Wednesday, April 10, 2013

a fulcrum, a gin pole, a shear post?

Or why you should pay attention in physics class if you are going to be a farmer.

The grain bin we purchased off craigslist is up and in place. Anticipated bulk (not bagged) feed delivery is Friday.

2 guys, 2 ropes, 2 2x4's, a big bolt, a 4 wheel drive pickup truck, a maul and a t-post were all that was needed.

With the grain bin lying on its side, the ropes tied around the top, looped through the bolt that was holding the 2 2x4's, the truck was put into reverse. While the other end was anchored around the tpost and used as a brake. My job was to photograph and dial 911 if needed.

Smooth and steady the grain bin went up. The legs have holes that had to match up with brackets sunk into cement piers with very little room for error. Up went the bin, with the 2x4's acting as support and it swung right into place. A few adjustments, a little more backing up with the truck , a few more adjustments and the legs ended up right where they should be. Tightened down, now we can take delivery without bags, and just use buckets for moving the feed to the poultry.

Farming, and every piece of equipment needed for efficiencies, can cost a fortune. If we had to rent a crane and a crew to get this bin in place it would have cost. Multiply that times everything that needs to be done here, each year, and quickly farming full time becomes impossible. The limits of all that is grown sets the total income annually and then the farmer has to contain costs.

So: physics, and an understanding of fulcrums, pivot points, weight transfer are incredibly helpful.

And an understanding of compound interest and how it can work against you, if the loan/bank/credit card is calculating on what is owed...also important!

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