Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

The Wheel Thing

This afternoon, Lisa hitched the Big Orange Van to the utility trailer with the intention of moving it around to the side of the property near the wood box, the easier to make it to unload the half-cord of wood we purchased a few days ago. As she pulled it around to Front Street, she realized that the right rear tire was low again. As she started to pull around the side lot, the tire came right off the wheel!

I frantically waved at Lisa to stop. She got out and examined things. At her direction, I pulled the tire away from the trailer, and she very gingerly eased the trailer (now running on the rim of the right wheel) into place. The theory here was that we needed to get that ton of wood unloaded before we could do much to fix the wheel anyway, so we set to work unloading the trailer.

With the wood stowed in the wood box, Lisa again eased the trailer over to bare pavement where she could work on it. The wheel didn't seem to have taken any harm, so she jacked it up and went to remove it. To her astonishment — given that the wheel has been on there for about thirty years without every having been removed — the lug nuts came right off, making removal of the wheel a snap.

Examining the wheel, we saw that the valve stem was damaged on the inside, and that the tire, although worn, appeared otherwise undamaged. We put the wheel and tire in the back of my van and we headed over to Hanneman's Service, where we get our propane. (I later cursed myself for not laying down plastic sheeting, as there is now a greasy ring on the carpet in the back of the van that I'll have to try and clean somehow.)

At Hanneman's, they determined that the valve stems they had in stock wouldn't fit this wheel. (The wheels and axle on this utility trailer are from a mobile home. That's why we're not concerned about overloading the tires — the frame of the trailer would break before the axle or tires failed.) At their recommendation, we popped over to Fernley Tire & Brake, where they did have the right kind of valve stems, and only charged us a couple of dollars to install it on the wheel. Then it was back over to Hanneman's, where they reinstalled the tire and inflated it it and checked for leaks. They couldn't find any leaks, so maybe it was the valve stem that was the problem.

"How much do I owe you?" I asked.

"Never mind. You make it up in buying your propane here." That was nice of him!

With the tire repaired and re-installed on the trailer, I suggested that, since we knew we were going to need more wood and since Big R is open until 7 PM on weekdays, we simply go over to Fallon today and get more wood tonight rather than wait until later. Lisa agreed with that, so once I was able to get clear of work (there were some late issues at work that I needed to resolve first), we refueled the van and set out for Fallon for the third time in a week. There we bought a half-cord of Douglas Fir to go with the half-cord of Juniper already in the wood box and headed home.

It was cold and dark, so rather than do anything with the wood, Lisa just parked the van-trailer combo in front of the house; we'll take care of it tomorrow, when the temperatures might actually be above zero, although not far above.
Tags: lisa, van, wood
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