Winter Snow

When Alice and I were getting ready to leave for our vacation in mid-November, one chore that could have made the list was putting the snowplow on the Scout. The weather was so nice up until we left, that I didn’t really think too much about it, and we left without tackling it.

I store the plow in an out-of-the-way place in the field because it is a big heavy useless hunk of iron for about 8 months of the year.

When we got back from our trip in early December, it had snowed and gotten cold. Oh yes, it was snowy and cold. The plow was now trapped in the field, because with all the snow, I couldn’t possibly drive the Scout back there unless I could plow a path… yes you can see the dilemma.

What to do? I’ve crossed this bridge in the past, and know from experience that I can move the plow with the bulldozer. I wrap a chain around the support structure of the plow, lift the bucket, and voila, the plow is mobile. Unfortunately, it was too cold to run the dozer for about a week after we got back.

The dozer sits a lot, and the fluids inside the machine can turn to pudding in very cold weather. I do have a engine block heater for the machine, but it does a poor job of warming the other fluids. My rule of thumb is to wait until it is at least 20 degrees F before I start the dozer. That wait was over yesterday.

I plugged in both the dozer and the Scout, waited a couple of hours, and started both machines. So far so good. Then I attempted to move the dozer forward. No luck. You know what it is sometimes like when you park your car on a dirt surface while the tires are still warm. On occasion, the warm tires will melt into the ice, and the car is stuck there until you gun the engine and it goes “POP,” and the car breaks free. Now imagine what it is like when both tracks of the dozer are frozen into the ground.

I knew I was on shaky ground here, because just gunning this machine can really do damage. So I put it in forward, rocked it a little, then reverse, back and forth, until I felt a little give. It still took me about a dozen back and forths before I was confident that I could move forward with it.

Then I had to plow a path for the Scout to get out, plow out the driveway on the east end of the house so I’d have somewhere to put the plow, and then I drove out to snatch the plow.

dozer2It was pretty tight in there, but I managed to wiggle the dozer in, grabbed the plow, and suspended it from the bucket. Then I carefully backed the dozer out and onto the road, plopped it down in the driveway, and got the Scout.

By this time I was really wet and cold. The Scout came out of it’s spot in the field like a champ, and did not get stuck on the road I made for it. I had to make a couple of trips to the shop for some tools in order to hook up the plow, but the hookup actually went pretty well. By this time my fingers were cold enough that they weren’t working very well.

With the plow attached, I moved snow in all the driveways, parked it, and walked inside. I told Alice I wanted 2 things, a hot bath and some hot chocolate. I made the bath and she (bless her) made me the hot chocolate, which I enjoyed in the bathtub. By the time both were complete, I was starting to feel like my old self again.

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