Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Putting stuff away for winter

Yesterday I finally hauled the little hoe home from the drainage project I’ve been poking away at for about a month now.  I’d been dreaming that we might get some dry weather but finally gave up and just barely got it out ahead of some forecasted seriously cold weather. 

The poor little thing wasn’t very happy about climbing back onto the trailer.  My trailer is really too high to be hauling equipment on – the deck is entirely above the wheels and those are on 16 inch rims so the deck is seriously up there.  On dry days the hoe will just barely climb the ramps but when its even a little wet it spins out about the time it gets 1/4 of the track sticking over the top of the ramps.  Then it can get exciting depending how straight back it wants to slide.  My usual solution is to put the deck up part way which lowers the back of the trailer and makes the ramp angle less steep.  Yesterday even that was barely enough.  Several times I got partway up the ramps before sliding sideways off the ramps or all the way back to the mud.  Pushing with the hoe always helps but yesterday I was beginning to wonder if I was going to have to dig some trenches to lower the trailer.  The problem with that plan is that there is no guarantee the truck will pull the trailer out of the hole when I’m all done.  As it was I got the hoe loaded and then had to unload and do it all over when the truck wouldn’t climb the first little muddy incline.

When I got home I spent two hours washing.  The hoe still isn’t clean but its a hell of a lot closer than it was when we first arrived in town.  I left it on the trailer because it will just get slimed if I unload it now.  We really haven’t had any seriously cold weather yet so the ground is just barely frozen on the surface.  This week is supposed to change all that but so far its stayed pretty warm.  Not that I’m complaining about the warmth but the mud is a serious PITA. It never warms up enough to dry anything out – just enough to turn the surface to snot.  In that sense it will be a relief when it finally does turn cold enough to freeze the ground.

Today I put most of the little Case tractors away for the winter. 


That’s the 444 that I use to pull the estate sprayer, the 155 that will eventually be a restoration project and “Marilyn’s” 118 which we’ll use to mow grass at 515 (the new place)

The little 118 is the last tractor to follow me home.  I bought it from some people south of Saskatoon who really didn’t appear to have a clue which alarmed me a bit because I only had their word that the tractor ran.  It wouldn’t even turn over the day I went to pick it up because the battery was dead.  That turned out to be because it had been boiled dry and because the engine doesn’t appear to be putting out any charge.  I got the engine running with no issues but then the tractor still wouldn’t move because it was missing a drive belt.  That wasn’t a surprise either – the previous owners claimed they had been mowing the lawn when it swallowed the belt and never moved again.  That wasn’t hard to believe when I was picked bits of belt out from around the engine shaft for about an hour this morning.  I’m a little doubtful that they did much mowing with the tractor though because the idler pulley on the main belt was not quite square but certainly closer to square than round.  The new idler arrived in the mail this morning – I already had a replacement belt.  After I got done digging the old belt out and put everything back together the tractor ran just fine and even moved under its own power over to the little house.  So I think I probably did OK on that one.  The deck needs bearings but that’s no big deal.

I should point out that I resisted the urge to phone someone in Rosetown over the weekend.  On Saturday night there were two little Cases newly listed on Kijiji.  He was asking a total of $100 for the pair and he claimed one of them was running.  Even if they were both scrap iron, $100 is a serious bargain but I just didn’t want to drive to Rosetown to get them.  It was hard to tell from his picture but one looked like a 224 or 244 with really faded paint and the other was either a 155 or 195.  I spotted them Sunday morning and they were gone yesterday but at $100 that’s no surprise either.


That’s the spare Case parts pile which is in itself another very good reason not to buy any more of the little guys for at least another 6 months.

Footing Trainers I was rooting through “stuff” at the little house a few days ago when I stumbled onto these.  They are barefoot training shoes which I bought years ago.  They will figure prominently in our activities next September long weekend.


This was an unexpected bonus.  I wasn’t sure how heavy the little Skat was and I wasn’t sure where it would balance but it all worked out.  Right now I’ve got the wheels off and the drive chains opened up because there’s a bit of chain noise that I don’t like. 

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