All Around the Farm: Dec. 2015
Good trailers make good fences
I built this trailer to carry all my posts, wire, and insulators. My favorite feature, though, is its hydraulic winder, which also has a handle for manual winding. I used old electrical wire spools so I’m able to switch to a different wire type with little hassle. The spools lock and unlock with bent hooks made from rebar.
Ryan Yoder | Haven, Kansas
See whether a shank has tripped
My grandson, Jeffrey Young, came up with a way to make the shanks on the chisel plow highly visible. He bent an old electric fence post into the correct shape, cut it to the proper length, added some reflective tape, and welded one to each shank. Now, we can tell if one of the shanks has tripped.
James Young | Newman, Illinois
Determine at a distance if an auger is running or not
I have a dozen bins on my operation, and I’m not always able to determine at a distance if the augers are running. So I cut a length of rubber hose to clamp onto the anchor end of each auger. Now it’s easier to tell if an auger is running because the rubber hose on its anchor end will be flipping around. This saves me a lot of footsteps.
Kent Meisenhoelde | Tripp, South Dakota
An in-field repair saves the day
The sugars were high as we chopped fourth-crop alfalfa, which gummed up the chopper. It would take a new high-pressure applicator four days to arrive, and rain was in the forecast. So we built our own. We mounted a sprayer tank onto the chopper with brackets, anchored the hose to spray water into the chopper, and ran a wire with a switch in the cab to turn it on and off.
Chad Breuckman | Columbus, Wisconsin
Pans with magnets hold small parts during repairs
Instead of throwing out my old cake pans, I glue a magnet on the back and send them out to my husband’s shop where they serve a new purpose. He can temporarily stick one of these pans in place on machinery when doing repairs or maintenance. They hold nuts, bolts, washers, and so on. Small parts won’t roll away or get lost on the floor.
Mary Mikula | Chetek, Wisconsin
Deter thieves, or at least slow them down
I had trouble with thieves attempting to steal tools from my shop. There were signs that they were trying to remove bolts right out of the metal siding to make their way in. So I applied clear silicone sealant to the heads of all the bolts. This makes them much harder to turn with hand tools that don’t make any noise and attract attention.
Kim Tritch | Paragould, Arkansas
Backup plan for when the power goes out
We occasionally experience power surges that last from three to five minutes. This really isn’t a big deal – unless one of us is in the shower. So we keep four battery-powered tap lights above the shower/tub stall: two on the back wall and one on each end. If the power goes off, we just tap the lights and get finished up.
Justin Emerson | Henderson, Tennessee
The best farmer inventions - compiled by Paula Barbour.