8 Lessons Learned As a Farm Mechanic on a Sunny Fall Day

    Every experience is a learning experience — even when a combine is stuck in a gully. (Dan Anderson)

    The customer admitted he knew there was a “small gully” hidden in the weeds of a waterway, but thought that “… if I hit it fast enough, I could sort of jump it.”

    The statute of limitations on this situation has expired, so here are 8 lessons learned on a sunny day in late October many years ago when a combine was stuck in a gully.

    1. Sometimes you have to be blunt and say, “No, you’re not going to finish this field today.”

    2. Some people obsess about salvaging a bent shield when they’ve got a broken axle.

    3. Several different versions of how and why this happened will be offered by the customer as the repairs progress. The truth will be revealed … eventually.

    4. It saves time if the customer gets a tractor loader so he can move and level dirt so the mechanic isn’t working in a flowing stream.

    5. A soybean platform can support a combine with one wheel spinning in a gully channel.

    6. A service truck for ag equipment can never have too many big wooden blocks or hydraulic jacks.

    7. Some people would rather drive 100 miles and save money on used parts “that might fit” than drive 20 miles and pay for new parts that are a parts-number-match.

    8. A spade is an essential tool on a service truck.


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