Friday, February 24, 2023

That little voice......

 7:05 am - Bacon Friday - February 24th - GNHS - 40° F, humidity 44%, wind 6 mph out of the south by southeast.....partly cloudy today with a forecast high of 65° F. The view this morning.....↴

....and on this date in 2020 I had successfully reinstalled our Leece-Neville shaft driven alternator.......

We had just one booking for Thursday, and that was not until 12 pm, so we had a leisurely morning.  Our 12 pm customers arrived around 11:30 am to complete their paperwork.  They were off on their four hour tour a little before 12 pm, and I settled in to clean three of our UTVs (2 RZRs and 1 KRX).  I was just getting ready to put away the final UTV (#10 KRX) when TLE received a call on our 'RESCUE' line....whenever that phone rings my heart kind of skips a beat, because I know it means I'm going to be heading out to first find our customer in the vast BLM land which borders GNHS, and then solve whatever problem has occurred.

TLE came out of the office to tell me that the customers had gotten a 'check engine' light, and a high temperature light....uh oh! I quickly put my tools in the Kawasaki MULE, retrieved one of the GPS tablets to help guide me to their location, grabbed a gallon of coolant, donned a helmet, and headed out.  Rain had been forecast for late Thursday morning, and it finally arrived as I was entering the Canal trail, and continued for about 20 minutes.  I had to keep wiping rain drops off my goggles to see where I was going.

The customers location appeared to be somewhere on the Bradshaw trail, about 8 miles out.  After stopping a couple of times to call TLE to see how close I was to their position I found them on the side of the trail right about where we expected.  

It had been about 35 minutes since their initial call, so the KRX had cooled down.  I removed the radiator cap to find it full of coolant.....hmmmm.  Then I removed the cap to the overflow tank and found it completely empty.  In all I poured about 3/4 of a gallon of coolant into the overflow tank while the KRX was running.  Once full I looked under the KRX to see if there was any coolant leaking, and there was not.  The customers wanted to continue their tour, so I suggested I follow them for about 10 minutes as they made their way north to the old train trestle.  After 10 minutes the engine temp was holding at 172° F, which is normal, so I bid them adieu, and headed back to the COA office.  It took me about 40 minutes to return.

I had been back for about 10 minutes, and was in the middle of getting something to eat for lunch when the 'RESCUE' line rang again....doh!  They were now at the Pinnacles, and the KRX had overheated again.....what is going on????  On my way back from the 1st rescue I had this nagging know, that little voice in your head, that you sometimes ignore, to your own peril....that I should have just had them follow me back to the office, and given them the KRX I had just cleaned before their initial call, but everything seemed fine, so I ignored the little voice.

So, here is it about 2:10 pm, and I'm heading out for the second time to find them.  This time they are another 8-10 miles up the trail at the Pinnacles.  There is little to no cell phone reception up there, so it was a miracle they were able to call us the second time.  It took me about 40 minutes to reach their position.  This time I decided to tow them back as it was getting too late to take any more chances.  I attached a tow strap to the front of their KRX and began the long tow home.  

By the time we arrived back at the COA office it was 4:20 pm, and was getting quite chilly.  After apologizing to our customers for the problems, and promising to get them a refund, I called Kyle to come over and check out the overheating issue with the KRX....

The mess caused by the radiator boiling over

Kyle arrived in about 8 minutes, and decided to refill KRX radiator and overflow tank, with water this time, and then take it for a drive to try and figure out why it was overheating.  He returned in about 15 minutes to advise he had found the problem....the electric fan was not working, and that was why it was overheating.  Well, at least it was a minor problem in the overall scheme of things, but it still means we have to order a new one, wait for it to arrive, then install it, which will reduce our fleet of 2 seat KRXs to just one.  The transmission for the other KRX down at COYNE is on 'back order', and we don't know when it will be fixed. 

And thus ended another day in the UTV rental life of TLE and I.  We had two successful rescues....well, successful in the sense that I found them both times, and got them home successfully the second time.  I should have listened to that little voice, and brought them back the first time. Oh well, lesson learned, and no great harm was done.

Thanks for stopping by!

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