A little father-son time this weekend. My Dad called me Saturday morning and left me a message on the answering machine. He said he had the boards and if I want to come over we could start rebuilding the bale wagon. Now this wagon has been a safety hazard for many years. Every year we get ready to bale hay we check over the wagon and say we should replace the floor. But if we noticed the floor was bad enough we just laid down another sheet of plywood to cover over the bad area and started baling. This year we are going to think about our safety. We don’t need a broken bone trying to bale hay.
So I went out to dad’s and we pulled the steel cage off the floor. We didn’t have to remove any of the bolt holding the bale cage on the wagon. The wood was so rotten the steel was about to fall off the wagon. We lifted the cage and blocked it up and pulled the wagon out from under the cage. I pulled out to a burn area and Dad lifted the old floor off the running gear with his loader tractor. Over it went in a heap. Back to the buildings I went with the empty running gear ready to rebuild the floor.
We laid out the main stringer, attached the cross members and then we laid the flooring. Finally we reattached the steel cage to the floor with new bolts
Before we attached the new floor board I thought I would grease the running gear. So I went into the shop and picked up the grease gun and went out and started pumping grease to the spindles. The first spindle resisted the grease but soon started allowing the flow of grease. The second spindle just refused to take any grease. Dad said “well it’s a fifty year old wagon.” So I started questioning him about the history of the wagon.
Dad had a chance to tell me the history of that running gear as we rebuilt the new floor. That running belonged to his father. Was it new or used my dad did not say. My grandpa took that running gear and made his first chopper box for chopping hay and corn to feed the cows. My dad stated he did that in about 1957. Dad said he never used that chopper box because we working for another farmer. But I remember going to grandpa’s and grandma’s and helping my uncles unload hay out of that chopper box. Yes the days would be hot and you would be sweaty and hay chaff would stick to your body under your shirt. I may have been 8 or 9, but I still remember those days. Then 10 years later my grandpa took that box off and replaced it with a self unloading chopper box. After my grandpa died my dad and uncle started farming and shared the machinery together. They took off the self unloading chopper box and replaced it with the bale rack which they have used over the last 30 years. Now today that same wagon has a new floor.
It was Me and my Dad that worked together to replaced the floor and I was given the history of a wagon. Yes the floor will last another 30 year and my father will not be here on earth to see it get replaced again. Maybe it will be a son-in-law or a grandson who will help me replace the floor the next time and I can tell them the history of this wagon and they will continue use the wagon and pass on the history.