Obviously, the tires need replacing before the next time the grass needs to be cut. Shelly and I checked the calendar, and it looked like our next available weekend would be June 18-20th. With our vacation in the Outer Banks in between then and now it became obvious that I needed to head up this weekend to haul the tractor back. I knocked off work early on Friday and headed up. Because I'd just be making a quick trip up and back this ended up a solo trip.
One cool (I think) side note. I learned this week from Shelly that I could download audio books as MP3 files from our local library. I downloaded a couple books and uploaded them to my Droid, which I am then able to tie into my stereo in the Explorer. I "read" a book and a half during the drives there and back, and it made the time go much more quickly. This was far more convenient than audio books on CD, and safer. I wasn't trying to swap out CD's while steering with my knee, while doing 70 mph and towing a trailer. :)
The drive went well. All was good traffic-wise, and I was even able to break for dinner at one of our favorite stops...the Know Good Bar in Atlanta, MI. One of their specialties is the River Burger. 1/2 pound all beef patty, mushrooms, onions, mozzarella cheese, and pizza sauce. Guess what I ordered. :) I arrived late to the house so I just relaxed, wound down and fell asleep on the couch while watching TV.
I woke in the morning at 5:30 ready to get a few things done. The trailer needed some TLC, and with the tools and parts up there to do it...and with needing to haul a relatively large and heavy tractor about 400 miles...this seemed a good time to get it done. The stake sides on the trailer were a bit loose, making the trailer a bit less stable then I liked. So I drilled them and the frame out at the bases, and secured them with bolts/washers/nuts. This significantly improved the overall stability of the trailer. I then removed the mowing deck from the tractor to get it ready for loading. Unfortunately, the tractor won't fit onto the trailer with the mowing deck. Turns out that a 52" wide mowing deck won't fit onto a 48" wide trailer. Go figure. :) Here she is, all loaded up and ready to head to Ohio.
With that done I headed in to do a bit of housekeeping, and to get ready to head back. I cleaned the shower and then the refrigerator, and then got myself cleaned up. I hit the road for home at about 9:30 AM.
Back on the road and listening to my second book, it was another nice, uneventful drive. My luck was running to the good, as when I was about an hour out from home I got a call from the tire seller on Craigslist. Turned out that he had sent the tires home with his co-worker, and he was checking with me to see if I was available to make the cash/tire exchange that evening. EXCELLENT! I finished my drive, unloaded the tractor, and when I received the call from the seller's co-worker I met up with him and secured the new tires.
The tractor, in the garage in Ohio
The new tires
I'll be performing a few other maintenance odds and ends on the tractor while we've got it here. I'm going to drain and refill the fluid in the transaxle, do an oil change, replace the air filter, degrease the motor, and replace a bunch of bolts that are missing that secure the fenders and seat to the frame. I may also need to do something with the seat. Gee...you think? :)
So, the next trip up will be in mid June, to knock the grass down and to get a few things done. We're really looking forward to July. We'll be heading up the week after the 4th of July holiday to spend the whole week. WOOHOO! I'm planning daily blog updates throughout that week. I'll be posting an update after the weekend trip on the 18th, so I'll talk to you all then.