Monday, July 15, 2013

Fixing A Flat On The Backhoe

Fixing a flat on the backhoe.  That's a sentence that I never thought I'd say.  But it needed to be done.  In the process of moving the recalcitrant TODD (Trailer Of Death and Doom), his final revenge was to give the backhoe a flat.

Previous to yesterday, the biggest tire I'd ever patched was on my bicycle when I was about 12.  On my cars, I'd just put on the spare and either get the flat fixed by a mechanic or buy a new tire.  Backhoes don't have spares, and new tires cost about $400.

It needed to be fixed, and yesterday was the day.

I didn't take any photos.  The backhoe was at Earl's, and my camera was in my car on our property.  It was sunny, hot, and humid, and I wasn't about to go fetch it.  Sorry.  Just close your eyes and imagine.   Well no, I guess you can't do that because then you couldn't read the blog.  You can only close your eyes for radio programs and such.

I'm going to leave out all the details and swear words.  It would make this entry too long.  But we found the hole by raising the backhoe up off the ground with the outrigger, sticking Judi's small swimming pool under it and filling it with water (much to her dismay) and spinning the tire.  Then we tried to plug the hole with tubeless tire repair stuff, but it didn't take.  So we removed the tire... do you have any idea how much a tire like this weighs?... broke the bead with the backhoe bucket, pried the tire off with screwdrivers, patched it from inside, remounted the tire on the rim, and then on the backhoe.  This took seven work beers each and all day to do.  Yep.  Seven.  And I only peed once, that's how hot it was.  The last thing to do was to inflate the tire.  It didn't want to do so, leaking all around the bead.  So we stopped, it being 5:30 PM and us running out of beer and all.

I was also very tired.  I'm having a hard time keeping up with Earl, who is 20 years older than me.  Maybe it's the pipe that gives him his superpowers.

Today we will put a chain around the tire to bind it to the rim and try filling it again.  We tighten the chain with a gizmo that looks like a come-along on steroids.  It squished the tire and pushed the bead out to the rim.  If we get it tight enough, air pressure will do the rest.  The Maybe this time I'll bring the camera.  Of course, all the good stuff has already been done.

In other news, we have preliminary plans for the house.  Pam and John the Architect are working out the fine points.  We're meeting John the Architect at 10 AM today to review the building site and perhaps even put some stakes in the ground.  Now THAT I'll take photos of.

And we haven't had any significant rain in the past few days, just some light showers.  Maybe I can even finish smoothing the land with Earl's homemade leveler (the front end of a mobile home frame).  Or maybe start digging the foundation if we get the backhoe finished.  I'm interested to see if our chosen building site is sitting on top of a spring or not.  The hole that Earl dug with the backhoe the other day promptly half filled with water, and it hasn't evaporated.   It's just in front of where the house will go, about at the lower level of the foundation.

The dogs love their swimming hole though, so everything has its good points.  Maybe our house will have an indoor pool.

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