ONE HOT JOB
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The outside temperature that day was about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Soon, neither Mike nor I could see through our glasses. Working mostly by feel, I sprayed oil and tapped on the unit until it released the rope, which dropped the hay mow door open.
This done, we made a few runs with a couple of pails of rocks to test the operation of the mechanism.
Hay carriers are quite clever. When one is pulled out to the track's end, its rope is released, allowing the attached sling to be pulled down for loading.
When a loaded sling is pulled up to the carrier, it hits a catch that releases the carrier, allowing it to go down its track into the barn.
When this release occurs, a brake is applied to the rope, which in effect holds onto the slings until they are pulled back to the stop. Then, the brake is released again, allowing the sling to drop back to the ground for reloading. FC
- Jim and Joan Lacey operate Little Village Farm at 47582 240 St., Dell Rapids, SD 57022.
Slings swing again
Here's a brief explanation of how hay slings help get hay from the rack into the barn for safe storage:
Slings are made of lengths of rope, a few 2-by-2 sticks, a few steel rings and a quick release catch operated from the ground by a tagline or a light rope, which is hooked to the sling with a snap so that it can be quickly put on or off.
In practice, the first set of slings is laid on the floor of the rack, and loose hay is piled on top to the desired height. Then, another set of slings is laid out and loaded in the same manner.
Old timers generally ran three sets of slings on a rack; the Lacey crew's 'comfort level' allowed for only two sets.
The job of the slings is merely to pull all the hay on them into a bundle, which then is hoisted into the loft as shown in the upper right photo on this page.
On each end of a sling set is a ring that is hooked to the pulley assembly on the hay carrier.
To empty the slings, a tagline is pulled, which allows them to separate. Then, they are pulled down with the tagline to be reloaded.
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