Installing a ROPS, Fixing a Tractor, Building a Bed

Sorry I haven’t written for a day or two – there have been a few trips that weren’t really blogworthy, and we misplaced the camera and didn’t want to post things without pictures, not that the pictures I’ll be including tonight are all that spectacularly interesting anyway.

On Tuesday Donna and Mummu went to town for the day, leaving Kenny and myself to our own devices. Grandpa also was gone for much of the day, so we opted to try to get the yurts in a bit of a presentable state. I think we succeeded admirably – we no longer had bags and bins and crates EVERYWHERE! Now they were mostly unpacked, repacked, catalogued, and transferred to my dojo tent/workshop. Of course, that makes it more cluttered there. Some days it just feels like I’m pushing piles of stuff from one place to the next, with no destination arranged for them anytime soon.

I was scheduled to receive my rollover protection system (courtesy of Just Tractor Parts – a real pleasure to deal with! Very good, personable people!) for my tractor on Tuesday, according to the UPS website anyway. Of course, they never deliver this far north, so it didn’t arrive. When I called UPS, they said it wasn’t their problem, as they had passed my package off to Purolator on Monday night. Purolator doesn’t have a listed phone number in Thunder Bay, and their national number only rings through to a call centre that was less than adequately prepared to tell me what was happening.

On Wednesday morning, I decided to take a chance, and drive straight to the Purolator depot and plead my case. I knew that my ROPS was just laying in the back somewhere, awaiting a destination. I was ready to provide one!

Everything went better than expected. I explained my situation, and the kind lady simply asked for my ID, and went in the back. She returned carrying my packages, and after paying an amazingly outrageous brokerage fee, I was on my way!

I stopped at Canadian Tire to pick up extra battery cables for my power system, and as I left, I was confounded to find that the truck had a flat tire. Sigh. I suppose I shouldn’t have been fiddling with the plugs the day before. Back into Canadian Tire, where, surprisingly, the plugin compressors were the same price as the foot/hand pumps. I opted for a plugin compressor, as I had had great success with one on the Echo. It did work, but it took close to 20 minutes to reinflate my tire! Oh well, it worked, and gave me time to reply to emails using the iPhone’s tiny onscreen keyboard.

When I told Mummu that I was taking along the iPad to download updates, she told me not to go to McDonald’s, and instead loaded me up with coupons for A&W, which Donna assured me had free wifi as well. That was nice. Even though they put tomatoes on my hamburger(s), I was able to easily pick them off, and, after a slow start, the downloads began while I munched on my french fries. I was also happy that they substituted chocolate milk for pop without batting an eye. That doesn’t always happen.

I was home in time for Donna and Mummu to run off together again, so I grabbed Kenny and we headed off to install the ROPS on my Yanmar. As we worked on this project, Grandpa opened up his MTD just around the corner from us, and tried to determine what was wrong with her. He had somehow rocked and rolled his tractor until it at least went into neutral, but even after that, he could not get the starter to turn over at all.

Kenny and I made good progress on installing the roll bar on the Yanmar. In spite of the bolts likely never having been removed in over thirty years, they came off quite nicely. Perhaps because I had spent the previous two days spraying them with WD-40 type products.

I had to adjust the seat forward, but I took that chance to tighten it up and straighten it out anyway – it had always been loose and crooked. There was also an issue with clearance between the plate that the seat rested on, and the rollover bar – I decided to just reef the rollover bar up against the plate, it wasn’t tight against the original location, but it was still certainly solid against the tractor. A seatbelt attached, and things were looking pretty professional!

Meanwhile, Grandpa had disassembled his starter, and discovered that the main gear on the starter (made from plastic) was completely stripped! We hooked the unmounted starter up directly to the battery and it torqued right out of Grandpa’s hands! That told us the starter was still good.

Today, Grandpa drove into the city, and returned with a new gear on the starter – $15 for the gear, and $15 to have it installed on his starter. After installation, his tractor roared to life! In fact, it started up much better than I’ve ever seen – I think the gear was deteriorating for some time up until now. I offered to pay for the starter, but he graciously refused.

As he was installing the gear, I spent my time working on a new bed for Kenny. During the move, his original bed was damaged, and I had planned on replacing it for some time. I opted to try to make good use of space here. He had lots of his books already stored in Staples milk-crate style containers. I sized them up as best I could to fit under his mattress, and think I did rather well.

Donna insisted on a wall on three sides, she didn’t want him to fall off the ends, or roll between the wall and the bed. Hopefully he won’t roll off the front, but, in case he does, we’re going to put down some cushions for a few days to test the waters. He did fall off the bed in a similar configuration on the first night, but it didn’t wake him up!

The bed was made from three main sources – the large support board was the original from his crib/bed – it was already perfectly sized for the mattress. The sides and back I just ripped from a leftover sheet of plywood. I fired up the generator and smoothed and rounded it down using my belt sander. The framework to keep it square and supported came from our property – extra lumber I had milled for my projects. That was the most satisfying to use of all!

Kenny’s right now picking out a book from under his bed for his nighttime story, so I’ll attach some photos from the past two days, and proofread/post this!


3 thoughts on “Installing a ROPS, Fixing a Tractor, Building a Bed”

  1. Purolator's Thunder Bay phone number is (807)623-4058. I think the front office extension is 2000.
    (It's easier than going through their 1-800 hell).

    For most smaller cities in Canada Purolator handles the UPS freight. If you can get items delivered by methods other than UPS from the states (USPS for sure) you can avoid the insane UPS brokerage fees.


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