Saturday, July 12, 2014

Shake & rattle

Noticed my rototiller was a bit out of wack after running between the rows of pumpkins.  As with most of my equipment, I buy it used if I can find something that will work, and I've gotten pretty good at fixing stuff.  (disclosure:  I'm not actually the one fixing this one, my brother Bryan who's a lot better at metalwork than I am is actually doing the lions share, but same idea)

 The biggest problem that this rototiller has is that the three point hitch is bolted on, and not welded.  And in this case, whomever did the initial assembly didn't use the right sized bolts for 4 of the 8 bolts.  Since it was loose, all of the bolts were damaged by shaking.  The attachment points were also a little bent, and so the maul was used to provide the right spacing and the rods to provide alignment, and a couple of straps were welded on to tie it all together as aligned.
 The errant bolts were found, removed, and the right sized bolts and lock washers installed.
 on both sides
I used to use equipment, and then make a note to myself "gosh, I should fix the three point on that rototiller".  What always happened is that i'd forget about it until I needed the implement again, and I'd go to find it broken.

So what I do now is to make sure that before I park the implement it's in good working order in all respects; what's wrong with it is fresh and I can get to it relatively easily instead of trying to recall what the issue was 6 months or a year ago.  Particularly for implements that you only use once a year or for a portion of a season and they sit there for the rest of the year.

With this implement; check the oil level in the transmission, grease it, make sure that the parts are in good working order and pressure wash it is the routine before parking it for the year.   The pressure washing isn't really neccessary... but it is if you want to inspect the equipment.  Particularly things like plows and rototillers -- stuff can get hidden under the dirt and you won't know about that crack or defect until the thing breaks.  Better to catch it early.

The repairs on this particular tiller cost about $30; a little bit of flat stock, 8 bolts and washers and nuts, about 20 minutes of time.  And it's good to go for another year.

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