the Bag Lady knows this from experience - fortunately, it wasn't the Bag Lady running the equipment at the time!)

Saturday night, one of the bearings seized up.
This is the offending bearing.This is one end of the roller (where the sprocket is that the chain goes around). The offending bearing was on the other end of the roller. This is not an easy roller to get at - it's quite high, and the rollers are heavy. The Bag Lady doesn't have a lot of photos of the procedure because she and the Cowman were anxious to get the work done and get the baler back in the field.



Sunday morning, the Cowman and the Bag Lady set to work replacing it. They had to take a good portion of the baler apart to get at the bearing, so it took them the better part of the morning. They finally finished around noon, and the Cowman headed out to the hay field. The Bag Lady barely had time to finish doing the dishes when he pulled back into the yard. Another bearing had seized up. So they went back to work in the shop. When they finished, the Cowman went back to the hayfield.

He managed to get quite a few bales made, and when he pulled back into the yard at around 9:30, the Bag Lady was hoping he would tell her he had baled up all the hay that he had cut. Her hopes were dashed, though. This time, it wasn't a seized up bearing, but a broken roller. So now they have to find a new roller. A new, expensive (and probably has to be ordered from halfway around the world) roller. Sigh.

This is the inside of the baler. The roller that broke in half is under the belts on the bottom of the baler.

Here is a little video demonstration of making a hay bale.




Just another day on the ranch....

28 comments:

MizFit said...

You should so NOT apologize to ronnie!

I loved it.

more videos and singing please.

Miz.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Ah shoot, I thought "making hay" was going to be a euphemism for... well, anyway, I was hoping for an X-rated post.

But you singing along to Ronnie was well worth stopping by for!

the Bag Lady said...

Mizfit - it's a compulsion - there are some songs that absolutely must be sung along with! I was trying really hard NOT to....

Crabby - we-ell, did you notice the movie seemed a little choppy? Had to cut the beer-swilling, table-dancing, exciting make-out part out of the middle.... didn't want to shock anyone! :)

Leah J. Utas said...

Well, I just hope no hay bales were harmed in the making of that video!

Seriously, good post Cousin. Quite enjoyed the video and I hope things get sorted out quickly with the new roller.
Hay On!

the Bag Lady said...

dfLeah - thanks. I was actually going to put that disclaimer on the movie, but it was late and I was really tired, so I forgot!

new*me said...

I love watching the process....KS is big on hay!!

the Bag Lady said...

new*me - I love watching, too. Oh, wait, that's not what I meant.... :)

Hilary said...

Hay! That was good. Loved the video and the singing. You're getting pretty creative with that camera of yours, Baggie. And we get to enjoy the fun.

the Bag Lady said...

Thanks, Hilary! Have to learn not to sing along with the radio though... can you imagine a "professional" cameraman doing that....? Hehehehehe

tokaiangel said...

Nice pipes Bag Lady!

Love the video - what do you do with the hay once it is, um, baled? I have always wondered.

TA x

the Bag Lady said...

tokaiangel - Thanks!
We generally leave the hay bales in the field to 'cure' a little, then we haul them home and stack them in our hay yard (you can't stack them without letting them cure because you risk the hay "heating" ~caused by too much moisture~ which will make it rot, or catch on fire). Then we feed the hay to our cows in the winter.
(There is a photo demonstration of feeding cows in the winter somewhere on my blog...I'm too lazy to look it up for you. Sigh.)

Missicat said...

Loved the video! And the singing :-)
Need to learn how to work my video on my camera....

the Bag Lady said...

Thanks, Missicat. I was trying so hard not to sing along....almost didn't post the video, but the other one I took was too dark and far away.
(Obviously, there are still things I need to learn about using my video camera, too! Most of the footage I end up with is terribly bad...)

Scrumpy's Baker said...

Is there anything you don't do?

the Bag Lady said...

SB - oh, yeah, lots!! Let me see, I don't.... sheesh, it's such a long list, I don't know where to start!

Terrie Farley Moran said...

df Bag lady,

Thanks so much. You know this city girl loves seeing real farm stuff.

The video was fab (especially the singing) and thanks for the credits at the end. I was kind of wondering who played the part of the hay bale.

Terrie

the Bag Lady said...

dfTerrie - happy to oblige the city folk! Glad you enjoyed the video! And I figured I had to give credit where credit was due - didn't want the hay feeling hung out to dry.... :)

Emily said...

wow! what a big piece of equipment. It looks like the machine is giving birth when it pops out the hay bale : ) I always wondered how those rolls came from the cut hay. Thanks for the demonstration!

the Bag Lady said...

Emily - it does rather look like a birth! :)
I forgot to video how the baler picks up the hay - I'll have to try to remember that next time!

bunnygirl said...

Cool little video! I always wondered how those round bales were formed, but it makes sense now.

So I guess this means you and the Cowboy don't go out there with scythes and twine...

Reb said...

Awww, Hilary stole my line! I guess I should get up earlier.

Good video Sis, go ahead and sing along. Love the credits at the end. You are getting really good at editing.

the Bag Lady said...

BG - well, we do have a scythe.... :)

Reb - thanks. I kept trying NOT to sing along, but sometimes I just can't help myself!

Sagan Morrow said...

Love the video! You're quite the fix-it woman. I miss rolling hay bales- we used to have fun unraveling them for the horses at my friends farm. They were comfy and warm to sit on in the middle of a freezing winter, too!

the Bag Lady said...

Sagan - it is kinda fun to unroll them, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Is there such a thing as a not balky baler?

Mary Anne in Kentucky

the Bag Lady said...

Mary Anne - you have a point!

Maybe a brand new one wouldn't be balky, but we'll never know that for sure around here... :)

Susan said...

How cool! I got a kick out of seeing that bale of hay magically appear... almost looked like the tractor was laying a bale of hay like a hen lays an egg! :)

OK, enough of this teasing! When are we going to hear your solo???? ;)

the Bag Lady said...

Susan - it does look a little like some kind of magical beast giving birth, doesn't it?

More to the point, when are we going to hear YOU sing?!!