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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Forgetful But Lucky

Sometimes I forget things. For example a couple of months ago I "borrowed" a small clamp off the fuel filter on the 59 IH pickup to use on the new fuel line and valve I was installing on the Massey tractor. There were none to be found anywhere else and it was a long way to town for new clamps. I had good intentions of buying new clamps and re installing them on the truck. But we know all about good intentions.
Fast forward to today and I am working on the truck. Since the incessant rains make it impossible to get in the fields and spray crops I am doing what I can. After a few seconds of cranking I suddenly notice flames from the engine compartment which was cause for great concern since the truck was securely parked in the big shed surrounded by other farm equipment. If the fire got ahead of me it could spread to the whole shed and the rest of the machinery. Nothing appeared to be burning, just flames coming off the shiny painted inner fender well.
At least half an hour away from the closest V.F.D. so that is no option. Maybe hook up a tractor and chain to drag the truck out and let it burn? No, that might take too long. Got a thousand gallons of water in the tank on the other truck not far away but could I carry a pail of water fast enough to put the fire out? Back the water truck close enough to run water from the hose on the fire maybe? No, still too slow. I grabbed a piece of carpet and smothered the flames, which by this time seemed to be decreasing on their own.
Turned out I had left the fuel line disconnected from the filter so that the pump was spraying fuel out onto the spark plug wires. There must have been just enough of a spark leak in the wires to ignite the gas. Lucky that today's gas is not quite as explosive as it used to be. Otherwise there might have been a "big bang". The truck ran fine after  I found a clamp and re-connected the gas line.
In other news, its raining again. Although that is not really news here anymore. Rain seems to be a constant thing lately. Another 8 tenths this afternoon and it ain't over yet.


  1. I'm glad the Lord was looking out for you, Ralph.

  2. That was a close one! You were lucky. I keep a fire extinguisher in each vehicle for just that occasion. I know the powder is caustic & makes a mess of everything (how do I know? well, there was that time in the kitchen...), but better than the alternative of watching...

  3. So... there was that time I was stacking a field of grass straw some years ago and...
    I ran over a bale and it caught under the muffler on the stacker.
    I came back around the field and saw flames.
    It was a field of fescue for seed so it was not tinder dry like wheat straw.
    I got the fire extinguisher out but I really hated to break the seal. So I dumped my big gulp pepsi on it. The ice had melted anyway.
    That did not put the fire out completely.
    But then I remembered reading Gulliver's Travels as a wee lad...
    The farmer who owned the field was NOT impressed.
    Of course he did show up right about that tme...

  4. Funny how I never even thought of the fire extinguisher that was (of course) in the other shed. Budde, quick thinking on your part but I am not sure I could have imitated a fire extinguisher under that kind of stress and pressure. :-)