Monday, April 14, 2014

At least the rain stopped

After I was done....

So I lend my Kubota tractor and loader and bush-hog to a friend about 20 miles away from my house last week, so he can do a bit of land clearing at his new digs and general yard cleanup for a week or so.

He's done, his yard looks Fabulous!  and I'll need the thing this week, so I get my yard work and general home improvement tasks done about 4...looking at the weather, I can make it to his house and load up the tractor onto the trailer and just beat the rain home with enough time to unload, if I don't dawdle.

Over to his house I go. We load up the tractor and just as I am leaving, the rain starts.

No big deal, it's coming in from the west, and I am going east.

 Half a mile from his house, I am out of the rain.


So about halfway home, I see smoke coming from the right side of the trailer....looks like a wheel.

I figure that it is a brake dragging (with the torque of the diesel engine, it is hard to notice until you see smoke). I pull into a (very handy) Home Depot parking lot and get out to look. Things are warm, but not hot,  no smell of smoke, so I back up a few feet and then pull forward. Nope, doesn't appear to be any brake dragging, and I can't see any smoke.....I pull out onto the State Highway and start for home.

4 miles later, I see smoke again. as I am pulling over to a turn lane so I can see what is going on, I hear the muffled Bang! and feel the familiar wobble and shake as the tire begins its final death dance against the fender.

I limp the truck/trailer at an idle for a mile to a nearby truckstop and pull in so I am out of traffic and on reasonably level ground to change the tire.

As I get out, the rain begins. At first a tiny drizzle, but as I get the jack out and the 4 way wrench and all the other accoutrements of tire changing it begins to build.

So I crack the lugnuts and jack up the trailer with the tractor on (Hydraulics are a WONDERFUL thing) and pull the blown tire...which is totally shredded.

Dismount the spare and put it onto the hub.

Some dude ("Cletus" kinda looking guy) wanders over and says:


"Yep" I reply, (not wanting trouble by asking "WTF does it look like? You think I'd be jacking this pig up in the rain if I didn't have to? ") as I snug up the lugs.

"Lucky you had a spare". (Luck? Not a bit. I planned for the eventuality that I might blow a tire)
Cletus isn't getting too close and isn't saying anything, but seems fascinated by my actions, as if he had never seen anyone change a tire, so I continue my task.

As I jack the trailer down and tighten the lug nuts, the rain, of course, fades to nearly nothing. As I put things away, the show over, "Cletus" wanders off. And the rain ends.

I get home (no issues) just in time to unload the tractor from the trailer in the rain....and it ended just as I was parking the truck after unhooking the trailer.

At least it was fairly warm.  Coulda been 34 instead of 60.

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