A big machine means big repairs - the dozer is due for new track chains.
[New track chains weighing close to 1000 lbs.]
First, have a look at the lot and check out the views; it was an amazing day on the mountain. Although we've made significant progress we've still got some work leveling the building site and clearing more timber.
[A view from the northeast.]
[A view from the northwest.]
The weekend before last we broke down the tracks. The track plates are in great shape; the previous owner replaced all the plates about a year ago.
[Track pads removed and sprocket exposed.]
The recent track pad replacement made it easy to turn the bolts. To give you a little idea of how much work was involved, there are 32 track plates on each track and each plate had four bolts to remove. That's 256 bolts that needed to be pulled and we still have a few plates to remove.
[Four or five of the 64 track pads that needed to be removed.]
After removing the plates, we replaced both drive sprockets weighing in at +100 lbs a piece. Next came the two front pulley wheel assemblies weighing in at +200 lbs a piece. At around 3:00PM on Sunday we were ready to start on the new track chains.
[One new sprocket gets mounted.]
Man handling track chain is no easy task. Thankfully, Dad mounted a hydraulic lift to the back of his pickup to help move all the dozer parts into place. Once the new track chains were laid out, we disconnected the old chain from the dozer and paired up both chains in the dirt.
[Dad torching and cutting out an pin in the old chain.]
As the anxiety set in, we moved the dozer inch by inch before quickly realizing that we forgot one very important detail; connect the two chains. Moving the dozer along a disconnected track isn't as easy as it sounds and two chains should be connected with a pin before attempting to move the machine.
Working with come-a-long while using the bucket to lift the dozer off the ground we were able to connect the chains with a pin Dad had fabricated for the project. Once the chains were connected, we moved the dozer onto the new chains.
Next weekend we'll roll the new chains onto the dozer and start mounting all 64 track pads and tightening their 256 bolts. Anyone have a generator we can borrow?
[Telli checking out brother Barley.]