Ah my friends what a day it has been.
As you know from my last post the farm truck has been on sabbatical for the last few weeks. Well, this morning as I was speaking to my father on the phone I happened to glance out the window and see my dear husband pulling the truck toward the barn with the tractor. I immediately realized that the situation had gotten completely out of hand so I used my secret weapon – dad’s automobile advice.
It turns out that we didn’t have to replace the starter. In fact the fix, while not permanent, was obscenely simple. “It’s the solenoid,” said he, “the contacts are stuck together, maybe welded together. It’s not your starter… although you might want to replace that too by the sound of it.”
I went out and found Don and the truck, stationary, halfway between the house and the barn. I tapped the solenoid a few times with a small ball peen hammer and voila, running truck. Oh how happy we were. Until Don pointed out the reason he was only halfway to the barn. A distance that I should point out is not very far.
The left rear wheel was not turning. Behind the truck was a long, ugly scar in the earth.
<Insert entirely inappropriate and vulgar words here.>
This is entirely my fault. While trying in vain to remove the starter last weekend I decided to be safe and so engaged the parking brake – not an unreasonable decision I think. However, I didn’t fully comprehend, yes even given it’s taciturn history, the true recalcitrance of this cobbled together off-road beast. The brake engaged perfectly. It just won’t disengage now.
<More dirty language.>
Luckily while forward was not an option, reverse was free for the taking so Don ignored my suggestion of a blowtorch and backed the truck between the fence and an apple tree, through the pasture, between the scrap-metal pile and the burn pile, and into one of the bays in the barn. It really was inspiring to watch.
Only once we had the truck inside the building did we realize that we now have no choice but to fix it right away. There is no way to get it out otherwise.