Sometimes, it's a bit disheartening when you think all of your equipment is in pretty good shape, then you head out with the intent to be productive, and all you end up doing is fixing.
Don't get me wrong. I know that the only way to completely avoid having to do any repairs is to not turn on the key. I expect repairs. It would just be nice to have at least a couple consecutive days without any.
In the old days, (ya, I'm going to be THAT guy) when something wore out or broke, you could tell what it was by the noise it made, or perhaps a vibration. Things wouldn't "feel" right , and it usually wasn't too hard to track down the problem. Because tractors were relatively simple machines, and in turn, a simple mind like the one I have could readily resolve the issue.
But today, tractors are more wiring and hydraulics, that they are gears and grease. They have computers that tell all that plumbing how to run more efficiently for optimum performance. Which is nice when it all works, but a bit of a nightmare when there's a ghost in the machine.
Right now, we're making silage to feed our cows over the winter. Sometimes we make hay bales, sometimes we make silage. Silage, is pretty much sauerkraut for cattle. About 1500 tons of it. It requires a lot more equipment and in turn, more people to run that equipment. As there is usually more than one tractor in the field at the same time, it's a good opportunity for my niece and nephew to learn how to cut hay. The tractor we use to cut hay with is the one with the issues, so lately, my day has consisted of trying to drive a different tractor, with the manual from the hay cutting tractor on the seat beside me, so when they send me texts of the pictures of error codes that keep coming up, I can try to track down the issue.
And because a whole dash full of icons with tiny tractor related hieroglyphics is a little too easy to diagnose, each icon has multiple meanings. That way, even though there's a picture an engine pre-heater flashing at you in all of its bright orangey wonderfulness, it might also mean there's water in the fuel, or the filters need to be changed. So you know there's a problem, but it's probably going to be easier to call the dealership and have them come out and plug their computer into it at $120 per hour, than try to track it down yourself.
I know computers are a wonderful addition to life. I couldn't be Ken-inatractor, writing here without them. They just have the ability to cause me grief because I don't know how to fix them. Like when our ancient desk top computer crashed last week and I lost all of my header pictures. So, you're stuck with the baling hay picture until I decide to pay somebody else to attempt to dig into our old computer and retrieve them.
On a more positive note, I'm fixing the transmission on an older tractor that is more nuts and bolts than wiring, so I get to use my wrenches and have greasy hands. And also, I was able to crack open my cell phone and replace the loud speaker with a new one I bought off of ebay.
.........but, that actually means those things were broken as well, so that's not so positive. I think you know what I mean though.