Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

The only blog that you really want to read…or ignore.

It’s a flat tire kind of day!


It’s a flat tire kind of day!

 My Ford Ranger truck seems to have a wonderful knack of attracting nails, screws, etc and producing flat tires.  In the six years I’ve own my little red Ford Ranger, I’ve had four flat tires.  Today’s flat tire was particular annoying because I was ahead of schedule!  I was doing great; I wasn’t late at all!  Oh right!  I was ahead of the curve.

I got this last flat tire right after I left Kent Elementary this morning.  I heard a clicking, thumping sound as I turned out of the parking lot.  I pulled over in the Starbucks parking lot and I couldn’t see anything at all.  I drove off again to hear the same sound and pulled over again.  This time I did find the huge screw and washer embedded in my rear tire.  I thought to myself at this point that, heck; I can make it home, not a problem. 

I turned the key in the ignition and off I went on my merry little way.  The clicking and thumping continued….then it was gone.  Uh, oh.  That’s not good.  Since that screw isn’t in the tire, it is out of the tire, therefore leaving a huge hole for the air to escape from.  Oh great.  I have only a few minutes before my tire becomes flat and I can’t go any further. 

I manage to make a left turn and then I heard the familiar thumping sound of a definite flat tire, riding on the rim.  Oh joy.

I pulled into a warehouse parking lot and found a nice level spot.  As I’ve said before this isn’t the first flat tire I’ve had or the first tire I’ve changed in my life.  I’m changed flat tires and I’ve swapped out my regular tires for my snow tires.  I’ve taken my snow tires off and put back on the regular tires.  I’m confident that I can change a tire or two.

Now changing a tire for me would be easy, right?  Not too tough of a job for an Eagle Scout, correct?  Easier than making money on the internet or photographing a bunch of preschool students, right?

 I rummaged around and found my jack and tire iron.  Well, I found my new tire iron but I can’t find the old tire iron.  Uh oh.  How am I supposed to crank the jack and get this tire changed?  Then I think to myself: I have a screwdriver and I can turn the jack screw and get this truck up quite quickly.  I can adapt and overcome.  I shall succeed! 

That was wishful thinking.  I discovered that I couldn’t turn the jack screw with a screw driver if my life depended on it.  That screwdriver wasn’t going to be the solution.

I had to find that old tire iron.  I cursed myself for not putting the tire iron in the same compartment as the jack.  Who does a stupid thing like that?  Obliviously I did.  One of my more brilliant moments (if I do say so myself) because I did find that stupid tire iron in the other compartment, not the one where the jack was, the one on the left side of the truck…the one I know I had looked in before.  If it was with the jack that would make prefect sense and you know I don’t like to make sense. 

Now with the recent discovery of the tire iron, I was positive that I could whip this tire change out in no time.  I stuck the tire iron into the jack and turned the screw.  Man, turning the jack was a lot harder than I remembered.  This was going to take forever.

Then it dawns on me that I’m using the wrong piece of equipment!  Inside my engine compartment, under the hood, is the crank I need to make this tire changing job a lot easier.  I popped the hood, took out the crank, insert it into the tire jack, jack up the truck, and changed the tire in ten minutes. 

What could have made this job worse?  It could have been raining.  It could have been dark out.  It could have been dark and rainy.  Heck, I could have been stuck on the freeway with huge trucks whipping by my head.

 To save yourself the same aggravation I subjected myself to, I recommend you have in your vehicle:

  • Cell phone
  • A pair of gloves
  • Flashlight/lantern
  • Jack and tire iron in the same area
  • Extra Food and Water
  • Warm jacket/warm blanket
  • Rain gear
  • Shovel
  • Tool Kit
  • Jumper cables
  • First Aid Kit

 You can never be too prepared especially with winter on its way!  Now get out there and get that vehicle of yours prepared for the winter season.

Thanks for reading my blog.  I look forward to your comments.

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