It still surprises me, at how cold the inside of the barn can get. I guess it’s due to all those metal walls.
Every fall my red, Case Hydro 234, tractor is set in a dry place in the barn where she waits for spring.
Last year was the first year I forgot to check the tractors’ radiator fluid…
Last year, the radiator fluid, in my tractor froze, and ruptured the coolant drain plug.
Now here we are in the middle of winter, and I forgot to drain the antifreeze, again…
Earlier in fall I should have drained the radiator of water and antifreeze, and then replaced it with full strength antifreeze. That would prevent the water from freezing and damaging the tractor. The water pump, radiator, crankcase, and engine block.
Last winter, I lucked out; the coolant drain plug broke before the engine block cracked.
This morning I stood outside the barn in over a foot of snow and knocked on the over head door. That was my professional attempt to ‘un-stick’ the bottom of the door from the ice. With a tug, I was able to slide the door up. I stepped inside the barn. It wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be. Last winter the temperatures dropped so low, the inside door was covered in frost.
“Hey old girl” I always greet my tractor and my computer in the same way. No worries, the computer never comes out to the barn.
I opened the hood and checked the radiator. The fluid was low. I grabbed a bucket, with the intent on draining off some of the antifreeze. I planned on adding new fluid at full strength, once it was drained. That was the plan. Except, I couldn’t open the drainage plug! I gave up, and made sure the radiator was topped off. I was very careful not to touch the antifreeze liquid, or spill any. It is very poisonous. I didn’t want Uriah lapping it up.
In a feeble attempt to keep the tractor warm, I grabbed some bubble wrap, and placed it around the engine. Then I closed the hood.
I walked back to the garage and grabbed all the newspapers I could find. On the way out of the garage I added in a piece of tarp to the pile of newspapers.
Back in the barn, I covered the hood of the tractor with the newspapers. Then I set the tarp over the newspapers. I stepped back and sighed. What I really needed, was a blanket. The only one I could think of was Uriah’s.
I looked over at Uriah. He was nosing around in the corner; he had found some dried grass and was pushing it around.
“Hey Uriah! Are you willing to give up your blanket, so I can cover the tractor?”
Uriah took a couple of steps towards me. He watched my hands anticipating a treat. When he didn’t see any appearing, he shook his head so his ears flapped.
“Oh! Come on! You don’t believe I would take your blankey? ”
His eyes went from my face to my hands. Twice! I reached in my pocket and pulled out a milk bone and tossed it to him.
I just hope this winter the tractor doesn’t freeze.
This past spring I had to send the tractor out to be fixed. After it was brought back I had trouble with the electrical wiring. When I turned off the engine, the headlights came on and wouldn’t shut off. I disconnected the lights. Problems solved sort of…
Add to list, check electrical wiring!
I need to head to the truck stop; they may have an engine blanket, if there is such a thing…
I tried to use the tractor, only once, to plow snow. That was the winter of 1999. Diesel tractors hate cold! So, I bought a heater to warm her up. Even with the heater, I could barely start the engine.
For some reason, I forgot that those big tires slip easily on wet grass and mud. In a deep snow during a blizzard it was terrifying! I tromped off to the store and priced out chains for the tractor’s tires. After I learned how to install them, I decided to get a snow blower from Sears instead…