...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....