... August 2012, private land development
My ego had been considerably strengthened by the success with the chopped wood. I had a few days earlier that part of my plot was high on the list to be made ready. The area is approximately 800m2. It is sloping, uneven and full of potholes. It was certainly a decent lawn, but not pleasant to drive the mower on.
I can not dig with a shovel any more, much less rake or run with the wheelbarrow. My legs are not allowing that. I had to struggle to walk 100 yards with crutches or walking sticks. There is always a solution. I had the time, the ideas and the excavator was brought out of the barn.
I pulled a few lines at the edges and tried to estimate how much land masses that needed to be moved. There were differences in height of nearly one meter. I estimated average of 50cm. It was about approx 400m3 or 7-800 tons. It's nothing to do with the shovel if you do not have a long holiday and is strong in the back.
I filled up 50 litres of diesel fuel in the hydraulic excavator one morning and jump in to the machine. The first step was to plane away any sod on the lawn and put it in the deepest pits. It becomes 800m2 x 10cm 80m3. Roughly it can fit in 800 overcrowded wheelbarrows. The peat is not as heavy, but the grass is tough.
I had driven by the excavator in two days when it suddenly stopped. In the middle of my piles of earth with the bucket full. Not a life of the machine. I was also no warning that something was strange. It just stopped. I checked everything, diesel, battery, oils but found nothing wrong. I lay to rest an hour and searched further, but found nothing wrong.
I continued the next day with troubleshooting. The concern felt in the stomach. In a few days my wife would come. If she see the plot in this condition, she would go crazy for real.
I would be in quarantine on my side of the bed in a non foreseeable future. It was not an option. It was just to fix the damn excavator.
On the internet I found an exploded flow-chart view of the excavator engine. I followed all the system and found a solenoid valve that was broken.
How do I get a solenoid valve to a machine that is more than ten years old? I did not.
I hot-wired instead. The machine started and the work could continue. The bed issue was taken care of.
To be continued...
Today, +30 days after stem cell treatment.
It has been a good day in a row of good days. Nothing special to report.