Now this is a tractor! You may remember that Joe was recently cutting hay in a field that is visible from our house when his tractor had a radiator hose problem. Kaboom! I assume that the problem has been resolved, but Joe hasn't yet taken his tractor and hay baler back to his farm. He parked the tractor behind our barn so it would be near electricity if he needs to start it during the cold winter weather. Apparently, diesel fueled tractors have to be plugged in when it's cold so they can heat up a little first. Who knew?
Now that I have vegetarian mammals to care for, I find myself interested in hay in ways I've never been before. Brandon and I started late in the season, but we managed to cut, rake, and bale a whole stack of our own hay. All that raking and hand baling has tuned me into the hay making scene that happens on all sides of us during the summer. I was very interested to watch Joe's giant machine suck up the long rows of hay and spit out giant round bales. I only got to see it in operation from a distance though, so having it parked at our place gave me an opportunity to examine it closely.
From what I can tell, these little combs spin on the bottom to shove the cut hay up and into the machine as it's pulled behind the tractor.
Once inside, it looks like metal rollers crush the hay to pack it tight, and somehow these big flat rubber belts roll it all up into a bale. I can't figure out how the belts wrap the hay so tightly without getting all tangled together. None of the many warning stickers on the machine explained how it was done either.
Although they did make me afraid to touch anything. Oh my. That looks like it would sting!
A pole dancer with jazz hands! Fun.
Seriously though, this thing has numerous ways that it can hurt you. It can crush you like this...
or like this...
Or even get you electrocuted!
I hate things that pinch my fingers, and it looks like this thing could pinch them right off your hand.
I can't figure these out, because the one on the top looks like lots of fun, but why is the guy on the bottom trying to lay on a giant flower?
I think this one means that it's dangerous in 540 directions, so make sure you have your bible. Maybe? "Failure to comply could result in death or serious injury." How do we comply if we don't understand what it means?!
If you can survive the operation of this killer, you have to watch for rogue hay bales, or they will chase you down and squish you flat!
There's no denying that Joe's method of hay baling is faster than raking it onto a tarp and stuffing it in a home made baler box, but so far, other than making my shoulders tired, we haven't ripped off any limbs or been attacked by hay boulders. I never knew hay makers where taking such risks!