Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘New Holland 3415

Changed Plans

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How many times lately have we heard that plans have changed? More than a few, I dare say. It reaches a point where I’m finding myself less inclined to make any future plans of substance. My 6-month dental checkup and cleaning appointment due in March was rescheduled when the shutdowns started occurring.

I LOVE the feeling after having my teeth professional cleared of plaque and asked for the next earliest appointment. They gave me Tuesday, May 19. Last Thursday, the scheduler called me to cancel that appointment and said they can’t even guess when the next possible chance will be.

Yesterday, I had planned to connect the chipper to the diesel tractor PTO to convert those tree branches to woodchips before the coming rain arrived. The weather allowed the whole day as the precipitation didn’t begin until dusk. The tractor did not cooperate. It was rather depressing.

I am not a tractor mechanic, but I am willing to naively explore possible solutions to problems. My best guess is that one of the multiple safety interlocks is keeping the starter from working. It’s actually happened before. The very first time I tried to start the tractor, I couldn’t get it to work. The seller had just changed the battery and assured me he would pay to have a service person look at it.

That technician arrived and immediately put the tractor on his flatbed truck, but decided to try one last time before hauling to the shop. It fired right up. I asked what he did differently than me and he said he didn’t know. We assumed it was making sure the gears and PTO were properly in the off/neutral position.

Last year, this happened to me again, but I persevered and after multiple tries, it fired up. Problem was forgotten.

Until yesterday. I tried the same thing over and over again so many times I surpassed the “insanity” definition ten times over. I finally broke down and called my next-door neighbor for advice. He knows tractors as a guy who collects them, refurbishes them, and buys and sells them. He even owns the exact same New Holland model as mine, among his many International Harvester collection.

Diagnosing remotely, he worried about the battery, since I admitted I hadn’t ever cleaned the connections. Well, his concern was well placed, as the neglect was evident and cleaning was warranted. But it wasn’t the problem.

I tracked wires and disconnected and reconnected junctions. While rummaging around beneath the belly of the beast, I found how much corrosion resulted from the mess after the valve stem broke on the liquid-filled tire last year. I spent hours tinkering cluelessly, interspersed with the repeated insanity of positioning and repositioning the PTO lever that I think is the problem. Nothing changed.

Eventually, I gave in to a change of plan and moved on to something else to salvage some glimmer of accomplishment for the day. I removed 24 blocks from six pallets that got added as eight rows to our boardwalk in the woods on our main perimeter trail.

That will be valuable since we’ve already received 1.5″ of rain overnight and it’s still falling.

I plan to call a professional to service the tractor.



Flat Fix

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I found out how to get the tractor with a flat, fluid-filled tire out of the garage… Yesterday afternoon, I got a call at work from the guy I had contacted to solve my tire problem. He asked me if I still needed the repair done.

After assuring him I did, and that I was anxiously awaiting his opportunity to show up, he told me he was standing outside my garage, wondering how to get in.

From my workplace, an hour away, I was able to direct him to the button for the garage door opener. I then contacted Cyndie, who was busy on another phone call inside our house. She later told me that Delilah was barking incessantly at the strange truck in the driveway, but Cyndie needed to finish her call.

She was eventually able to get out there and move the ATV out of the way, so the guy could work on the tractor. He didn’t want to make a big mess in the garage, so, he opted to make just a little mess and simply drove the tractor on that flat tire to get it outside.

Why didn’t I think of that?

Oh, probably because I know next to nothing about large tractor tires.

I wish I had been there to watch him work, so I could learn more about what’s involved. Even though I left work as soon as possible after finding out he was ready to do the fix, by the time I pulled up the driveway, he had already finished all the work, parked the tractor back in the garage, closed the door, and was¬†in his truck¬†writing up the invoice.

If the timing is right, I may have another chance to witness the process. He didn’t have enough of the non-corrosive fluid to change out the caustic calcium chloride in the other rear tire, so he will need to return later this week, if circumstance allows. He told me it depends on whether the local farmers get back into their fields to finish combining the corn that is still standing.

Tractors that develop tire problems during harvest get the highest priority attention, and automatically move jobs like mine down the list to be dealt with later.

If I get lucky, maybe he will show up on Friday, when I’m at home. I’d like to see how he breaks the seal, pulls out the old tube, and then gets the new one in and filled with both fluid and a little air.

This is a long way from changing a flat on a bicycle, that’s for sure.



High Balance

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It has been a while since I cleared out the pine trees that died in the last year, leaving 6 or 7 feet of trunk standing from one of them, in hopes of creating a balancing rock sculpture on top of it.

Yesterday, I got my chance.

I hadn’t set out to accomplish that when I started the day, but activity has a way of evolving here, if you let yourself go with the flow.

I was trimming the growth beneath our fence line along the perimeter of the hay-field, and decided it would be worth getting the tractor to cut some of the areas of tall grass left after George cut the field for hay.

DSCN3680eWhile out there mowing, I took advantage of the opportunity to move out some large rocks that had been left in a corner of the field last fall by the crew we hired to fence in the back pasture. I had wanted to get that done before the field was mowed, but this was the next best time to do it, with all the grass now short.

The first set of rocks I picked up were smaller than the one in this picture, so on a whim I decided to drive up and see if I could maneuver the tractor in place and roll one onto the waiting tree trunk.

Despite a few precarious moments, including one where the small rock tipped over in a breeze just as Cyndie had bent over pulling some weeds so I had to startle her with a warning, the process worked as I had envisioned.

I put the small rock back up, in a more secure position, and we now have the tallest installation of curiously placed rocks that I have ever done.











Written by johnwhays

July 13, 2015 at 6:00 am