Notes from Windward: #70


Buttercup, the New Work Truck

Opalyn describes a new acquisition

     Pine Grove, a small town south of Hood River, funds its volunteer fire department by holding an auction the first Saturday every March. As Walt, Lindsay, and I wandered through the auction areas looking for items that we might be interested in taking home and how much we would bid, we kept a close eye on the little Ford Courier Pick-up truck that had drawn us to the auction.

Buttercup, home from the sale

     The little truck would be a useful vehicle to take out to harvest fruit or go gleaning since it gets more than twice the mileage that our heavy-duty work truck gets. And, it stands a good chance of becoming our first GEK powered transportation, something which would allow us to glean more aggressively.

[Walt: A problem with adding wood gas as a fuel for most modern vehicles is that there often just isn't enough room to physically route the gas tubing through the engine compartment‒something which isn't a problem with older vehicles like Buttercup.]

     Since the vehicles would be the later in the morning, Walt stayed outside to bid on a few items of interest while Lindsay and I headed into the clothing shop and the indoor auction. I was interested in a box of marbles but the bidding went to $100, and I backed out well before then.

     I headed back outside and learned that Walt had acquired an orchard ladder and a 12" table saw just like the one already in the wood shop.

[Walt: Climbing up into fruit trees is a safetly challenge, so we keep an eye out for used commercial equipment that will help us do our work safely. It's important to remember that unsafe practices aren't sustainable.

      The heart of our wood shop is our commercial 12" table saw. It's more than 40 years old, so repair parts aren't available from the manufacturer--having an identical saw to pull parts from means that we'll be able to keep our table saw working for a long time to come.]

Lindsay drains Buttercup's oil

     Finally, it was time for the vehicles: the RV sold for the minimum bid, the Semi Truck (Cab) did not sell and now for the trucks. We opened the bidding, but a counter-offer was made by someone who didn't seem particularly interested in buying the truck. We raised our bid, the other bidder dropped out, and Buttercup was ours.

     Lindsay and I drove the little truck home with the table saw in the back while Walt hauled the ladder and the other things we'd bought in the work truck. We arrived home and Sarah greeted us saying, "It looks like a buttercup." Thus the little truck was named.

Pulling the sparkplugs

     Lindsay and I have decided to be co-owner and co-operators of Buttercup working together to do the initial maintenance such as install new spark plugs, and then change Buttercup's oil and filter.

the two plugs on the left show
that there's a learning curve involved

     I vacuumed out the thick layer of dust from the interior and used most of a can of Tuff Stuff Vinyl cleaner to get the bench seat clean. Andrew and I took Buttercup on her first work run to town to pick up plants from the Underwood Conservation District, and stopped in at the car wash to finish the cleanup.

     New tires, battery, and wiper blades rounded out the replacement list. Buttercup has already been very useful transporting supplies to project sites and putting away the extra materials after a job is done.

Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 70