Current Topic: We bought our tractor new, in town, and have always had it serviced, on schedule, by the dealer. The last time we were effectively 'Denied' because the mechanic, a friend of ours, said he would come to our property and service the tractor without the labor charge.
I Told You; No Good Deed Goes Unpunished...
The last time we took the tractor in for service it cost us over 500 dollars. To change the oil and a few filters. Really... Furthermore the next time we brought the tractor in for service we were told to take it back home by the mechanic, a friend of ours, who would come to our farm instead and do all the service necessary without any labor charges. Wow! Thanks.
Hmm... Not so much it seems. After several months of waiting, and suggesting, it would appear that we are being 'blown-off' (completely ignored). We didn't see this coming from what we considered a good friend.
How would you define a 'good' friend. Let's say that aside from over a hundred years of family history with over fifty years being recent (yeah! everyone's over fifty here) and the fact that Shauna and I have hosted their family over decades. At Disneyland, Sea World, The San Diego Zoo, Universal Studios, The L.A. Museum of Natural History (my favorite) and Science Museum, Venice Beach, Malibu, The Long Beach Aquarium, Hollywood (the good parts) and all the great food, shopping, entertainment and general cultural experience that go with Southern California Metropolitan living. Not to mention full sponsorship to the local 4H club at a fair expense and great inconvenience to us. In a Town that is so remote the nearest McDonalds is 65 miles away. In any Direction.
What favors have we received in return. Oh yeah! There was the time they borrowed my dump truck and used it to steal firewood off a Loggers landing deck. Bucked it right up with a chainsaw, loaded it into the truck and left me having to explain to the logger how I had nothing to do with it. Fortunately it's a small town and We have a good reputation which went a long way toward resolving this as 'no fault of our own'. They did this to us Twice. Ugh!
Let's see... Oh yeah! I also maintained their computer for several years. That is up until the time I switched to Linux and they upgraded to Vista. At that point my Windowze experience was generally useless (outdated). So I hooked them up with a friend of mine that was more then qualified to keep them running smoothly. In the mean time after experiencing several problems with electronics and the telephone I came to the conclusion that their house wiring ground was the major problem they were suffering from. The root cause so to say. And sure enough, when checked, was faulty at the main electrical service input for the house and when fixed cleared up all their problems. None the less when I wouldn't come one day to fix the computer, because I didn't think I was qualified anymore, something seemed to change. Here's the Irony. The reason we switched to Linux originally was because their Daughters dropped Shauna's Laptop while running up our stairs and the least expensive method to recovery was Linux. Had they had a Linux based machine I would certainly have come to help.
The Tractor Needs Serious Servicing Now...
We were left with no choice now but to service the tractor ourselves. We have collectively over fifty years experience servicing engines of many sizes. Not many Diesels though. And a tractor engine, and hydraulic transmission, are a little more complicated. Fortunately... We are also well versed in reading technical manuals so now it's looking pretty routine and a few YouTube tutorials later we were ready to go.
We ended up replacing the engine oil and filter, both hydraulic filters (without replacing the 7.5 gallons of fluid itself), outer air filter and the fuel filter. And as a bonus in the tutorials we learned a real useful tip for refilling the fuel system so we didn't have to bleed the line before restart. Thanks YouTube.
And yes... We bought all factory original parts from the dealer, in town, while our 'friend' was on leave (vacation).
We'll be doing the more basic service now more regularly and the major stuff. No problem. After all... It's not Rocket Appliances. Ha ha!
After we had 'successfully' serviced the tractor the Mechanics Wife was here for a visit. Shauna and her have been friends since birth. Anyway... We were talking to somebody else and she overheard us mention that we serviced the tractor and she piped up "Good thing you learn to do that for yourselves".
Yeah... We already got the hint.