Spray day

Steve Kendall | Bendigo Weekly | 25-Jan-2018

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WHEN I first moved to Australia I met a man who ran cattle and had a farm.

He had a full-time job as well, so the time spent on the farm was not always enough.

I used to go to the farm a lot and occasionally helped with some tasks.

It seemed that every time we used a truck or trailer or equipment we had to fix it first.

It had been sitting for a while and needed a tweak or a major fix.

I thought it was just Jeff, but it used to annoy me anyway.

Now I am doing a similar thing on a smaller scale the same thing is happening to me. Leave the brush cutter for a while and the wasps will build a nest in the carburettor.

Fill the fire water tank and the cap leaks... that sort of thing.

I really had a big fail last weekend.

A couple of years ago we bought a small tank and sprayer to poison the weeds. It’s only 100 litres, but it’s handy. We used it on the back of the tractor and it did the job.

We tried to use it last year on the quad bike and it failed, miserably. Replaced the pump and various parts and it gave up. At this point we made the biggest mistake.

We walked away without cleaning it because we were so fed up.

The mixture of poison and colourant had obviously set solid, what’s more it corroded some of the parts. But we didn’t realise this.

We boldly set out with the kit, with another new pump, and the pipes at the pump end started leaking a foamy red mess. I remembered at this point I had only finger-tightened the hoses to make sure they fitted.

I turned off the pump and tried to tighten it all up, all the while the foaming mess was still spilling out.

Eventually it was mostly sealed and on went the pump again.

The long suffering Mrs Kendall had the wand but no liquid came out. The added pressure made the pump connections leak again so I switched off.

Mrs K took the wand apart and it was solid. Corroded into a lump.

She hacked at it with a needle and sort of repaired it. 

I tightened the hoses again, but must have twisted the power wiring and switch, because smoke started coming from the switch and finally the fuse went bang.

I went to disconnect the wires from the battery, but they were melting and had earthed with the frame of the quad bike.

This was a near disaster, averted, but it was a sound lesson in keeping things clean. 

Just like my mum told me when I was a boy.

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