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There’s Always Something

There’s Always Something

We have 2 Ace Mechanics, Ted and Brian. Ted was off this busy weekend to attend a wedding, so Brian was the man. We kept him hopping.

Brian tells me we have 30+ trucks and 22 or so tractors. Scheduled maintenance has to be performed on these fleets constantly, as well as regular repairs like changing tires and replacing worn out parts. There are also innumerable mowers, wagons, pumps, plows, cultivators, planters, diggers, etc, etc, all of which break down seemingly all the time. When this happens you call Ted or Brian.

So again, this weekend (Labor Day, with spectacular weather after the hurricane which threatened headed out to sea.) everything seemingly was in operation, including 7 or 8 hay wagons taking customers out to pick apples, peaches, raspberries, sweet corn and the other crops that are in season just now. Just when we thought we had things under control, I get a call from a tractor driver telling me his wagon has a flat out in the field “at the blueberry stop” as we say.

He has unloaded all his passengers and pulled off to the side. I first send an empty wagon to pick up the customers, then call Brian to report the flat and request help. He loads up jack and blocks and tools and our spare tire and in a few minutes is there and soon we are running at full strength again.

Meantime, I am taking a new driver on the tour of our fields in my trusty Gator #6. Something feels odd in the steering. Then, all of a sudden there was NO steering! Or almost. If I drive real slow and try to only turn right, I can manage to make it to the Shop where Brian is waiting, having set aside the other 6 jobs he has on deck. He began fiddling with my steering box, and soon found it had pulled apart in a way, it turns out, that John Deere, the manufacturer says is impossible.

With only a few audible grunts of frustration, he keeps fiddling with it until….I get another call, we have another Haywagon flat at exactly the same spot in the fields. And Brian used the last spare the last time. He commences to quickly create a new spare while we get the wagon arranged and replaced. It takes a little longer this time but eventually we are rolling again, me on good old Gator #1, possibly until mid week if John Deere has their way.

The rest of the day was fairly uneventful, until Brian calls me about 3pm: “Your Gator is ready Boss”, he says.

“My Hero” say I….and “There’s Always Something”.


Sam Walmer
Farm Steward






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