Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Equipment Failures, Groundhog Day

Unlike our perfect day just over a week ago, the last few days have had their challenges. It has felt a big like Groundhog Day as we have taken the same tire off one of the tractors three times now. The first time was for a flat tire. As in flat as a pancake because it had a huge tear in it. Jason wheels out the jack, starts scattering wrenches all over the place, and removes the tire from the tractor. We lug the tire to the co-op and have a new tire mounted. Jason puts the tire back on the tractor and all is well . . . for about a day.

As I came walking up to the front barn from the back of the barn I could see Jason down on his hands and knees by the tractor again. This is never a good sign. As I got closer I realized Jason appeared to working on the same tire. I cautiously ask what is going on and Jason throws a wrench on the ground and says something about a !@&%# stud breaking. I didn't know tires had studs, in fact I still have no idea what a stud is on a tire, but Jason was having a temper tantrum to rival any two year old.

We drive to the co-op to get a stud, and of course they don't have one in the right size. We drive another 15 miles to another farm supply and repair store - same thing. We strike out at Tractor Supply. We finally smarten up after wasting a couple of hours driving all over hell's half acre and start calling around. First Kubota dealership does not have the right size stud in stock but will order it. Same thing with the second Kubota dealer. At this point Jason is refusing to call the third Kubota dealer, announcing they are worthless and that if the first two didn't have the part in stock this one surely would not. I call anyway and hit the jackpot, they have exactly one stud in the correct size in stock.

We literally burn rubber to the Kubota dealership to buy this $15 part before someone else in middle Tennessee can buy it out from under us. We've now wasted two thirds of a day on this tire stud. Jason is happy as we drive back to the farm, and gets back down on his hands and knees and starts working on this same tire again. Groundhog Day. Then the poop really hit the fan. Jason is banging and clanking away working on this tire and then Jason erupts . . .


YOU'VE GOT TO BE $&*@#ing kidding me!!!!!


More stomping, flying wrenches, kicking the tractor, like I said, Groundhog Day.

At this point I am smart enough to know that whatever happened is not good. I interrupt the stomping, wrench throwing and tractor kicking and tentatively ask what the problem is. "I just broke another &#$^%ing stud on this &$%&ing tractor and I am &$%^ing DONE." As you can imagine this is said in a very loud voice.

Obviously we both knew that there was not another tire stud of the correct size to be found in middle Tennessee. Jason carries on with his screaming, wrench throwing and tire kicking while I call a Kubota dealer and order six more replacement parts. We were able to pick them up today. Hopefully tomorrow will go better simply because Jason can break six more tire studs before we are up a creek again.

The next day Jason decided to mow the grass since the work we originally planned to do involved the out of commission tractor. The lawn mowing session is short lived. I was grooming a horse when I heard the little lawn tractor shut off and saw Jason down on his hands and knees again. He ended up having to remove the entire mower deck from the tractor to ascertain the problem. Of course that did not go well and you can just repeat the screaming, wrench throwing, tractor kicking scenes from above again. We finally get the mowing deck off and Jason manages to load in the horse trailer. When we picked up our tire studs this afternoon we dropped off the mower deck. We wisely decided that repair job needed to be handled by someone else given the way our repair jobs had gone lately.

Since apparently we are gluttons for punishment we decided to wrap up the day by disassembling a few hay feeders so we could move them to the new farm. Of course the bolts are rusted from sitting out in the weather and even with air tools we could not get any of the stupid things to budge. Groundhog day again, except Jason did not have any tools to throw since he was using the air tools. Jason stomped into the workshop and stomped back out with a grinder in his hands and starts using it to cut bolts in half. Sparks are flying everywhere. Jason is on his knees with the grinder and the sparks flying, screaming over his shoulder at me how unsafe this was. Thankfully we are still alive despite Jason's "don't try this at home" method of hay feeder disassembly.

Tomorrow Jason will be attempting to replace the tire stud on the Kubota without breaking another one. The good news is we have six spares now. The bad news is that may not be enough. Wish us luck.


Removing the mowing deck from the baby tractor (we call it the "baby" tractor because it is tiny)

The bolt was so hot it was smoking after Jason finished grinding it in half. Nice.

Chimano, Fonzi, George and Gus, blissfully unaware of our troubles


Winston, George, Silver and Faune

Leo and Chance

Hemi, Apollo and Thomas

Ivan, Tony and Homer

Snappy, O'Reilly and Lucky

Dutch, Wiz, Murphy and Renny


SmartAlex said...

TeeHeeHee... sounds JUST like home.

"Ground Hog Day" is a familiar phrase at our house. Tim won't even watch that movie anymore.

Cheyenne said...

I feel for you! I really do.

Anonymous said...

You guys are just too funny, LOVE your blog!

Hey, do you think you could do a regular, maybe monthly "Miracle update" with a photo, etc. Every time I check this blog I so hope to see news of her and Im sure alot of other folks do to.

Anonymous said...

Uh-oh. We are changing the flat on our tractor tomorrow morning....

Vivian, Apollo's Mom said...

Sounds like what has been going on around here with the John Deere lawn tractor. Thank you for the tranquil horse pictures as it has been a day like this over here too...

Bif said...

Brave woman, Melissa.

I would have been hiding under a bush somewhere for those past two days!

I have been in the screaming-flailing-steaming position myself plenty of times, but tend to flee when others are like that. I offer help, then run when they scream I can't help them.