Like machinery everywhere, gear on the farm tends to break down just when you need it. This may be obvious, but it’s no less annoying for it!! Some breakdowns you know are coming sooner or later, like when you decide to let it wear out rather than fix it at the first signs of trouble. This you can avoid with regular maintenance including INSPECTION—checking things out for looseness and wear always eventually pays off—but often I, uh, don’t get around to it (as with, recently, the riding mower). Most breakdowns are, at least on the surface, sudden failures, like today, when in the midst of tilling with the 48″ rototiller on the back of the Kubota compact tractor, the tines suddenly stopped turning. This had happened once before, so the diagnosis was easy: broken chain. And that’s a good one. Every time something breaks and we fix it, I stock up on extras of whatever was used in the repair—DIY repair and a good selection of spare parts go hand in hand on the tiny farm! So, for the chain, there are parts: full links, offset links, master links. A replacement chain is also quite cheap and a good thing to have on hand. This particular repair job is dirty but extremely simple and straightforward, same as for a bicycle chain. Pop off the chain guard, scrape off the excess grease, bang out the rivets on the broken links and add new ones, or decide to replace the whole thing, put the chain back on…it’s about as simple as that, and you’re back in the saddle again!