Haven’t posted in a long time, as this has NOT been a good winter for working on tractors. Too cold and too much snow. I HAVE been using LittleTractor for snow removal, but that’s only interesting for the first couple of times… After the 12th time, it gets a bit wearing. Yesterday, however, I ran into a hazard of urban tractoring that I hadn’t really considered, and I thought I should post a cautionary tale…
We had about 4-6 inches of the white dirt fall over the past couple days, so yesterday afternoon I went to take Little out to go snowblow it… Things didn’t start well, we slid into a soft patch with ice under it backing out of the garage, and I wound up finally having to clean the car off and use it to pull Little out. That put me a bit behind, and I wound up snow blowing the sidewalk in front of my place during rush-hour traffic… NOT something I like doing.
I was JUST about done when the snow blower belt popped off. CRUD! This has started happening for Little fairly frequently, so I’ve started packing along my 1/2″ ratcheting box-end for undoing things, rehooking the belt and doing them back up… But it can take some time, and its very frustrating (a new belt for the blower might be on my shopping list this spring). So I shut things down, got down on the ground and got working on it… About 5-8 minutes into the process, I got up from underneath because I wanted to move the tractor another foot or so from the edge of the sidewalk (it was a bit too close to the street for my comfort). About that time, I heard a fire engine leave the fire station a block from my place, so I stopped everything and stood watching (always good to make sure you’re alert when emergency vehicles are deployed, right?). The driver made eye contact with me and waved… Which I thought was a bit odd… But they went past, and I got back down and underneath the tractor to try to get the silly belt tensioner spring reconnected, which is always a PITA, especially when its cold outside.
Well, 5 minutes of grunting and cursing later, I heard footsteps and someone say “Afternoon, sir!”. I look out from underneath the tractor, and there’s a pair of emergency-orange emergency-service boots standing behind my tractor. Rolling out from under the tractor, I see the driver from the fire truck standing there… And down at the intersection in front of my house, I see the truck..
“We had a call from a concerned citizen about someone in distress lying on the ground by their tractor. Is everything alright, sir?”
“Yes, I’m fine, its the tractor that’s broken…”
“I kinda figured that when we drove by and I saw you on it, but we’ve got to check these things out, just in case! Have a nice day!”
Thoroughly embarrassed, I got back to work on trying to rehook that spring. I’d JUST gotten it re-hooked, when I heard a second voice,
“Is everything alright, sir? We’ve had a report of a person in distress!”
Looking out from under the tractor again, I could see a pair of black leather service boots and a pair of black trousers, and the front end of a police cruiser, stopped on the street just upstream from me,
“Yes I’m fine, its my tractor that’s broken!”
“I thought that might be the problems when I saw you moving around underneath it. I’ll contact our COM people so they know not to send anyone else out.”
“I appreciate your concern, I guess I need a bigger sign that says my tractor’s broken.”
“that might be a good thing, sir. Have a nice day!”
LTGal said its a REALLY good thing that an ambulance wasn’t dispatched, because THEY charge $250 for any false calls like that…