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Belts, a muffler, and the Bahamas January 23, 2009

Posted by Joe in Farm.

Almost a year ago, my mother bought me one of the most practical and needed birthday presents I’ve ever received. She bought me a new muffler and exhaust pipe for our tractor.

It was certainly needed. The exhaust pipe of our 1964 Ford 2000 gasoline tractor runs underneath the main body of the tractor, similar to the exhaust of a car. However since it’s exposed and driven over rough terrain, the pipe had rusted out a couple of years ago. As a result the engine exhaust was being release just in front of the driver’s seat. Not a good thing for the driver!

I’ve been busy and hadn’t gotten around to replacing the muffler and pipe. Actually to be completely candid about it, I was dreading it to some extent, fearing that it may turn in to a long and arduous task.

Finally, however, I was prompted to the repair with something more than just loosing IQ points with every breath I took while bush-hogging or breaking the garden. A couple of days ago, one of the two belts broke on the tractor. At that point it became more than just important, it became urgent as well since I must use the tractor to lift the 700 pound hay rolls to fee to the cows.

So, I went by the tractor dealership yesterday on the way to visit a client. Mike, a very knowledgeable guy in the service department, helped me to identify the various parts I’d need in my repair job. I picked up a couple of belts, another piece for the exhaust pipe, and some securing clamps. I noticed that as other customers came into the store, Mike greeted them by name, asked about their family, and told them about his recent trip to the Bahamas. What great customer service, I thought. Then I realized that all of these people must be repeat customers. Mike had a great repeat business. No wonder he could take a trip to the Bahamas!

This afternoon, Benjamin, Rachel, and I set out to do the necessary maintenance and repair on the old Ford. And I must say it was much more pleasant of an experience that I was expecting. We replaced both belts, installed the muffler, and ran the new exhaust pipes. When I cranked her up, she purred like a new kitten again. Nice!

But as I finished giving the cows their weekly feeding of hay, I noticed the tale-tell signs of a radiator leak – a luminous green fluid steadily dripping from the engine. It didn’t take long to discover what had happened. The power steering fluid pump belt was a bit too loose and rubbed a hole in the radiator hose. So I called Laura (she was running errands this afternoon) and had her swing by the parts place to pick up a new radiator hose for the tractor.

It seems that we’ve become repeat customers. I hope Mike remembers us the next time he’s on the beach in some tropical paradise.




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