The end of the logging for this year ended with the bulldozer (Cat) breaking down and Mike had to finish the last couple of loads using the farm tractor to winch logs to the landing.
Since then, we had towed the Cat to the barn where it has waited for us to finish our other fall tasks before we could begin to assess the problem with the machine.
Our ‘Cat Man’ the local heavy equipment mobile guy, is able to drive his heavy work truck over the bridge to work in relative comfort of the open ended barn. The work truck has a powerful boom arm and it was used to dismantle the hood, under belly pan, and removed the engine of our dozer.
There are pieces everywhere, many of them are well over 500 lbs. and cannot be moved until it is time to put the Cat back together again. The project is now three days in, Mike and the Cat Man believe they have gotten to a couple of the broken parts. It will still take another day of tearing apart to get to the shaft that is the core of the problem.
It will soon be time to run for replacement parts. This will be another set of issues because many of the parts can no longer be ordered, they will have to be salvaged from old bulldozers that are worn out and only kept for parts. Luckily we know of a local guy that has a business of keeping old equipment for parts, it’s about 5 acres of machinery carcasses that are available to be sorted through and dismantled for parts. Retrieving the parts can be as difficult as finding the broken ones on our Cat.
Repairs to other small problems will be taken care of while the engine is out. The fuel leak that has been an ongoing a frustrating is one of those problems. You may recall my post during the summer about a broken limb that had gotten jammed under the Cat, I had to crawl underneath to remove the stick and got an ear-full of diesel from the steady drip. The fix will not only stop the messy drip, it will also be easier when it comes time to start and stop the Cat, until now, the fuel valve had to be turned off so it would not drip when the engine was not running. Just turning it off meant the seat had to be removed just to get to the valve stem. It will be nice to have this and all the other issues fixed. Needless to say, this is an on-going project and will be taking up space in the barn well into the winter.