Thursday, January 12, 2012

Keepin' On Keeping On...

Whatta  surprise! Snowmaking last night fired up three hours earlier than Tuesday much for the accuracy of the remote sensors... All that snowmaking was blowing snow on trails we want to re-open, or open for the first time this season, so I felt like I was s*!^#ing in tall cotton!

I was grinding around with my window open...I did all the ramps that swing shift didn't get to, buried some more trouble spots on the bunny hills, and finally started making my long passes about the time my shirtsleeve thermometer told me that it was warming up...damn inversion was creeping up the slopes to make more mischief...

I hailed Jeweler on the 2-way: "Is it getting warmer?" I queried. "It is" Jeweler replied. Jeweler said they were shutting to not make rain...I made a pass to the top of the mountain...for snowmobile pilots from Vehicle Maintenance who needed to retrieve a downed snowmobile in the AM.

I made another long pass from the Work Orders...and ran out of fuel. WTF?

I fueled up Wednesday morning after my shift, and nobody else ran the cat before I got in it at the beginning of my shift. No Idiot Lights, No alarms, No Go...No restart either. I hailed Jeweler on the 2-way answer. I phoned him and asked "Are you still here? "Nope, I'm on the road" I pleaded my case...Jeweler said he'd come get me after he dropped off on of his crew. He was all of two miles from My Mountain, and would be less than three miles away when he dropped of his guy. He said he'd give me a ring when he was close.

The symptoms were those of a fuel delivery failure. I grabbed my flashlight and started looking for a broken wire or disconnected wiring harness. I haven't learned where the fuel shutoff relay or solenoid live on the's never been an issue like it was with the BR275s. I didn't find anything. My phone rang...

Jeweler was almost back to the shop and asked what I wanted to be rescued in. I asked him to bring a snowcat. Ten minutes later Jeweler phoned again: "I fired up the older Bison, and it made horrible rod knock noises...listen...I couldn't hear anything over the phone. I said: "Why don't you bring Driller's's only been parked for an hour and a half"..."OK" Jeweler replied.

Driller's CenterX Bison picked me up a half hour later..."You jump in the other seat and give me a driving lesson on our way down the hill" I suggested to Jeweler. I haven't run a CenterX yet...Jeweler gave me the lowdown, and the machine was leaving corduroy like butter...or buttah, I should say.

Nice machine in many ways, but all the important stuff is behind the operator...that would be the 2-way, the window latches, and the iPod dock. I finished the shift, fueled up, filed my report and talked to the mechanics about my tractor...all before punching out at 0830.

Looking forward to getting back in my own BR350 tonight, though.

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