about the kudzu...
This is what it looked like after
we'd cleaned enough off to check the tires.
Our little expedition turned out to be what is a typical event (or adventure) for me. In not-so-nice words, it was a Mongolian cluster-f*ck.
I should have known we were off to a bad start when TC had me pull the JD off with his little 165 Ferguson... See, the generator is bad and won't charge the batteries... and since it's been cold they won't hold a charge long.
We got over there, got it hooked to the 3020 (I had thought about taking the Ferguson, but I had a blown radiator hose that I just fixed this morning, so I was a bit leery of taking off down the road with it until I'm sure I've got the damn thing fixed) and dragged it out. That's when we saw that, although the tires were still up, they were very low once they had the full weight of the harrow on them. Yes, I have a portable air-compressor and yes I was too lazy to load it into the truck. I took two cans of fix-a-flat-crap instead. That, naturally, didn't work worth a sh%t.
Anyway, about this time the generator locked up on the 3020. The fan belt was still turning (although it was giving us a lovely burnt-rubber stench to put up with), so TC decided to chance it and head for home. I do not think he was very enthused with the idea of leaving little John over yonder whilst we went hunting parts to fix it with.
We started out, made it out to the main road without being shot at (or having someone call the law) and took off back up the road, TC with the tractor and me following in my truck with the flashers on.
It was along about this time I noticed the burning-rubber stench had subsided. Unbeknownst to me, the fan belt broke about the time TC got to road and he did not want to park the thing right there in a strangers front yard, so he kept on going.
We made it about halfway back when he stopped in the middle of the road and shut the tractor down, which is when I discovered the belt had broken. He stopped on the top of a hill, so that he could roll little John off when it cooled down, which was a good idea in theory, but in practice didn't work so good, because the cylinder that raises and lowers the transport wheels started leaking down.
Luckily, like a good boy scout, I came prepared. We pulled the hydraulic cylinder and used my handy-dandy high-lift farm jack to raise the disc enough to put on a hand-crank doo-lolly that is made to take the place of a cylinder on seldom-adjusted implements. I'd bought that thing four years ago and never used it before. It was one of those I-may-need-this-someday purchases. It came in handy today.
Since we still had a ways to go, I talked TC into pulling down the road just a little ways to a wide driveway that went back to some chicken houses until we could figure out what to do. We talked about trying to find one of those "pieced" belts that are in sections that you can take apart and just run it betwixt the fan and waterpump, bypassing the locked up generator.
Problem with that was, the parts stores (at least the ones who would actually have
said belt) were closed. We went to TC's shop to gather tools and other assorted paraphernalia to take the thing apart to put a dead generator that wasn't
locked up on it to get it home when TC remembered that he had one of those sectional belts on his old Gleaner combine.
Pulled it off, went back down to where we'd left the tractor, spent several minutes cursing while trying to install it, only to have to pull it back off again because it was too loose. Rinse and repeat while suffering numerous cuts and abrasions.
We then hooked little John up to my truck, pulled him off and headed for home. All in all, our "hour-at-most" project took about three hours, which seems to be typical for one of my excursions.
After we got back and got everything unhooked, we were standing at the end of the driveway talking when who should we see come driving up the road towards us but the dumbass who borrowed it and never returned it. I asked TC if he was going to tell the idiot that he'd went and got and he said "No, I'm going to ask the sonofabitch when he's going to go get it, just to watch him squirm."
Too bad, he kept on driving. Never even looked over towards us.