The stars at night are big and bright...

The stars at night are big and bright...
The stars at night are big and bright...

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Just one of my typical days.

Saturday started out in the rain at 9am unhooking the swather from my tractor and hooking it to my F350 to tow over to my BIL's welding shop. Spent 30 minutes looking for my new $18 gloves. Finally gave up, then found them sitting on the tongue of the swather soaked like a sponge (been there all night, 3 1/2" of rain). It was a sign.

As you can see from the picture the tongue is on the left end of the swather and even in the fully retracted position it tracks FAR to the right. I get hooked up and make my way at 25mph taking up all my lane and 1/2 of the oncoming on the hilly, twisty FM road cheating death and dodging idiots not paying attention all the way. About a mile out of Alvord I see one of the old rotten implement tires going flat. I ran over something in the ditch when I had to scoot over for a truck. 

I barely make it to the County maintenance barn driveway before it rolls off the rim. I pull out my 4-way and bottle jack but for some dumbass reason I decided to clean out the bed of my truck a couple weeks ago and took all my wood blocks out. I look around and scrounge up a couple rocks to put under the jack so I can unhook then start to jack up the flat. Problem. Bottle jack is too tall to fit under the bottom of the leg and the leg is angled up for a couple feet. I need blocks to reach a safe jacking point and we've already covered that. 

I leave it sitting on the side of the road and drive on over to BIL's and steal a wheel off his square baler and a shitload of blocks. We head back to the swather, pull the flat off and then he tells me it's the wrong bolt pattern (we'll revisit this point). His baler is an 8 lug and my swather is a 6, I'm going to need a tire. 

I leave it again (this time sitting on blocks) take BIL home, then head to Decatur in search of a tire. I get to the tire store at 12:05 and everybody is looong gone. Same thing at McMaster New Holland. I go to Tractor Supply and the closest thing they have is a skinny front tire for a 9-N Ford (no worky). I call AgVantage and they don't even carry tires. Great farm stores ya got there.

While I'm leaning against the tailgate of my truck trying to think of somewhere I can find a tire after Noon on a Saturday I look at my wheel laying next to BIL's wheel. They are both universal and will fit either a 6 or 8 lug pattern. I should have looked for myself when he said it wouldn't fit. I head back to the swather, put the baler wheel on and finally make it to BIL's. It's 3:30 and he has to be somewhere at 4.

At least it's sitting at the welding shop and it isn't leaving until it's fixed.

Unfortunately I'll have to buy 2 new tires to get it back home.

1 comment:

The Donald said...

Sorry about the rotten luck...and tires.

This past Wednesday/Thursday, just as my last sheep (I think) jumped the fence, oldest son calls at 12:45a.

"Hey, Dad, I've got a flat tire."

"Where are you?"

"Driving home on 170 - I'm driving on the grass."

"Need me to come get you?"

"Naw, I can make it to the apartment, but can you take me to Wal-Mart to get a tire?"

"Uh, I know Wal-Mart's 24 hour, but not so the automotive department - I think they close at 7 or 8. How about I come get you in the morning, early?"

"They'll sell me a tire."

Not wanting to get out of bed for nothing, I told him to call W-M and if they confirmed they had his size tire and could retrieve one from the service warehouse rack, I'd come get him (my folks have a tire machine in their hangar). 5 minutes later he calls affirming that they can.

In about 10 minutes or so, I pick up #1 son and we head to the Roanoke W-M. I figured since I was already out, I'd pick up a couple of grocery items, and about 5 minutes later son and I met at the check stand, an associate having rolled his new tire up front.

The next bit of serendipity comes from the fact that son works at a place where...he mounts tires, albeit for powersports equipment, not trucks. Since it was a little closer than my folks' place (and we wouldn't be running a compressor in a residential area in the middle of the night), we opted for the warehouse, which is staffed around the clock.

Within about 20-25 minutes, he had popped the bead on the old tire and dismounted it (about a 3# coffee can of rubber 'marbles' inside the carcass), and mounted and inflated the new one. Any concerns that the equipment wouldn't handle truck tires proved unwarranted. Thankfully they had an electric toter, since the tire cage was at the back corner of the warehouse, diagonally opposite of where we had come in.

15 minutes after that, he had the tire back on his F150, and I was headed home, getting to sleep around 3:30.

Yeah, I slept in just a bit the next morning...