Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Ploughman's Crunch

The more it snows
(Tiddly Pom)
The more it goes
(Tiddly Pom)
The more it goes
(Tiddly Pom)
On snowing.

(AA Milne - Winnie the Pooh - The House at Pooh Corner) 

Woke up to snow and, for the first time since I was about ten, a feeling of intense, snow-related anticipation.

It had nothing to do with the crunch of fresh snow underfoot, or those wonderful ten-year-old thoughts of snowmen, snowballs and sliding down hill on a tea tray, but appealed to the same area of a man's brain - the bit which is fascinated by tractors.

In Dec 2010 we had so much snow that the lane up to the house was impassable for cars. I cobbled together a snowplough  out of some old bits I had lying around and managed to clear enough snow to make  the road useable (see Daddy Wouldn't Buy Me a Snow Plough)

While it worked up to a point, it lacked refinement, specifically the pivot appeared to be seized-up into a solid block of rust so that the blade could only push the snow directly forward. The trouble with no pivot is that a great mountain of snow builds up in front of the tractor with predictable results.  When I say seized-up I mean seriously seized-up. I tried driving the thing into a tree to make it turn but it refused to budge, so I was reduced to swerving up and down the road to allow the accumulated snow to fall off to the side. This made a rather pleasing pattern but in every other sense was a complete pain. 

Later that week I set about the blades swivel  with WD40, oil, grease, flame, and most effectively a 5kg sledge hammer. It now pivots from right to left in a smooth gliding action and can deposit great chunks of dirty snow to either side of the road with ease. 

I waited for fresh snow, and waited and waited, in fact I waited all through 2011. Early 2012 saw fresh snow, but the tractor was exhaustless and remained in the workshop for the next six months.

And  2013 starts with snow and a working snowplough. 

Splendid (Tiddly Pom).

Addendum: Later that same day.

It snowed some more this afternoon covering up my previous work. I look out of the window and the snow has stopped again and I see our new neighbour in the lane. "Hello!" thinks I, what's he up to? Then I notice his car at an odd angle. It has one wheel in the ditch. "Ah-ha!" thinks I (again) maybe this morning's practice will be of some use. Half an hour of scraping and towing and the road is clear, his car is out of the ditch and I have finally met our new neighbour.

Le Tiddly Pom, indeed. 

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