Friday, December 20, 2019

An exercise in ...


I used the maintenance trickle charger to keep the 4 wheeler battery happy just as I was told to do by the guys at the place where I bought the expensive battery this spring.

However. When starting the 4 would not NOT start. Bingo. Hmm. I opened up the gas tank as I knew it was low.
Imagine my surprise to find it nearly dry as a bone. My friend had used it during deer hunting season. I think he parked it and didn't think to tell me? I knew it was low ...but dang.
So I went and got gas and gave it a good drink.

Still NO go.

So I left it alone while I worked in the shed with Rich's tool mess and started to sort them. Did you know he had 14 13/16 inch open wrench thingies? Yep, I counted them. I have plastic coffee cans that I am separating the tools into. I can then move the saw horses with the pile of hay chaff and other gross things away and make a place to put tools that is not in the way and is not filthy with bird droppings.
I went back and tried to start it again. Nope, same thing over and over.

Finally I kicked the heck out of it and swore at it. I put it in neutral, released the brake and considered pushing it into the yard and taking the battery out of it until spring. I also considered shooting it. However I sort of like the 4 wheeler and the tiny cart for yard work.

I stomped into the house and tossed my gloves and boots. Rich looked up and I said I was done...done..done...done. I wasn't going to pretend to be the maintenance gal anymore...., I didn't know what the hell I was doing and I was going to sell everything that was machinery on the farm except for the lawn mowers.

Well color me surprised. Rich said he'd get dressed and go start it.

I told him to wait a day. I looked up the manual on Google Docs where I stored it and read about cold starting. I'd probably flooded it.
I even tried to find out more about hard to start 4 wheelers. Apparently the older ones don't like to start in the cold weather. Newer ones have heaters in them. Seriously though, last year I never used the thing, just figured it wouldn't start because of the cold. This year I thought I'd run it in the winter. Maybe I was wrong about that and should just shove it into a corner and leave it until spring arrived.

But I was serious about getting rid of things I don't like to run, like the skid steer. It is a beautiful piece of machinery but in truth, it is not earning its keep anymore. If the only thing I am keeping it for is to clean up after someone else plows, is it worth keeping? I don't know. I suppose after a blizzard I'd wish I had it ... if it was gone. Maybe Rich can show me how to put the plow on and how IT works. I just need to get him outside so he can show me. That is the issue. I need hands on guidance.

Today I'm going to air up the tire in the truck and park it on the level. That way if the tire loses air again, I can jack it up and take the tire to be fixed. Another pain.

I'll use the warm weather today to get the skid steer out and warm up the engine and its parts and maybe pick up some wood that is laying up in the pasture. It needs to do some work and I need to get more comfortable with it.

Give me animals to take care of. I understand them. Machinery is not my forte.

[Last note...maybe I am so hopless and helpless after all. I read the troubleshooting manual this morning and it sounds like the sparkplug should be replaced if it won't start again where the heck is that? So it could be that if I can't start it, I will push it into a corner of the shed and wait until spring to work on it with my neighbor. I'll take the battery out and store it in the basement and do the maintenance charge on it once a month.]


  1. Yup, that hands on guidance makes a huge difference. I did your 'sell everything' plan and it did eliminate a lot of frustration. Now I have equipment that I can manage. Wishing you well!!

    1. I did get the 4 wheeler started. I know that it will need a tune up and new spark plug[s] in the spring. But my husband just told me to 'chill' out. He says I try too hard. Maybe I do.

  2. Yay!! It would be difficult to not try that hard, it is a lot of responsibility. Nice to hear he is at least a tiny bit involved - telling you to chill and commenting on your painting. :)

  3. I hate stuff that doesn't work when I need it! We park our three wheeler for the winter. It needs a new battery about every two years. We put Stabil or Seafoam in the gas tanks for storage...the gas will not varnish then or so I am told. Oh yes you should keep that skidsteer and practice...and you will love it! Then again I love anything that will move snow!
    I am not a mechanic either...and there is an old snowblower that will be sold come spring!

    1. I did find out from the battery dudes how to extend the battery life. So I got a gel battery for the 4 wheeler and once a month I put it on a maintenance charge for about 3 hrs and it has kept it healthy. But it is parked now until spring!