The frame measures 24 3/4" over the lift arm pins--at the shoulder. So, the lift arms almost rub the rear tires. It went together, so I thought, whatever, let's try it. It dug in on one side, I overreacted and hit the lift. Still moving forward in low, lift arm caught the R1 lugs and up it came. The 3 pt. frame hit the PTO valve and dead headed the pump, killing the engine. That was a good thing, because it prevented any real damage. I shut the key off and got things untangled.
I figured maybe I could fix this with the sway chains, and proceeded to bolt them to the center tow hitch, knowing that would limit how high I could lift the thing. I resolved to be careful for the duration of my test run and continued, proceeding to dig gouges and ditches in the gravel driveway, making an unholy mess of things. Piles of gravel and slushy snow here, there, and everywhere, between the gouges. So, I crept along, getting a better feel for this thing.
I tried it in float, and before going 3 feet forward, it dug halfway to China, leaving me a huge pile of gravel with a hole behind it. Okay. That didn't work. Got going again and knocked down some of that pile, only to learn that I was on a bit of a side slope and the blade was level. I dug another gouge on the uphill side. Not liking this process, I resolved to put it away and try it some warm day when I have fully recovered from the flu.
Drove toward the garage and stopped, unhooked the blade after much ado, and drove off slowly toward the garage door. I had been feeling something ratchet-like in the steering, but had not figured that out yet. That turned out to be the steering sector gear having come loose, allowing the sector gear to fall down almost out of engagement with the pinion. My first indication of this was when the front wheels, hit a rough place as I started a turn. The front wheels, disengaged from the steering now, suddenly turned to the stop in one direction, throwing me off the tractor. My shoes were wet and the footrest is newly painted and SLICK.
Not wanting a broken leg, I dived forward to get my leg away from the rear tires. I made it, but lande on my side with one arm under the oncoming rear wheel. It ran over me, one arm and one side of my chest being under the rear wheel. I kept my head out of the way, but barely. The tractor proceeded on, just above idle until it hit the retaining wall by the garage, where the Ag tires dug some impressive holes before I got up and got it shut down.
I am more or less okay. Got some sore ribs, but nothing broken. A heavy winter coat kept me from getting skinned up too badly.
Edited by machinist, March 06, 2013 - 06:18 PM.