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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Bush Hog - Reliably Unreliable

On every farm there are pieces of equipment that are useful to the farm operation. For the past four years one such piece of equipment has been a "Workhorse" that is, basically, a "sexy little golf cart" as the farrier put it. Regardless, it was a great tool and made feeding the animals much easier as the Workhorse could carry those 65 and 70 pound bales of hay. Prior to the Workhorse, I was toting those bales of hay to three separate pastures...one for mares and gelding, one for stud and one for sheep. Having a "ride" for the hay made my job lots easier. In the summer, it's much easier to check and fix fence lines with all tools being at hand as opposed to carrying them on several trips.

So. After considerable research, we decided to trade in our Workhorse on a Bush Hog. The Bush Hog has many features the Workhorse doesn't...4-wheel drive, larger bed, independent suspension, higher clearance. We also decided to get soft sides which cut the tremendous winds that assail the farm. This makes a incredible difference during wind chills that are below zero or greater. It gives me a place to escape the wind and allows me to safely, comfortably check my fence lines and assess if more large round hale bales are needed in the outlaying pastures.

We placed our order the Saturday before Christmas, December 22 and then the wait began. Finally, more than nine weeks later, on 26 February, the Bush Hog was delivered to our farm. But, this was only after dozens of phone calls, many “broken promises” ~the P.C. way of saying what my Mama used to call "lies"~ and a Very Long Wait During Freezing Cold Winter Weather. The local dealership was truly embarrassed over the way Bush Hog headquarters treated us. Corporate headquarters kept making excuses, kept making promises; kept saying one thing then doing...Absolutely Nothing. They kept talking about Customer Service - the New Oxymoron of the 21st century. It seems Customer Service...NOT! is the only thing most, all...?, corporations have in common anymore.

The local dealership brought our Hog on Tuesday which was a rainy, cold, freezing day with many, many mud holes, ditch lines filled with water, etc. From the looks of the Hog, not one of those ditch lines or mud holes escaped the honking big truck tires and the Hog was covered in muddy water. Somehow it didn't look so new but seemed rather like the old saying "rode hard and put away wet". It was off loaded, we were given the "here's the light switch, here's the choke, etc." tour and we took it for a drive. Hog Heaven! It was great and the soft sides almost made it too warm with temps in the upper 40's.

Fast forward to Wednesday morning and chore time. I'm up early and excitedly head to the barn, my chores and my new Hog. I pull the choke. Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch. I push the choke. Again, nothing, nada, zero, zilch. Sama, sama. Bad words begin floating around the edges of my consciousness. I use my walkie-talkie to call Dave and ask him to call the dealership. He does as I begin hand carrying bales of hay in this 17 degrees F above zero, wind chill below zero spitting rain/sleet/snow weather. Bad word vibes are getting stronger. Dave walkie-talkies me back and says Dealership Guy says, “pull out the choke”. I tell Dave that's been tried and found wanting. Dealership Guy says “sounds like choke is frozen”. I say, "so get down here and fix it, please." He says, “on my way” and ninety minutes later is working on the problem.

~ next entry, please, as this is an almost 2,000 word saga. ~

Blessings ~ strength to carry 65 to 76 pound bales of hay ~ strength to break frozen water in horse and sheep troughs ~ enough clothes to, reasonably, stay warm ~ hot coffee, tea and chocolate ~ no guff from the Dealership Guy ~

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