I had to put this as the title. My son just rented "Fantastic Mr. Fox" from the Ruston Public Library and this is one of my all time favorite books so this turns out to be a fitting title for this post.
We have a Cub Cadet 1046LTX riding lawn mower which is a workhorse around the farm. The mower participates in all kinds of tasks.....hauling mulch from distant fields to the gardens, bringing in 100s of pounds of veggies to the house, of course mowing, hauling compost, etc. Because of the fact that this trusty mower is (some would say) overworked there is a lot of "fixing" that goes on. In the past two years alone I have spent hours upon hours upon hours fixing the mower. Why do I have to fix it so much? We tend to abuse the mower....riding over stumps, mowing long grass for mulch, mowing over hammers and barbed wire (accidentally of course).
So the latest story begins like this. Harmony's mom was in town so she got a welcome break in which she decided to come out and help me pick up some mulch in one of the mulch fields. Things were going smoothly, I was raking the dried grass clippings into piles and she was loading them into the trusty pull behind wagon and carting them to various garden beds for use as mulch. We got to the last load and she stopped long enough for me to load the last pile of mulch into the wagon. She pressed the gas pedal to drive off with the last load..........and nothing. She just looked at me with a "what the heck is going on" look. I knew immediately what had happened and my heart sank to my dirty crocs!!! I said in a very low, irritated tone........."the drive belt slipped off." She hopped off the tractor and I took the mowing deck off in the middle of the field, crawled under the mower to check it out and sure enough it was the drive belt. Upon inspection the drive belt was severely damaged and twisted around the pulley connected to the drive shaft. I put the belt back on and said to Harmony...."if we drive it like this the belt will snap." But with one last load to get to the gardens I took off on the mower......but didn't even make it two feet. We heard a loud "SNAP" and there went the drive belt..........OH NO!!!!!
So the mulch and the tractor sat in the field for a week (while the grass kept growing) until I could get a replacement belt and tension spring shipped to us from Houston, TX. It finally came yesterday!! Thank goodness because the farm is starting to look like a wild prairie. After harvesting some things for the CSA pickups in the evening, I headed down the hill with my mower fixing tool box in tow. I was determined to get the mower back up and functioning so we could attempt to tame the wild farm again.
I crawled under the mower to remove the pieces of spent drive belt before putting the new one on. Turns out when the belt snapped there was so much force that the pieces wrapped VERY TIGHTLY around the drive shaft itself........Long story short, after a lot of cursing the Dang and Blasted mower I finally got the old belt unraveled from the drive shaft and put the new belt and spring on.
Let the taming begin!!!
Dylan and Harmony, whichever of us have the time to sit down and write for a few minutes. : )