Friday, June 22, 2012

It's Always Somethin'!

“Once, just ONCE… I would like to go through a season without some major expense!” the Boss lamented.

Yeah, well…good luck with THAT one!

Last year we had the tractor repair (read this) and the reefer purchase (read this one) and the surrounding costs of delivery and set up... then read this!

Last month, the Troy-bilt roto-tiller broke down.  Just up and died. We have had this workhorse for well over 20 years and it has never failed us.  I suggested that perhaps it was some sort of payback thing as the Boss had been badmouthing someone’s BCS (the competing brand of tiller).  Joking aside, the tiller is an integral part of the workforce so prompt repair was crucial.
The only way to move the motionless tiller

The problem was identified and phone calls made. The repair shop said a week to ten days.  The Boss decided to do it himself.  A little internet shopping, a few days wait, and he was on the case. 

…except that the repair didn’t…repair the problem! It ran for a while...

Back to the drawing board, er…internet to re-evaluate the problem.  Order another part…wait a couple days…work on it again…nuthin’.

Then, it was time to face that question we had been trying to avoid.
Was it time to replace Troy?
What kind of investment were we talking about?
Good night!  That MUCH?

There was one more thing to try…a new engine.

The nice repair guy in town said he’d order it, no money down, no worries…it would be in tomorrow. (yeah, right…like I believed THAT one!)  Wonder of wonders, it came in…the Boss picked it up and paid for it, and wonder of wonders…was able to install it withOUT a special trip to Lowe’s or elsewhere.

YAY!  It starts and stays running.  But something sounds wrong.


This time it is the worm gear which looks like this….
see how smooth that "gold part" looks?

It should, in fact, look like THIS! No wonder it doesn't work.

Looks like another repair job.  The list of parts began to add up.  Another couple hundred….yikes! But, this should solve the problem.  It better! We are getting to the point where it might be cheaper to buy another machine.

Wait a minute!  The main part is backordered until sometime in mid to late August.  The only way to get one is to get a used one somewhere…and it looks like other folks are looking for used ones, too.  There are a few on Ebay, but time is of the essence.  Another two weeks without the tiller is just WAY too long. The "tiny tiller" that he uses for hoophouse work can be used in a pinch for small-ish jobs.  Unfortunately, it has its own set of "issues" that require repeated maintenance and repair.

Time to think the unthinkable.  Time to seriously consider replacement.  We must have a tiller to work and maintain the gardens. Troy-bilt was bought out by another company that is no longer producing quality workhorses. The cheap-o ones at the big box stores are just that.  SO…we are switching to the competitor’s brand. No kidding.

Next week we’re off to get the new tiller.  The Boss will be able to get back to work and then when the part for the other one becomes available, he can repair that one.  At that point he will be making a decision to sell the repaired old one or keep it for “emergency back-up”.  …and if history is any predictor…I’m going with that one.

It’s always somethin’!

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