Home Improvement: Motorized Mayhem

The Farm has had in its fleet a Kubota tractor and a Caterpillar Bulldozer for some time. The Kubota was purchased new, and as it gets used daily for all sorts of chores it does see some maintenance, irregular as that may occur. The Cat, however, is a different story. Purchased at auction, apparently Jeff Spicoli from Ridgemont High looked it over, proclaimed that his dad was a TV repairman and had an awesome set of tools, and convinced George that he could fix it. Having been used by the City of Spokane’s professional bulldozer stunt driving crew for better than thirty years, it had its issues to say the least.

Issue number one being that it wouldn’t move. The engine would start and run, and only moderately leaked oil and puked diesel out of the injector lines. The transmission, however, wasn’t transmitting anything. A quick call was made to the local Cat dealer, repair costs debated and detailed, and a fair market price was ascertained.

Being that this machine was for sale at auction, two distinct possibilities were about to occur. Possibility number one was that only George would be bidding on this non-rolling hunk of garbage, and that he could purchase it for the price of scrap and fully within his budget. Possibility number two was there would be other farmers with delusions of Caterpillar greatness in their eyes, a bidding war would commence, and that all logic and reason would get left behind. In case the reader hasn’t been paying any attention thus far, it was option two.

George had a firm number in mind when the bidding commenced, and sailed right past that number within ninety seconds. Determined not to have this gem of a machine stolen from underneath him by another farmer with delusions of Caterpillar greatness, he settled on a price a little more than double that of his original, set in stone,‘no way am I paying more than this’ figure. Cancel Christmas Hon, I bought a bulldozer! Of course, he justified the extra cost by reasoning that he could fix the dozer himself and not pay any of that ripoff factory labor.

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