Hardly a day goes by on the farm when something doesn't break. Sometimes it's small, other times, catastrophic. An average farmer these days needs to be a pretty decent mechanic. It really doesn't matter if you are a dairy farmer, a hay grower, or a custom wheat harvester, you are gonna break something, and you are gonna fix it. Some things may be beyond the farmers abilities to fix. Let's say a gear box breaks. The farm mechanic may not have the tools required to press bearings and such. He, or she, had better have the knowledge and tools to remove the gearbox and get it to someone who does. On farm repair calls aren't cheap and eat into profits quickly.
While greasing my brush mower today, I found another broken part. This turn-buckle had split and fallen out of place. I knew it was coming, so I wasn't surprised. When the wings on the mower fold up, this piece is supposed to give and turn. I noticed it was bending several weeks ago, but try as I might, I couldn't unfreeze the threads. There was no give, and eventually the piece gave way. It looks like a simple welding job would fix it, but since it is twisted and locked into place it would just break again. I called the parts store and got the wonderful news that the 10 inch turn-buckle is $132. Once again, not a surprise. Every so often, you just have to break down and admit you can't fix what 15 years of backing over trees has caused. By removing and replacing the part myself, I can at least save a $150 service call.
As I looked around the mower for more damage, I began wondering... What is the most used tool on the farm. If someone were to say "I wanna be a farmer. What tools will I need?" What would you tell them? I will give away the fist one, a grease gun. You wouldn't go far without that! What tools would you not part with, which tools do you use the most?