So, I jumped in the left-handed fargle-snorker and trucked on up to Clarksville on Saturday.
The trip itself is kind of a big deal. It’s an old rig, yet brand new to me, so I’d no experience as to its reliability etc. The gas gauge doesn’t work, and I didn’t even know what kind of mileage to expect. Then there’s the matter of the dealer’s tags and faxed insurance paperwork…all perfectly okay of course, but the kind of thing State Troopers like to hassle you about.
Of course, it’s only 120 mile trip, and I tend to believe I can build a shopping mall with a q-tip (that line is courtesy of Six Days, Seven Nights) so I was sure that anything short of a gear-shattering explosion I could deal with. I mean, no, I didn’t have any q-tips on me but I was carrying some duct-tape and a pair of nail-clippers and I really didn’t need a shopping mall anyway.
120 miles. No problem at all. There’s some quirks. Mentioned above, the gas guage doesn’t work. Neither does the speedometer. The rear end is two-speed, but doesn’t currently shift. That’s electrical in nature I’m sure and is probably an easy fix. For the speedo…I just snagged the wife’s GPS.
She burns no oil. Gets about 10mpg. Started up fine in the 20 degree morning weather. Brakes work fine. She’s a heavy beast. Fun to drive…in that manly testosterone-pumping, tooth-rattling, kidney bouncing sort of way.
I’ll tinker. I like things to work…but none of the “quirks” are going to effect the job I need to do first, so they can wait.
What I DID need however, are some little accessories required when whipping equipment about in a working environment. The truck was pretty well cleaned out when I bought it…not even a stray block of wood or an oily rag remained.
So, off to the spare lumber pile. I made some chocks (two sets). The parking brake works fine, but on this rig, the hydraulics are powered by a PTO on the transmission, so when using the boom the engine needs to be running and the tranny in neutral. If I end up on any sort of incline, I’ll feel better chocking the wheels instead of just depending on the parking brake and outriggers to keep her from rolling away.
I also made a set of two pads for the outriggers to rest on. They are about 2 feet square, and since they are made with three layers of 2×6 lumber, they are something like 5″ thick. I figure they could support a small crane.
These increase the surface area of the outrigger feet and are needed to keep the outriggers from sinking when operating the machine on softer ground. Also, and more to my needs, the wood pads will protect the soft(ish) brick on the historic square from getting scarred up by the steel outrigger feet.
A handful of traffic cones would be handy too…but that’s easily fixed. The magic UPS fairy is gonna deliver me some this week.
The holidays and all the family stuff that goes along with them have really cut into my projects…so, next weekend…I’m starting on the mudroom roof (can’t insulate until I fix the roof leak), and then for one day I’ll take the left-handed fargle-snorker up to the square and get a closer look at the damage on the tower. I need to know what materials to get before serious work begins.
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