Sometimes, you just get used to doing things a certain way because you have done it that way for so long. Sometimes, you just aren’t sure how to go about doing anything about it. Sometimes, it’s easier to deal than be a bother. Sometimes, you have super awesome friends who fix a whole bunch of things for you without you even knowing! This is what happened this week!
I inherited a barely used livestock trailer from my father-in-law 11 years ago. I really liked having it so I didn’t have to borrow Dad’s anymore. Of course back then I didn’t have a truck, but hey! I was making progress. It came in really good shape, except for the tires. They had a lot of tread left but the tires were very weather checked from sitting out all the time. This was not a problem to me. I was hauling a horse once in a while and sometimes we take it to the sale barn in Colfax. As the kids got older, we went to Nevada for the fair and it sat there all week until we brought everything home. After I bought my truck a few years ago, I was able to go a few more places (I really didn’t like borrowing trucks). Sister also uses it now and again. I also haul goats to the sale barn once or sometimes twice a year for a dear neighbor friend.
The first problem with the trailer happens when the jack handle broke off. I had a friend weld on a different one that works well for years until the thing fell apart. Bro-in-law put a different one on. It works ok, but my truck sits so low I can’t get a very big block under the jack. This had me jacking it up with a floor jack to get a big block under it so I could jack it up high enough to get it off the truck. Then to put it back on, I had to crank one jack down so I could jack it up again to get the block out to let it down! What a process. But I didn’t mind. It was just what I did.
Then the tire problems started. We had already tubed most of them. I had one that goes flat every time it sits. No problem, I just carry an air tank with me. All the time! Every single time I move it. That gets a little old, but like I said, you just get used to things. Then I had a stem on one of the tubes come off. So the spare got put on. I was told I needed new tires as the one with the tube in it was in such bad shape it couldn’t be put on anymore. Dang. But seriously, in 11 years I have spent nothing but registration on this thing. So I ordered new tires and took it to my friend Marv’s Shop.
I was so excited to just not have to run and fill the air tank and pup up the tire and then take it to finish airing it up every single time we needed it.
Of course, we had no idea what we would be getting into. I have really done nothing to this thing in years. Thankfully only one wheel bearing is a little loose, so I think that will be the next thing I have done. Repacking them shouldn’t take much. So the old tires come off.
Originally, I was going to jack it up at home and just take two off at a time and take them to him. This was a lot easier as he has all the really useful tools.
Once they were both removed we moved on to the replacement part of the deal. That’s also when the extra help arrived!
His tire machine made light work of the change. Pop the old tire off after he let out any air. Of course I didn’t put any air in the one that is always flat to go 4 blocks.
We were surprised to see how good a shape the inside of the rims were! They were filthy and I will try to clean them up a little better from now on. But once we banged the dirt off, they were all in pretty good shape.
A little lube around the rim and the new ones are set in place. I learned that you line the yellow dot up with the stem valve, unless there is a red dot and then you line it up with the red dot. I didn’t learn why? I will have to find that out.
One down, 4 to go. While he put the tire back on, Marv started on the next tire.
The back tire is the spare. It won’t be changed, it will just go back where it belongs. Then the new tire will go on the original rim I brought with me.
We struggled getting the fancy pieces back on. Through out the years pieces have broken off and they just didn’t want to go. They did eventually with a little effort.
Two new on the other side and spare back where it belongs! How exciting!
Then they noticed all the extra stuff on my hitch. I explained I had no way to get the old jack parts off so I had just taken pieces off. Well, that wasn’t going to work for them. So Marv got out the torch (another really useful tool) and took it off. But he didn’t stop there!
No just removing it wasn’t going to be enough. After he cut through it and beat it off with a sledge hammer it had sharp edges.
He got out the grinder and smoothed down the edges for me. Oooo sparkles!
Well if that doesn’t look better. They don’t even know how many times I have caught my foot on that stupid jack piece stepping over it! Then I went to get the second jack out. Of course they didn’t understand why I would need it. So they started messing with the new jack a realized it was frozen at certain point. A little lube there and wouldn’t you know? That jack will go way up and way down now! No more second jack for me!
Still not good enough. They saw that I struggled to get the hitch to open, so the lube came out again and they worked and worked until it moved way easier and opened farther than it ever had.
And they still weren’t done. Marv noticed I had a piece of trim stuck in the side. I had tried to pull it all the way off but it wouldn’t come so I just bent it in the side. He got out his rivets and put it back where it is supposed to be. I couldn’t have been more happy pulling that trailer home.
Lessons learned. Stop accepting things so easily, there is usually a way to fix things and make them work better. Don’t wait so long to order tires. And there is nothing more special than a great group of friends.
Marv does all kinds of work in his shop here in Rhodes. Not just tires and trailer repair! He’s the one that fixed my falling apart horse hay feeder that I was going to throw away. If you ever need anything, don’t be afraid to ask him first, he can usually build it for less than you can buy it. And his tired are pretty reasonable too!