I didn’t get back out there to catch him working on this lovely manure spreader, but did get him going to spread a load of snow!!! I guess he is just making sure it is going to work fine…(Carol)
Growing up Gulley, certain equipment on the farm was pre-owned only! One such item my father would never buy new was manure spreaders! Any time someone had an old spreader for sale he was there; in fact sometimes I think he got paid to take them away!!!
Many a night was spent fixing the spreader to draw manure the next day, only to fix it again the next night! In the winter it was brutal with no shop to work in, laying on your back in the snow, working with gloves soaked in shit…
We have most every brand, both ground driven and PTO driven, both wood and metal bodies. One winter, the ground driven John Deere spreader broke so often I tipped it over with a front loader on the tractor, cause I’d pitched the load of manure off every day that week. That kinda broke it up beyond repair, so for the rest of that winter, manure got pitched onto a flat wagon, then pitched off!
Thru all of this, I had promised myself if its ever up to me, we’ll have a new spreader! That promise came to be in 1988 , the same year my father passed. With the farm now a partnership between Mother and I, conversations on what needed to change if we were to continue were had.
A new spreader so I wasn’t spending so much time fixing, became purchase #1. How great it was; no real problems! Then in ’95 the now 8 year old spreader that had been taking up to 3 loads a day, hit the wall with a major breakdown that would cost big bucks! Without hesitation, new manure spreader #2 under my watch, rolled into the barnyard!
To go with the new one, the old spreader got modified and repaired enough to carry part of the load! Again it was smooth sailing til ’04 when cow numbers were running high and Carol and I were running things with the boys, still undecided on do we stay or do we go , so this time Carol did the honors and bought us another new spreader!
Well, with all things following the average time frame that has been established, Eddie math says we’re over due! Problem is with milk prices headed in to year 3 of being about the same as they were when that first spreader was bought in 1988, buying one now seems like a poor investment if these milk prices continue and put our small farm out of business!
So, how do they say it? ‘De ja vue all over again!’…here I am in my mid 60s crawling under my spreader, not once but twice today, to spread 5 loads; only to find when quitting at dark, that one side of the bed chain has jumped the sprocket, so it will have to be adjusted tomorrow when I try to draw the other 5 loads!
Damn…don’t you just hate it when they say you are just like your father?…And they’re right???