Monday, June 16, 2008

Troublesome Tractor Torment

(I love this picture of my truck!)

So, I used a tractor to flatten dirt today. That’s the new New Holland I mentioned. I don’t remember if I mentioned the fact that it had developed a small hydraulic leak. This morning I drove over to see how many loads the dump truck driver had dumped, then came back for the tractor. I tightened the fitting that I thought leaked, and it seemed to work when I tried it out. I drove over to the Elementary and began working.

I was using the blade on the back. I was also using the bucket. I was there for almost an hour. I noted that after the hydraulic fluid heated up, it leaked again. Then the tractor stopped moving. I looked behind me and found the blade closer to the ground than I expected it. The three-member tri-member thing on the back had three arms, and the top one had broken. It has two on the bottom and one on the top, called the “third member” by my boss (I don’t know, it sounds kind of…dirty to me…is he jerking me around teasing me?). That had snapped. I raised the blade and it sort of flipped up, looking as though it threatened my head. I ducked, un-necessarily. Then I realized the “third member” had gotten caught. I called my coworker Matt. Then my boss showed and said to take it back to the shop.

My boss gave me the look: “again?” Remember a few weeks ago I lost a WHEEL of the mower? Then a few days later I panicked because I thought the weed whipper had seized up…it turned out the starter rope had gotten stuck. A quick loosening of the screws and a couple taps set it right, but not before I had called the boss. I reported the hydraulic leak on Friday. So, he had this feeling that I have been breaking stuff a lot lately. He thought I had been hot-rodding and just being rough on the tractor…honest, I hadn’t!

We got it back and found that the (forgive me) “third member” had broken AND bent…it was no good. It cost $111.00 to replace. All day long the boss looked at me that way, like I had done it on purpose or something. He sent me over to get a “box scraper” at the Brush Hog dealership. The guy there told me I had a category 2 tractor with category 1 implements. The tractor was tougher than the equipment. That COULD have contributed to the failure of the “third member.” Also, every time I used the bucket, the tractor pitched up and down against the back blade, which may also have helped it along to an early doom. My boss finally started to be nicer. I think he had other things going wrong, on top of mine. I got the required bushings and pins and it looked like the “box scraper” seemed like it would work.

I went back after lunch and took it over to the school. I began working on the piles of dirt that had now been piled over the spot that I had flattened. I used both the bucket and the box scraper. Finally I was pulled some dirt with the bucket and the bucket would not come back up. The small hydraulic leak had steadily become bigger, too. I did not think anything of it. When the bucket stopped moving though, I looked closer. There was A LOT of hydraulic fluid leaking out. The bucket would go down but not up. I ended up with the front wheels off the ground…completely airborne. I called the boss.

(this is like ours, except this has bigger wheels. Ours is an 810TL)

I got the “Voice.” He said he would come over. I was distressed. I thought, ok, he might threaten to fire me. He might bring me my pink slip… It turned out that he was not nearly as upset about this. He got on the tractor and tried it. Several times. Finally, I was in the right spot and saw something loose that should not have been. We managed to fix it. But, he decided, given the leakage, we might as well take it back to the shop. When I saw him again, I was washing the tractor. He said the dealer would be picking it up soon and bringing a replacement. I was not in trouble.

After playing in the dirt with tractors little boys are always dirty. Big boys and tractors are no different, except, I don’t like it as much as I used to. I was…dirty. When the new tractor (loaner) showed up, it had a cab with air-conditioning!! It may even have stereo! There was not time to use it, though.

(this is the loaner)

And, will I get to use it tomorrow? Probably not, I have been requested to help the electrician pull wire…now, that is the only work I can see an electrician performing that might raise a sweat…I don’t enjoy pulling wire…but, neither does the electrician…maybe he does not like me either!!

1 comment:

Cora said...

I love that picture of you truck too. Who knew Toyotas were so tough.