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The Cold weather dance in Manitoba/ Canada

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mbdexter

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Well, for all you northern farmers. Its about that time of year.

Like all cultures, northern cattle farmers have their own traditions and rituals. One that is common this time of year is called the 'tractor starting ritual'. It a very complex dance. It comes with its own costume and a chant consisting of alot of phrases probably not suited for children's ears. The costume is not really flashy as most of it is sort of a beige color. But it is heavy and comes with a set of oversized boots. Anyway, it starts with the basic 'hope' ritual where you spray ether in the air intake and climb in the tractor and hope that its going to start. The engine turns over slowly and you realize that the 'hope' ritual has failed. So, this is where the 'not suitable for children' chanting begins. So, then you climb out of the tractor. This sometimes can include 'the banging of the shin' dance. Then you go and climb into the truck. As you climb into the truck, you perform another 'hope' ritual. (If it fails, its followed by more chanting). Anyway, at some point, you get a vehicle and park it as close to the tractor as you can. Occasionally, you get too close and hit the tractor (more chanting). Then invariably, you have parked too close to the edge of the door and you need to squeeze through (more chanting). Finally, there is the 'jumper cable dance' where you keep going cable by cable to adjust the jumper cables because they don't seem to be transferring power from the other vehicle to the tractor (more chanting). This also can be combined with 'the banging of the shin dance' and the 'hope' ritual when more variety is needed. Eventually the chanting reaches a fever pitch and either the 'hope' ritual is successful or you phone the neighbor and see if his 'hope' ritual worked and you get him to feed the cows
 

1982vett

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:lol2: Don't have to live in the Arctic to do the dance.

Back in the '70s Dad had 3 tractors. a '41 John Deere B, a 530 propane John Deere, and a 730 diesel John Deere. The 730 was the tractor than ran the grinder/mixer, the 530 was hooked the the grain-o-vator used to transport the hog feed from the grinder to the feeders, and the B was used to pull the other two off when it was to cold for them to start on their own. :lol:
 

Workinonit Farm

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1982vett":x7qn2gjy said:
:lol2: Don't have to live in the Arctic to do the dance.

That's the truth!! :lol: :lol: Husband and I have done that dance many times! I seem to dance more frequently, seeing how I get home from work before he does. :lol: At least you have a cab!!

This time of year, we bypass alot of the 'hope' part and just go direct to the farm-truck-parked-next-to-the-tractor-at-all-times deal. Before hoping, spraying, and chanting we do the jumper-cable tango. That seems to yield the most consistent results. :lol:

Katherine
 

buckmaster33

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Isnt that the truth Dexter! I'm not quite as far north as you...but I'm pretty sure we didnt get above zero today. I quit using ether a few years ago...now just plug her in and wait. Of course, when lack of patience sets in...then break out the battery charger as well and hope for the best! Speaking of jumper cable fun....plowing snow today with the four wheeler and sure enough, as soon as I get as far from civilization as possible, the damn thing just dies(will be getting a new battery SOON) So drive the truck up to it, run into the back atv tire at first, back up, try again. Yeah...little atv batteries really not meant to be used with 4 gauge jumper cables...but, persistence prevailed and the plowing commenced. Finished off with a fine Wisconsin lager!
 

grubbie

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What a great post!! Very funny. It was -30 and -40F with windchill here. We do that dance every year, with one small exception. We don't get IN and OUT of the tractor, we get ON and OFF. Cabs are for girls. (and those who are not too cheap to buy tractors that have them). Around here if you have a cab you are a rich rancher. Thanks for the post.
 

Nesikep

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Oh that's a good one, we don't get the temps you get, but -25C is sufficient that if the battery isn't quite right, you aren't going to get it fired, so I too have done the dance

Vett, we have an old '44ish JD model B, wide front, takes a while to get used to a hand clutch!.. we also had the tricycle model H.. that one didn't have a started, it was hand start only. I don't know, on a bad day I'm sure you're not going to get cold trying to start that thing, but I'm sure there will be chanting
 

grannysoo

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I've always found that there is also a time warp factor involved. The less time you have to get the job done, the greater probability that it won't start or something will break. Rain also tends to be a determining factor in the equation.
 

Toby L.

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Gotta keep them pluged in. My tractor doesn't like to start even when it's 20 above, let alone 30 below. I have a little 1 amp battery charger that I plug in with the block header if I think that I'm going to have problems. I don't know if it's good for the battery to keep that thing on it all the time, but it works for me. One problem I've been having latly, my front tire would lose air so when ever I wanted to use the tractor, I had to air it up. After fighting with it the last few weeks I finally took it in yesterday and had a tube put in it. If somethings going to break down it always happens this time of the year, not when it's nice out.
 

1982vett

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grubbie":3pdqcqf0 said:
What a great post!! Very funny. It was -30 and -40F with windchill here. We do that dance every year, with one small exception. We don't get IN and OUT of the tractor, we get ON and OFF. Cabs are for girls. (and those who are not too cheap to buy tractors that have them). Around here if you have a cab you are a rich rancher. Thanks for the post.

OK, but when you feed up their in the high country in precipitation it just bounces off or flys away. Down here it soaks you to the bone. Anyway, we don't have them for t-shirt with sleeves winter weather, we have them on doctors orders to stay out of the sun. Helps to keep the skin from rotting off. :roll: :lol2:


Toby L.":3pdqcqf0 said:
One problem I've been having latly, my front tire would lose air so when ever I wanted to use the tractor, I had to air it up. After fighting with it the last few weeks I finally took it in yesterday and had a tube put in it..

:lol: I've got one of those too, except it takes about a week for it to lose enough to need more. Been like that since summer. Waiting for a real flat to get it fixed. Might never have one now.
 

RanchManager

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It's always that first night that goes below zero or into the single digits that you find out what is about to go wrong with your rig. We did the water pump dance followed by the waxy build up in the fuel filter (diesel geling) dance a couple weeks ago. We actually got off pretty easy with all of the equipment around.

Good luck, Happy New Year!
 

P.A.L

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We did once a roundbalerolling dance. It was so cold that we didnt dare to start the tractor so we rolled the roundbales from stack to the field. Cows ate them there. We got very warm. That week was coldiest week i've seen. Cows didnt mind at all.

My friend has a russian tractor. Russian machinery are mostly (how would i say??).. bad. When he starts the tractor there is a smokecloud everywhere. we call it smog......
 
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