Friday, June 28, 2013

The Parts Store

They prop the door wide open at 8:00 am sharp. The air is fresh, and the guys behind the counter in t-shirts and rumpled jeans look as fresh as they’ll get all day.

It’s haying season, and up and down the Snake River Valley folks are in the field, many of them dealing with equipment breakdowns – like us. This store is our lifeline this time of year.

Miscellaneous farmer “must haves” fill the area from the door to the counter – grease cartridges, gloves, oil jugs, swather sections, slow moving vehicle signs, and a bolt and washer bin. Behind the counter things get serious. Blown apart diagrams of brake drums, PTO assemblies, carburetors and drive chains fill the computer screens, which sit under a layer of dust.

Every part has a number. Every farmer has a question. Mark’s question, which I was to try and explain to the parts guy, was whether a lock washer would be better than a flat washer when replacing the flange on a bearing at the end of the auger on an 1118 New Holland swather. 

“Flat,” Kirk replied.

They can tell you how to fix anything. And If they don’t have the part they’ll get it in a day or two.

Besides the guys working the computers and the boss who occasionally hurries through in his crisp collared shirt, two women work in the store. Gina's behind a window, shielded from the greasy, dirty, farmers that come and go. She dresses nice. Lynn’s back with the parts. She wears a polo with the dealership insignia on the shoulder. I can tell they’ve been at this job for a while, conserving energy as they methodically go about their tasks. They’re friendly, but you wouldn’t know it on your first visit. They could both use a new color job. But then so could I.   

Four stainless steel stools face the counter. A sign overhead reads, "This is a classy place. Act respectable.”

Yesterday an older gentleman came in carrying a shredded belt and a busted housing.

 “How are you?" They asked.

“Terrible,” he replied
“Of course he is,” I said. “He’s broke down!”

'tis the season


  1. hilarious.
    Great choice of descriptions.

  2. Great and details explanation nice stuff but i just say whatever you used lock washer and flat washer your flange didnt have to change it will go nicely.

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