Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Skid Steer of Doom

Anyone that has worked with me should know better than to let me near any farm equipment that is more complicated than, say, your average push lawn mower. No doubt this lack of ability on machinery stems from my poor vision, lack of confidence, and general clumsiness, but it would appear that my boss (the guy in the driver seat up there^) is a brave man and has allowed me to take on the task of scraping out the free stall barn on a regular basis with the skid steer.

While driving a skid steer isn't actually anything new to me (at my previous job one of my tasks was washing and parking the skid steer everyday), the one that I use now is bound to be my demise. Getting it started is by far the biggest challenge, what with the pre-heat button (that has to be held for a certain amount of time [which changes every time]), the bad solenoid in the starter( which freaked me out the first time I tried to start it and nothing happened because the thingy was sitting wrong for it to work, because I thought I had killed it by doing something wrong), and just the general idea that I could possibly break something by pre-heating, over-cranking, or by flooding the fuel line.

{Funny story sidebar: So on Saturday the boss had to leave for a meeting, so he had the neighbor come over to spread and run the barn cleaner. I wanted to get the free stall barn cleaned and got all set up before i went and jumped in the skid steer. I dutifully pre-heat, and give it fuel and then turn the key. Nothing happens. This is nothing new, bad solenoid and all, just have to keep trying the key until it hits right and then it usually starts up. So I keep trying, stopping and re-pre-heating the fuel every few minutes in case it does find the right spot to start, but after fifteen minutes or so of this crap, I get pissed and jump out and go get the neighbor guy to see if he can start it. So he jumps in, and same thing happens to him, but he gets this idea in his head that it's a switch gone bad under the seat that senses when you are sitting and shuts the engine off when you stand up, so he starts bouncing around on the seat and turns around, pulling on it trying to see if he can see the wires. No go, so he sites back down, and meanwhile all his bouncing had rocked the skid steer enough that it was back in the spot where it could catch and fired right up for him after more pre-heating and holding the button down while turning the key. So i was able to get the barn cleaned that day.

So today the boss went to start up the demon device and it was being stubborn again, so I told him he had to be like the neighbor and bounce around to make it start. And so he did. I had to wander away so I could giggle quietly to myself after watching it.}

Another demon of this particular skid steer is that it has bad parking brakes so that when you do have to get in and out of it when it's running, it creeps along, veering to the left so that if you stand too long in front of it,or are switching drivers, you are likely to get run over by it.

In reality, I am not that bad on the thing, I just get nervous when i have to go along the wall because I would hate to be the person that scrapes out a two inch deep gash in the brand new cement wall, or the one that backs into a gate that would probably cost several hundred dollars to replace. So far I have only broke one thing with it, but it was already a little broken to begin wit so i am not overly concerned about that.

Heaven help me though, if I decide that I should learn how to run the spreader, that could be a disaster!


1 comment:

  1. After watching the photo, I'm STILL giggling at the thought of boss bouncing in that seat!


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