All Around the Farm: November 2013
An inexpensive plastic toy baseball bat with both of its ends cut off works great for filling the hydraulic fluid in tractors and the engine oil in loader tractors. The broad top makes a generous funnel opening.
Brian Keiner | Chamberlain, South Dakota
More options for tire changes
I needed an easier way to change flat pneumatic tires on the bat-wing mower. I took a piece of pipe that fits the tongue jack, cut two pieces about 3 inches long, drilled a hole for the jack pin and welded one to each side just ahead of the wheel. When I’m away from a bottle or floor jack, I can just use the tongue jack.
Tyler Pumfrey | DeKalb, Illinois
Slide sandals fit over shoes
My wife was complaining about me tracking dirt into the house, so I bought a pair of extra-large slide sandals with Velcro straps. I also bought two pairs of the same hook-and-loop fabric and fastened them to the shoe straps as an extension. Now they’re long enough to fit over my shoes. It saves me a lot of time and trouble to not have to remove shoes with laces.
George Burkhardt | San Antonio, Texas
Hinged work surface is a paper keeper
When I’m working cows, I always have a mess of paperwork lying around, or else I can’t find my record book at calving time. So I built a hinged table that will fold up without me having to remove anything. One of the 2×4-foot frames is bolted to the wall, and the other I screwed to a sheet of ¾-inch plywood. The used window latch I had on hand.
Darrin Hofer | Mitchell, South Dakota
Get traction, courtesy of roofing shingles
In winter, there’s a constant threat of having my car get stuck in deep snow or on an icy spot. To help solve this problem, I put six three-tab asphalt roofing shingles in my trunk each winter. I lay them down rough side up under the stuck (drive) wheels, and the rough, sandy coating gives me 9 feet of traction.
Thomas Hofer Jr. | Graceville, Minnesota
Rolling caddy for drums
Tired of carrying 5-gallon buckets of oil up and down the combine ladder, I built a drum caddy that I can wheel right up to the machine. With an electric pump on top of the barrel, all I have to carry up is the 16-foot-long hose.
Larry Campbell | Ansonia, Ohio
Cleanout technique for spot sprayer
My spot sprayer has corrosive metal sprayer parts. I use saved antifreeze from my tractor and use it to flush and lubricate the sprayer. I pull the siphon hose out of the tank, insert it into a jug of used antifreeze, and run the pump until flushed.
Larry Bross | New London, Missouri
Check out the latest big ideas from farmers around the country!