Sunday, April 22, 2012


Did I say the parts would soak in the oil for two days? I MUST have meant SIX.

Nothing this week went precisely as hoped.

Tuesday evening, I started mounting the auger on the tractor. The Leinbach L7100Jr model seems to be too big on a Cub Cadet 7275. Or maybe the hydraulic arms just aren't lifting high enough...

Wednesday, I fiddled more with the auger. This is one HEAVY tool. Never did get the thing to rise high enough. Debbie made a suggestion that saved the day--how about an assist? Ratchet and strap webbing, from the end of the boom, over the ROPS, and hooked on...Now that I had it vertical, I was finally able to oil and grease it.

Friday I continued trying to get the auger lifted off the ground. Hydraulic oil level was low, so I added hydraulic oil, but NOW I couldn't get the tractor started. Online to do research...

Saturday, I bled the air out of the fuel lines. Don't forget to open the fuel valve when you run the tractor! It's a nuisance. Then the tractor started right up. The added hydro oil made NO difference at all. I put Debbie's idea to work...

I was worried about the ROPS. It's the roll bar, and I wasn't sure it was going to take the weight. Then I realized that it had BETTER be able to take the static weight of the auger--it was supposed to take the DYNAMIC forces of a ROLLING TRACTOR. It did, just fine.

Suitably jury-rigged, I dug my holes. Attach strap. Lift auger. Move to new hole. Remove strap. Start drilling. Lower hydraulics, auger drills into ground. When deep enough, raise auger (this works fine--it's not too heavy for the hydraulics, it's too long). Stop the drill. Repeat.

Then it was OFF with the auger (I need to come up with a good way to store it...), and ON with the tiller! The PTO coupling has been soaking in old motor oil now for six days, and it's messy. Add grease to both halves of the telescoping shaft, slide them together, and...

Slide them together, and...

Why is nothing ever simple?

Fiddle and push, scrape and slather. Previous experience (see the entry about the crowbar...) has taught me that if it is hard to put on, it will be HARD to get off. More fiddling, and suddenly it's free! It slides in, slides out--it FALLS out, if you let it.

Back the tractor up. Put in the pins. Attach the PTO. THIS time, it's easy. Hook up the top bar. Lift and lower--hydraulics are fine for this. While it is up, engage the PTO and see it spin. Nice and quiet!

And now to till!

First, the raspberry patch.

We had bushhogged a batch of brambles, which we intend to replace with berry-bearing brambles.

Then, the garden!

I tilled our 50x50 space in about 10 minutes. So I went over it again for good measure, UNTIL...

THUNK! Whangity-whang-whang...

I stopped quickly. The top bar had vibrated loose at BOTH ends. The turnbuckle was missing, but easily found on top of the tiller. I took everything off the tractor and reassembled it. I apparently had not adequately engaged the lock nut. I'll remember that.

Finish the tilling, drive into the barn, and head for the showers. It's NICE when things finally WORK.

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