Photo by Barbie Porter
Emergency services respond to an accident in downtown Frazee on Monday, July 12

By Tyler Trieglaff

Notes from the Chief

Where do I start? I was planning on having a pleasant five days off to get caught up on the haying, which I still have a couple hours of baling left.  

Farming at the neighbors, we couldn’t seem to catch a break.  

Both hay cutters were broke down and we were borrowing parts from one machine to get the other working.  It seems that a worn-out shaft on the 1495 wobble gear will cause the cotter pin to break, the castle nut and bearing to fall out and the sickle will snap.  

The first time this happened I borrowed parts from the parts haybine, and bought a new bearing and wa-la, it broke again.  This is after the 1499 haybine half broke apart with several injuries to it.  

The machine is constantly moving and things break and wear out over time.  

We got that machine home and took the reel off.  I was able to score some excellent welding rods from the local lumber yard and I was able to make some much needed repairs.  As the 1499 was sitting in the farmyard, we took a tire off because the 1495 had a flat tire.  We were able to use the 1495 until the wobble gear broke, then swapped tires back again.  

The 1499 was in tip top operating condition due to my expertise in welding, probably from those teachers I had in high school.  We used the 1499 and were able to get the rest of the hay cut.  Now to the wobble gear on the 1495.  I took the wobble gear off the 1495, and it wasn’t that big of a job.  

I must say that the New Holland engineers did a pretty good job at designing the machines, so farmers can to a lot of their own repairs.  The 1495 parts haybine was pulled into the yard and the wobble gear was taken off of that, but the dang belt didn’t want to come off.  

With lots of pounding and my dad remembering how he changed that belt some 20 years ago, we were able to salvage a $700 part.  The wobble gear from the 495 bolted right into the 1495 and seemed to run as smooth as it should.

What else could go wrong.  After I was done baling hay one night, I was letting the tractor cool down and I heard a noise that didn’t sound right.  I shut the engine down and the hissing noise continued.  Here the left big tractor tire had sprung a leak.  Great, a flat tire in the middle of the field.  

I was able get some blocks and a jack to keep the tire from going completely flat to the ground. 

The next morning the boy and I took the spare tire we had along with the service pickup to change the tire.  We put a generator and air compressor along with a bunch of tools to make a shop on wheels for the farm.  

Dad learned the trick to changing these big tractor tires from the tire guys.  The way we do this is do not use fluid in the tires anymore.  This reduces the weight so we can handle them by hand versus using a loader or crane.  The tire change took just under an hour and I was ready to bale again.

The above repairs are pretty minor compared to the next.  If any of you saw the 1499 haybine in the ditch a mile or so north of town on Co Hwy 29, here is what happened.  After the machine was all fixed and ready to go, the boy took off to take it to the neighbors.  As he was close to turning off the highway to the other farm, there was a chain that broke in the final drive on the hydrostatic power part of the machine.  

With the broken chain,  the left side lost its driving power and only the right side was able to move.  I can about imagine how he felt with a machine that was basically out of control in the middle of the highway on a curve.  He ended up in the ditch in about the safest place he could be.  

Then I got the text that something was wrong.  I got over there with the service pickup and go to work.  Covers and panels for the final drive need to be removed to gain access to the affected area.  

Once I got into the guts of the machine, we could see that there was a broken chain and a sprocket with a bad bearing.  Easy repair, right? Wrong!  

The broken chain was wrapped and bound under the drive sprocket and there was not enough room to get my hand in to reach it.  I had to improvize by cutting part of the fence to get a strong wire to use as a long hook to reach the chain.  

After several minutes of fiddle farting around I was able to hook the chain and get it out.  Another trip to the parts store on Richwood Road, with my overshoes this time was in order.  A $10 sprocket and we are back in business.  Wrong again.  How do you get the chain back on the drive sprocket?  More improvisation…  I took a piece of new thin wire and had to tie it to the chain and thread the wire inside the cavity, under the main shaft supporting the drive sprocket and back out the service panel.  

Dad then turned the tire, which was off the ground on a jack, and we were able to get the chain to work its way around the sprocket and into the correct position.  Another 10 minutes putting everything back together and we are back in business.  

We are predicting that the next major breakdown will be the belts on the round baler.  I just need to get another 150-200 bales out of them and they can break all they want.  That may be a good project for this fall or next spring, replacing all the belts.  

Another issue is one of the hydrostatic drive motors on the 1495 is leaking more oil than the Exxon Valdez, so that will need some attention soon.  All we need is another 50-100 acres of hay cut and we will see about tearing into it then.  Farming is supposed to be fun right?

Friday July 9

2 p.m. Assist with a possible stolen vehicle from Acorn Lake Trailer Park.

2:34 p.m. Traffic stop with citation for stop sign violation issued to Richard Sandsmark, 73, Lengby MN.

5:36 p.m. Assist a senior citizen who was possibly scammed or sent some personal information online.  

9:07 p.m. Report of a juvenile female receiving an unwanted touch from a male friend.

9:17 p.m. Report of hooligan kids throwing rocks at construction equipment. Neighbor chased the kids    off.

10:42 p.m. Request for extra patrol on Spruce Ave and 2nd St SE for speeders and people running the stop sign.

Saturday July 10

8:31 p.m.   Standby while a dad came to town to pick up his daughter who called him crying that she wanted to leave her mom’s place.   Dad picked up daughter without incident.

12:44 a.m. 911 hang-up, officer check with female and all was well.

1:59 a.m. Officer found a 24 yr. old male with no shoes laying in the middle of the event center parking lot.  Officer was able to rouse the male and he was able to walk, stand and carry on a conversation.  Male said he was at the Music on the Mountain and had no idea how he got to Frazee.  (Boy, I remember those days!)   Officer gave male a ride to his house just outside of town.  

Sunday July 11

6:53 p.m. Welfare check requested on elderly male who was with his daughter.  All was well.

7:56 p.m. Resident reporting that a very intoxicated male came into their house at 1 a.m. Male went into a bedroom and asked for another male.  Resident told male he needed to leave and escorted him out the door.  Resident said he left his shoes at the house.  (How nice of him to take his shoes off before going in the house.)  Officer took the shoes to return them but no one was home.  

9:37 p.m. Assist with a medical.

Monday July 12

12:50 p.m. Motor vehicle crash on E Main Ave with car rear ending a limo bus.  Star Merrill, 20, Frazee issued citations for No MN Driver’s License and No Insurance.

7:38 p.m. Male reporting fraudulent checks written on his company account.  No money was lost.

6:22 p.m. Assist human services with a home visit and child removal, potential sexual abuse charges.

11:02 p.m. Verbal domestic between male and female.  Intoxicated female said she would stay outside until she was ready to go to bed.

Wednesday July 14

12:39 p.m. Vehicle unlock on W Main Ave.

11:15 pm Assist DLPD and Becker County with searching for an intoxicated male who swam into the lake when approached by officer.  Many boats and resources were used to look for the male who was last seen 150 yards from shore.  Male walked up to command post about 5:30 in the morning and was given a ride home.

1:24 am Disturbance reported with a father finding his teenage daughter at the home of a 28 yr. old male.  No signs of any illegal activity, daughter left with dad after visiting with officers.  Officers told adult male to stick to fishing in his own age group.  Dad was given information about a restraining order if it is needed.

Thursday July 15

10:07 a.m. Assist human services with a home visit and another child removal.

10:52 a.m. Disturbance with argument between acquaintances over misplaced property.

1:43 p.m. Disturbance with same people as above call.  Male causing the issues left on his own.

7:00 p.m. Assist with parade in town and hand out police stickers to the kids.