Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘Grizzly ATV

Sand Play

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We had fun in our giant sand box yesterday. The round pen has not had consistent attention this summer which has given the grass a chance to become a little too prominent a feature. The horses get confused over whether they are supposed to be exercising or eating.

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The Grizzly and our snazzy ABI grader do a good job of converting the appearance from a look of neglect to one of groomed and ready to go.

Separating the uprooted grass bundles from the sand takes a little more manual effort. It’s the kind of activity that draws the attention of the chickens, who assume we must be scratching for insects they can eat. Cyndie tried to explain to them that the roots were not worms, but they just stared at her like a bunch of chickens, don’t you know.

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The gazebo is ready. The round pen is ready. We might as well hold some workshops, eh?

Might as well.

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Written by johnwhays

August 7, 2017 at 6:00 am

Dust Bathing

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While I was busy sprucing up the property, the chickens were sprucing up themselves with a rousing dust bath yesterday afternoon. Apparently, two of them had simultaneous interest in the exact same spot of sandy ground. If it hadn’t been for their two different colors, I wouldn’t have been able to tell where one left off and the other started.

The three of them were pretty cute in their companionship earlier in the day when I was turning the piles of compost. They would climb up on the pile I was working on, startling a little bit each time I tossed another scoop on the heap. Not intending to alarm them, I would switch to a different pile to work, after which they would migrate over to help me on that pile.

After a few hours of compost management, I pulled out the Grizzly with our towable grader/rake and did some laps in the round pen to disrupt the uninvited weedy grasses that love taking root in the sand. Maybe the chickens will take a liking to the newly raked sand over there.

Finally, I cranked up the lawn tractor to mow the yard and all the nooks and crannies from the house to the road.

I feel ready to return to the day-job. The next big task demanding attention is the labyrinth. With Cyndie reduced to one working arm, that garden has been mostly neglected. It is something I can probably do after work one of these nights, if I have any energy for the project. The grass and weeds have gotten tall and thick, so it won’t be a quick and easy job.

When that is completed, I need to get after the north pasture, where Cyndie has already removed the fence webbing. I want to pull the T-posts that remain standing and then knock down the shoulder-high growth with our brush cutter. That will be an adventure in mowing what you can’t see.

Sure hope the chickens stay out of that field.

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Working Through

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Some chores don’t wait for nice weather, so we ventured out into the constant drizzle on Sunday to open space in our compost area, despite the inconvenience. Cyndie had moved the horses indoors out of the wet on Saturday night, which resulted in soiled wood shavings in their stalls at a time when we didn’t have space in the compost area.

Luckily, there is a spot next to the barn where we’ve been using composted manure and old hay to fill in a drop in the landscape. The area had been a too convenient runway for water drainage that was problematic. Bringing it back to level with the surrounding area will spread and slow water flowing from above.

Out came the Grizzly, after putting air in the leaky front tire, and the metal grate trailer for an increasingly muddier series of loads from the compost area. Very similar to working on moving innumerable bales of hay, as time goes by, the loads seemed to get heavier and heavier and I started to move slower and slower. Cyndie pushed back against my increasing moments of pause, with a goal of getting the job done as quickly as possible so she could get in out of the cold and wet.

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When she proclaimed we were down to just two loads remaining, I corrected her with the estimation of four loads. After I tried to take out a small load to assure my estimation would win, she suggested we could toss some of the last bits into the woods around the compost area, leading to an outcome of three loads completing the task. It was declared a tie.

We were wet, it was muddy, but we had worked through the nasty weather to accomplish a necessary chore. We now have open space for composting again.

And not a moment too soon.

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Written by johnwhays

May 23, 2017 at 6:00 am

Much Better

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dscn5742eWe enjoyed a brief visit from the sun yesterday, which made quick work of melting areas I cleared of the small amount of snow left from the most recent precipitation.

The front tire on the Grizzly held air, so the Slime patch appears to be working. After getting the driveway and barn areas plowed, I hand-shoveled to clean up nooks and corners, then parked the ATV for this photo and headed in for lunch.

Once refueled, I ventured out again to shovel off the deck before turning my attention to plowing trails to make way for the bucket truck of the tree trimmers. I wish it had been a colder day.

Our record-setting January thaw has left the ground a little soft in places and my plow blade tended to dig in to the muddy ground, peeling up large rolls of earth. There isn’t really any flat ground here, and as the angle of the ATV tilts, the result at the end of the plow blade gets exaggerated. That makes it very difficult to figure out a height setting of the blade that won’t be too high or too low.

There really is no “just right” setting. If it is not digging in a little bit on one side or the other, it is usually because it is not plowing any snow at all as a result of being too high.

Regardless, I think I’ve established a drive-able section of two, maybe three, routes down our trails to reach a majority of the big trees we are hoping to have trimmed. I will not be surprised at all if the truck looks a lot bigger than I’m imagining once it arrives and attempts to turn the corners.

At the end of the day, as promised, I got a call from the auto body shop that my Subaru repair was completed. Cyndie drove me to pick it up. It looks good as new. They even gave it that new car smell. The owner was reviewing all the work they had done and I added, “Alignment.”

“Was that on the estimate?” Uh oh.

We headed inside to check, and sure enough, I was right. He was very apologetic. Said it was completely his fault that it got missed. Oh boy. Now I need to bring it back next week and drop it off again. People!

At least it looks much, much better than when I brought it in the first time.

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Written by johnwhays

January 28, 2017 at 10:31 am

Brake Lesson

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It was another one of those days when I started with one thing in mind, and quickly ended up with a whole new project demanding attention. Starting with a goal of filling another low spot by using old hay bales that have some mold and the composted manure and bedding from the barn, we were going to use the Grizzly ATV.

Before using the Griz, I needed to remove the plow blade and change the tires to the less aggressive summer tread. I pushed the button to extend the cable so I could disconnect it from the plow, but nothing happened.

Hmm. It worked last time I used it, …about 2 months ago. Oh well, that was easy to work around. Next, I jacked up the Grizzly and removed the front tires. That’s when I noticed one of the brakes wouldn’t release. I have never done any work with disc brakes. The only things I know about brakes are the words, caliper, brake pad, and brake fluid.

I called George for advice. At dinner on Thursday, he described the work he was doing on a tractor he recently bought, which reflected just the kind of skills my new problem needed. With him giving me the confidence to start removing bolts, we started analyzing the situation.

DSCN4638eThere is definitely a problem with the right brake not releasing. Unfortunately, there is also a problem with the caliper slider pins being seized in place. The left side wasn’t much better, but at least we were able to get the pins out. That revealed the pads were definitely in need of replacement.

With George’s help, I now have a good idea of what needs to be done. All I have to do is find a way to break the corrosion bond in the right brake so I can get the dang thing apart.

Freeing corroded bolts seems to be a theme developing with this machine. If I can win that battle, this will be a chance for me to finally learn the nuances of working on hydraulic disc brakes.

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Written by johnwhays

April 11, 2016 at 6:00 am

Anticipating More

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Winter weather alerts have been posted for our area and we are taking note. Mostly, I’m noting that my commute to work will be a hassle today and tomorrow, …if I go to work tomorrow.IMG_iP1011e

Just in case the skies do unleash a measurable amount of frozen flakes, I took some last-minute steps last night to have the Grizzly ready to clear the driveway. Off came the summer tires, replaced by the more aggressive tread of the winter set. Then I attached the snowplow blade and backed the ATV into place.

I don’t know why I have been waiting to do this. Maybe part of my hesitation was to challenge the possibility that El Niño was going to moderate our winter to such degree that I wouldn’t need to plow?

advisory1

 

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Written by johnwhays

November 30, 2015 at 7:00 am