Anyways, I was swathing the other day and checking my twitter and Kianwi, from over at simply she goes was asking about the process and whats involved in swathing. It hadn't really occurred to me that while I may be in a tractor (or swather in this instance) and be thinking that this job is mundane and uneventful, I should probably explain a little better exactly what I'm doing. That way when I pop up on some social media site somewhere and say I'm just doing this or that, you will know exactly what it is I'm doing and be immediately enthralled in my agricultural prowess. Or in the very least think.......meh?
|because a visual aid will make this easier|
I think this particular piece of equipment might also prove useful during the zombie apocalypse.
Now, you're probably thinking, but Ken, how can you drive this beastly piece of equipment, control the height of the knife for ground changes, adjust the reel for crop height, steer, AND pop into twitter or facebook to see what's going on? You must be an extremely talented, multitasking, social media savvy, manly man! DON'T THINK THAT! ............I'm only mildly talented.
The thing is, if you go back to the picture here, you'll see a yellow and green thing just above the front window. That's part of my GPS. But this isn't quite the same as the GPS you have in your Ford so you don't get lost trying to find that garage sale. Mine doesn't actually show roads or take you anyplace. My GPS steers the tractor. If I'm doing something that requires going back and forth. (and I do A LOT of going back and forth!) I can set it so it will hold the machine in a line exactly the distance I require, one row over, row after row. So I don't steer. Except on the ends when I have to turn around to go back. You can get the GPS that will do that for you as well, but it costs a lot more.
The idea behind this, is that it's way more efficient if you can put your machine exactly were it needs to be, each and every pass. Plus I can't begin to tell you how much less fatigued I am at the end of the day when I don't have to budget a percentage of my concentration on holding a line within 6 inches or so over the whole day. The added bonus to this, is that occasionally, when the crop is standing nicely and there is a long level patch of ground, I can pop into twitter and see what's going on.
One last thing I want to point out here, is that the reel in front of you, goes round and round ALL day. It can get rather hypnotic and there are times when you have to struggle to not fall asleep from the rhythmic rotation in front of your face. Being less fatigued from the steering helps immensely in this regard.
.................also, this is NOT a job you should try to do hung over. Watching that reel for about 15 minutes will make your stomach do nasty things. I'm just saying. I may or may not have had personal experience in this matter...........OK, I have, you'll blow chunks before you get to the end of the field.
I am submitting this post to Dude wtrite this week. It's where guy bloggers come together to submit posts, that get voted on from Sunday to Tuesday evening to see whose was most popular. I encourage you to pop over and take a look at them and maybe come back and vote on three of your favorites.
You can get there by clicking on THIS LINK.