Whats Happening ?

Snake wrestling – a new sport!

The replacement link is easily fitted to the broken chain which is laid out on top of the right hand track.  Trevor and Adrian give it a good dosing of oil and check that it and all the other links, which have also been liberally dosed, are moving freely and independently.  The problem now is that not only is  the chain extremely heavy it is covered in oil, very slippery and very flexible.   Manoeuvring it from the top of the track and in and around the drive and track sprockets proves to be very awkward.  The limited access space does nothing to make the job any easier.  Adrian likens the job to wrestling with a large and uncooperative snake or giant eel , not that he has had either pleasure before!  In an attempt to make more space available Adrian starts the RB engine and rotates the cab until it is at 90° to the undercarriage and then after considerable pushing and shoving Trevor and he manage to get the chain in underneath the crane and in the correct  position to get it back on its sprockets.  The pulling power of the Kubota is next employed to take the slack out of the chain so that the two ends of the chain can be connected.  Following more grunting , groaning and the occasional ‘blue’ word the chain-link is finally slipped into place and its linking pin inserted. Unfortunately the pin will not slip easily fully into the link despite being heavily greased.  Hammering it in the last few millimetres is a problem in itself.  The track is in the way and prevents getting a good swing on the hammer. Eventually the pin is hammered home and its roll pin fixed in place.  One chain sorted!

Since there is still half an hour or so before lunch Trevor and Adrian decide to begin the process of reinstating the undamaged track.  They now have a fair idea as to how to do it  so it is retrieved from the shed in a wheel barrow and laid out on the opposite track.  This time the process works well and within a very short time the second track is back on and connected up.

Now that both drive chains are back on the crane Trevor and Adrian decide that the crane needs to be started again but this time put into travel mode.  Everything goes well.  Unfortunately both drive chains and tracks are very slack but there is no way that this can be adjusted.  However, the chains are nice and flexible now and sit comfortably on the sprockets, turning easily. The crane moves forwards and backwards very nicely.  Steering it has always been difficult due to excessive wear on some of the gearing.  Short of a massive and very expensive rebuild this is something that has to be tolerated.  At least the crane is once again mobile and easily copes with the minimal work load that is expected of it.


After lunch a happy Trevor and Adrian are joined by Norman.  Since the crane needs no more attention for the moment they set to advancing the scaffold along the wharf wall.  Adrian is keen to get back to rebuilding this wall but the excessive wet weather is now being replaced by more season very cold weather neither of which is any good for setting mortar.  At least everything is getting prepared for when the time is right.