Friday, January 12, 2024

Feeder Wagon

With cow feeding season in full swing, different kinds of feeders are just on my mind. Remembering that Joe had an old feeder wagon stuck in the trees at his place I asked what his plans were for it. With no future need for it, he happily contributed it to our ranching cause. 

This Apache Feeder Wagon is a work of art. Made in Norfolk NE, a guy is able place several round bales at a time in them and let cows feed right through the bars. They also have a trough that serves to catch the hay that falls out of their mouths. 

Last week when Ernie and I went to bring her home from Hulett, Joe had already dug it out of the tall grass. The tires were shot, so we jerked them off and ran them to Belle for new rubber. 

Then Ernie and I tied onto it and drug in back to Gillette.

Once back, we stuck it in Dave's shop to give it a once over. 

About the only maintenance on it is the wheel bearings. Planning to drag it over to Worland, we wanted to make sure there was good grease in the hubs. 

Not wanting to do a full pack job, we just pulled the hubs off and packed grease into the inside bearing from the seal side. 

The outside bearings we were able to actually pack. This old school way is to continually mash the bearing into the grease on your hand until it starts to protrude the other side. 

Then reassemble. Tightening wheel bearings is a trick. I always mash them down hard and give the wheel a turn or two. Then back the crown nut off and ram it in until it dead heads, but don't tighten. Then back it off to the nearest hole and place your cotter pin through. You are always better to run wheel bearings too loose than too tight. 

Once serviced up, Ernie and I baled out early this morning to putts over the hill to Worland. 

Pretty cold out. But with a good heater and plenty coffee, we were in no hurry. 

Once back home, Mom had chilly and cinnamon rolls ready for us. That in itself was worth the trip. 

Good stuff. In ranch world a guy always has to be thinking ahead. Though this feeder is plenty big for our purposes now, it should serve well any future needs. Special thanks to Joe Ortner for wanting to see this ole girl be put to good use. Thanks especially to my side kick Ernie. In expeditions such as these it's best to never roll alone. At 40 mph for 200 miles, one runs the risk of falling asleep. With Ernie riding shotgun the conversation never wanes. Keep up the Good work, pal. There's many more miles ahead of us. Let's ranch. 

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