Changing tires and bailing hay

July 07, 2016 // By Scott Deuty
Scott Deuty wanders back to two of the tough manual jobs he had to perform in his youth. If only there was some sort of machine that could make the job easier.

Like every generation before mine, I feel the coming generation has it easy. Most of this is due to the advances in technology and I get it. However, there are times when technology impacts your view on life. Recently, Facebook posts hit two of my soft spots in the same day; changing tires and bailing hay.

As a youth, I spent my fair share of time on these two labor-intensive efforts. In fact I once had a conversation with my ex-father-in-law that a right of passage for my own children was to spend a 90/90 day bailing hay. For those of you that haven't “been there” this is a day where it’s 90 degrees out and the humidity is 90 percent. Typically the air isn’t moving on this day. In the hay mound, it’s even hotter. Mix in the nettles on your sweat soaked skin and the dust in your lungs and you start to get the picture that hell isn’t far removed.

As for changing tires, I was a “parts replacer” while going through college. In the same manner I declare that I’m a painter and not an artist, I state that I’m not a mechanic. I was the low guy on the totem pole who got to fuel trucks on 90/90s and at 30 below, wash trucks, and change tires. These were full-sized tractor trailer tires that used a sledge hammer and bars to remove the tire from the rim as well as pry it back on. Factor in the effects of a northeast winter bonding a tire to a rim with rust and a visual picture starts to emerge. One could easily spend a half an hour loosening a tire.

One particular day of effort was after a night of doing shots until 2 AM. I arrived at work at the normal 6 AM to find two tractors backed into opposite bays required the tires be swapped