Saturday, May 24, 2014

The slow ride

Nothing like a slow ride on a friday before a holiday
 I spent most of the last week ferrying farm equipment from the auction yard to my farm.   Most of what I'm buying is old, reliable equipment that's had a good life somewhere, and might need some work.  The high-dump wagon that I've got hooked to my pickup is an example of that.  It's designed to catch the output from a forage chopper and then dump it into the bed of a full-sized dump truck -- the tractor chops for a while, transfers the load to the truck, and keeps chopping.  This particular wagon is used to collect chopped grass and corn silage.  I'll talk about it more later, but for now, the task is to get it from the auction yard 70 miles south to the farm.
the parts shop
 The auction yard specializes in old farm equipment, and has one of those parts stores that has a pretty vast inventory of old stuff.  Piles and mounds and shelves and barrels and crates of stuff.  If you need a part for an old tractor, they've probably got it.  They spend a lot of time rehabbing old tractors.  It was interesting to go in and see what I could find.  I was buying pretty mundane stuff; a new PTO shaft, a couple of slow-vehicle warning placards, and a tow pin today.
Narrow road, not many places to pull off
 This wagon would start wobbling back and forth at any speed above 22mph, and that ruled out the freeway.  I couldn't put it on top of a trailer without going over the height limits, and I didn't want to have to take it apart for transport.  So a slow ride it is.  Highway 9 runs parallel to I5, and is a rural highway -- and that's where I went.  
 So it took me the better part of 5 hours of very slow moving to get the wagon back to the farm.  Along the way I was seriously hated by most of the traffic that was trying to get somewhere on this holiday weekend.  A lot of people waved, and some people even used all five fingers!
The view to the rear
I'd pull over whenever the line of cars that I could see got over 5, but there were times when I had 50 vehicles in a mini-traffic jam behind me.  Every now and then I'd see another farmer on a tractor or towing something blocking traffic the other way -- we'd smile and wave at each other, and then our two lines of cars would stare at each other and hate life...

But if you're in a rural area, this is part of the scenery.   If you're going this slow you sure do have lots of time to watch the countryside go by.  Lovely country between arlington and bellingham along highway 9 if you'd like to take a trip.

But you may have a slow ride!

1 comment:

Steve said...

I'm always surprised how irritated people get when driving behind farm equipment on back roads. We live in a rural farming area and that is what we should expect from time to time.

The parts store could be a way to while away part of an afternoon.