Saturday, July 31, 2010

Wow, today kind of sucked!

I decided quite some time ago that it makes more sense for me to have my own big truck than rent one. But wow, working on them is either A) expensive or B) a pain in the ass.

As all you faithful blog readers know, I am taking the Hand of Man to Denver in a little less than two weeks. Herman, my Chevy Kodiak crane truck, will be doing the dirty work of hauling it there and back. This is Herman:

But Herman needs new tires. Four of them. At $250 - $300 each. And new batteries. Three of them. At $125 each. That's a lot of money. I did not actually realize until recently how bad the tire situation was, so the $1000 expenditure on tires was sort of a surprise.

Well, I realized a few days ago that the tires on my International cabover semi truck will fit Herman, and there are eight of them, and they are in good shape. Here is the International:

So I tried to swap the tires from the semi to Herman today. And that is where the sucking started. Basically it was an all-day job, and I did not even finish.

This is how I had to loosen the lug nuts: (Giant breaker bar that I had to jump up and down on)

With all that jumping up and down on a muddy metal tube (oh, did I mention it was raining and really muddy?) I sort of hurt my knee. See, more sucking! Ahh, old age!

And here is what no one tells you.... (well, no one told me.. but now I am telling you!) ..... The studs on the left side of these trucks are REVERSE THREAD!! I jumped up and down on that damn breaker bar for about an hour, inadvertently tightening the damn nuts, before I figured that one out! And then, once you get all the nuts and the outer wheels off, you have to remove the studs with a special socket to get the inner wheels off!! That is the part I never got done today.

After all that jumping around in the mud, I was exhausted. So instead of more physically demanding labor, I installed the power supply board that I got off eBay into my ancient dinosaur of a CNC mill. I was pretty excited to see the mill power up for the first time in years, and then quickly thereafter pretty disappointed to find out that it is stuck in some error mode that I cannot seem to free it from. Awesome!

Well, hey, tomorrow is another day.

If anyone reading this has to change their semi truck tires anytime soon, I would like to politely encourage them to consider paying someone else to do it. Maybe I should be renting trucks after all!!

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