Farm work this week covered several projects. We wrapped up a couple of things we’ve been working on for a while, and started getting more serious about spring fieldwork. See what we’ve been up to!
Our grapple project for the JCB backhoe finally got done last week. We had to do a fair amount of work to make the MDS grapple fit our bucket. Upper and lower mounting points were added to the back of the loader bucket to accommodate the arms we modified earlier.The grapple didn’t close quite as far as we would have liked it to, so we added some clearance where the cylinders bottomed out on the tubing below them. Small adjustments in the travel of the cylinders made a big difference in travel at the end of the grapple teeth.The mounts for the yokes on the cylinders were cut off and moved rearward to help get the grapple closer to the bucket when closed. The unit opens nearly vertical, and it almost hits the exhaust when opened and the bucket is fully tipped back!
Our service trailer project was completed. I should do a full post on this in the near future. We have two full tanks to fill equipment in the field, a generator, air compressor, and plenty of room for tools and more. We couldn’t justify the price of a lot of the fuel and service trailers on the market today so we just built our own!
We cut up two used double door chest boxes to build a cabinet with 4 doors. Inside is an air compressor with 50′ of hose on a reel. In the back compartment we rigged up a fuel hose reel and even had room to mount the fuel pump for the red tank out of the elements.
You need a good spotter when backing into tight places.
Closer to #Plant14
The planter saw the light of day last week, and I unfolded it for the first time since it planted double crop soybeans in July of last year. The planter will begin its third season this year. It’s a 24 row model on 30″ row spacings.
All the hydraulics are tagged with labeled and colored zip ties from John Deere, but I still like that I made a handy cheat sheet to tell me just where they all go. The planter has the most hook ups for electric and hydraulic of all our equipment.
My Ram 3500 said it was due for an oil change. The book suggests 7,500 mile intervals, but I think a lot of idling to have a warm cab during our frigid winter brought it up around 5,000 this time. I figured I could save a few minutes by not using the lift in the shop since the truck is tall enough to fit a 5 gallon bucket under the oil pan. What I didn’t plan for was an extra tight oil filter I spent at least half an hour trying to get out while laying on the floor. This is going back on the lift next time!
I like to carry survey flags with me in the truck to mark rocks, sink holes, and more, but they are always laying in the bottom of the toolbox or behind a seat. I made up an easy solution with some PVC and pipe strap using an existing bolt. Now I can easily grab a flag from the side of the truck!
Flying High Again
Did a little flying last week, too. Thought I’d check out the post-winter coverage of some cover crops. I can’t wait to capture some video and stills of equipment in the field this spring, and then move on to crop scouting which is the real reason I purchased the Phantom 2. Please keep coming back here for plenty of updates on aerial farming!
Put a Forklift in it
More seed arrived to the farm. Six Pro Boxes of Dupont Pioneer soybeans were the most recent arrivals.
Too bad all the equipment can’t be shuffled around so easily!
Looks like rain is coming on Monday, but we are getting drier here in Northern Indiana. Planting time is coming!