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I had a little bit of a scare this past week. Actually, two of them.

First, it was a blinking light on my car telling me my power steering was failing. It made a beeping sound as well and I took it to the local Chevrolet garage to be repaired. It turned out to be a false alarm — just some “code misread” that told me the power steering was bad, even though it was just fine.

The problem was the problem indicator, not the problem itself. I saved a potential repair, but it still cost me a little more than $50 for all the diagnostics.

My second scare happened over the weekend when I couldn’t get my sink faucet to deliver hot water. I heard some noises and though my water heater may have went bad, but after wiggling the faucet around for a while, the hot water finally returned.

These are minor issues compared to bigger things that can go wrong, but they’re also a reminder to be prepared for when — not if — something fails.

On the farm, especially, it seems like there is always an unexpected breakdown of a tractor or piece of equipment. Or a building that needs repair. We learn to expect the unexpected and for good reason.

Not everyone does this, of course, and so when something goes bad they act surprised. Sometimes they literally are.

Being prepared

There is nothing like being prepared for something to break or fail. On the farm where I grew up, we kept extra parts on hand that were most likely to go bad first — cutter blades, belts and things that just made sense.

One of my grandfather’s had a nut and bolt collection that seemed to include every size available. Nuts and bolts are one of the cheapest repair items on the farm, but it sure is nice to have them handy so you don’t have to drive to town, just for a few fasteners.

Certain things you obviously wouldn’t keep on hand — because if you’re lucky you’ll never need them. But there’s nothing like having the cash on hand for when they are needed, and nothing worse when you don’t!

If you’re an established farm or agribusiness you may even have your own mechanic right on the farm. That’s hard to beat if you can afford it.

What kinds of things do you keep on your farm for a rainy day? For when things break or don’t go right?

 

Chris Kick lives in Wooster, Ohio. An American FFA Degree recipient, he holds a bachelor’s in creative writing from Ashland University. He spends his free time on his grandparents’ farms in Wayne and Holmes counties.
Chris Kick
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