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Sometimes I think I spend more time fixing all my farm equipment than I spend actually using it.  I woke up early this morning because I had a long list of things to do.  Unfortunately, my equipment had different plans.

Mowing I went to hook up my trailer but couldn't find the stupid trailer hitch pin.  I can't seem to keep track of the darned things.  I'll be out in the field working when I have to disconnect the trailer for one reason or another.  Like a moron, I'll leave the pin laying on the hitch then go driving off.  When I come back to get the trailer, the pin is nowhere to be found.  I originally had three good trailer pins but have lost them all.  I managed to scavenge some old bolts and washers to make several more pins but I've lost all of those too.  I made an emergency run to the local hardware store to buy another hitch pin just to discover that the 3/4" pin I bought won't fit in the 3/8" hole.  Another trip to a different store and this time I got it right.  I have three new pins that all fit.  Now all I have to do is permanently attach the pin to the trailer hitch so I can't lose it.

Once I got the trailer connected I could finally get to work.  I worked for three hours straight before deciding it was time for a break.  Three hours may not seem like much but after three hours I was sweaty, tired and filthy.  I decided to mow since mowing consists of riding which is much easier than loading, hauling, unloading, pushing, pulling, lifting, carrying and dragging.

Mower Belt The problem with the mower is that the stupid mower belt keeps jumping off the pulleys.  I have to twist and pull the belt back on then try again.  It sometimes takes a dozen tries or more before the belt finally stays in place.  Once started, everything usually works fine until I hit a large rock, step on the brake or back up, all of which stop the mower which means I get to play a couple more rounds of the belt-n-pulley game.  Keeping the mower running is a constant battle.

I had just gotten the mower running again when I saw a strange mower driving through my field a few rows over.  It was my neighbor.  He had dropped by to show off his shiny new mower.  I'm envious.  After admiring his new mower, we spent another few minutes discussing local coffee gossip.  I had missed the latest coffee farmer meeting so I had to get all the details from my neighbor.

After my neighbor left I mowed for another couple hours before I had to stop because the mower was overheating.  I had been awhile since the previous mowing so the mower was having to chop its way through a lot of tall weeds and I was in a hurry so I was pushing it as fast as it could go.  Still, it's a 22HP diesel mower and can normally handle the load.  I took the mower back to the house and decided to clean the air filter, hoping that would fix the problem.

Chainsaws While waiting for the mower to cool down, I decided to cut up a large branch that had fallen.  I got out the chainsaw but the stupid thing wouldn't start.  No problem, I have two chainsaws.  I got out the second chainsaw but it wouldn't start either.  Stupid chainsaws.  After a little head scratching, I decided to check the sparkplug on the first chainsaw.  Sure enough, it was filthy.  A quick cleaning and that chainsaw started right up.  The second chainsaw required a little more head scratching.  It started fine but was spewing thick black exhaust everywhere and wouldn't run for more than a few seconds at a time.  A friend just happened to stop by and he thought the smoke smelled like diesel.  I was pretty sure I hadn't accidentally put diesel into my chainsaw.  Then it occurred to me, the chainsaw had been shipped to me with two-cycle oil already in the tank.  Out of habit I had added more 40:1 gas-oil mixture instead of straight gasoline.  That meant the chainsaw was trying to run on 80:1 gas-oil mixture which totally explained the thick, greasy smoke.  I dumped out the tank and filled it with fresh 40:1 mixture.  It took a few more tries but the chainsaw finally cleared itself out and ran like a champ.  Woohoo, two working chainsaws again!

It took nearly an hour of fiddling with the chainsaws for only 30 seconds of cutting.  In the mean time, the mower had cooled down.  I fired it up, played a couple rounds of the belt-and-pulley game, then managed to finish mowing the front field.  Sure enough, after cleaning the air filter the mower ran nice and cool again.

After mowing it was almost dinner time.  I turned the electric fence back on, checked it's voltage, walked the fence line until I found and removed several of the neighbor's palm fronds that had fallen on the fence, checked the voltage again, walked the fence line some more until I found and fixed a loose wire then checked the voltage one final time.  The meter showed 6000 volts, that's usually enough to keep the pigs out of the macadamia nut orchard.  I had just enough time left to shower before dinner.

During my shower, I noticed that the water pressure was low.  Time to replace the water filters again.  They sure do seem to get clogged faster than they should.  I'll have to figure that one out some other time and changing the filters could wait until morning.  I wanted to eat dinner, spend a little time on the computer then go to bed early.  I didn't get very far on my To-Do list today.  Hopefully tomorrow the equipment will cooperate better.

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