Since the government shutdown has affected us directly (Scott can't even go to work to do payroll for the guys who are working through it), we're trying to make the most out of our time by getting a few extra projects crossed off our list. And since we know we're not the only ones affected by this, we thought it might be nice to give you guys some extra content to help pass the time as well. Today's post has absolutely nothing to do with ATVs, but we think you'll find it interesting. We have a friend who purchased a 5-ton off of Government Liquidation and yesterday we went to help him pick it up. When you buy something like that, there are always risks involved. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes not so much. We'll let you decide for yourself on this one...
Oh, and just to avoid any confusion, this is Scott's side of the story and this is Beth's side
The alarm goes off. I fumble around, find the charger cord and track the phone down, and swipe the snooze button. I shove phone under the blanket. Beth rolls over on my arm and gets comfy. She jumps every time the alarm goes off. This repeats three more times. The alarm goes off for the first time. I've been awake for hours and I'm already starting to be in a foul mood. Scott hits snooze for the next hour. That's not unusual for us, but today the alarm keeps going off just as I've managed to drift off to sleep. 0520
Time to get up and get started. I need to get moving since I want to be gone by six. Beth begs to stay in bed until I get out of the shower. I go take a shower and start my day. Scott is out of bed, and I am relieved that the alarm won't be going off again. I briefly consider staying home today. 0600
I am out of the shower and trying to get Beth up with out making her grumpy. It is working so far and she still wants to go. She is up and getting dressed so I feed Dodge and Cummins. Out the door and to the McDonald's - I need a tea and a sandwich Scott is out of the shower and dressed. I am in a foul mood because I still haven't managed to fall back asleep. He is excited though and offers to make me coffee. So even though I'm cranky, I get up and get dressed. He's too cute for me to spend the day without him. 0620
. We get to McDonald's and have to wait. We both make a choice and then soon as I order my meal Beth says wait and freezes, not knowing what she wants. So we wait for what seems like forever (more like ten seconds) and she finally picks something. We get our food and hit the road. We're out the door. We hit McDonald's for a quick bite. When we get to the menu I freeze, unsure if I want to take the healthy egg white McMuffin or a greasy McGriddle. 0715
We get to the parking lot in KC to meet Rick. Like my normal, I'm 15 minutes late. There are two guys in the truck - I think he has brought an extra person to help. Then I panic because I have tools and rags in the back seat and only room for one. I jump out and make room. Then I see that the other person in the truck was just there to drop him off. Oh well now I have room for a hitch hiker. We arrive in Kansas City to meet Rick. We're 15 minutes late. All of the sudden I am embarrassed because we forgot to clean the truck out (even though it's mostly tools and our leftover McD). 0930
When we get to Ft. Riley, I came in a different gate then I normally do. I kind of recognized the area but it has been awhile. So I do like any guy, just keep driving until I see something I recognize. Did I mention the Beth had to pee like crazy at this point and my truck will find every bump that there is? Oh yea, I had to pee too so this was not nearly as funny as it could have been. Finally, I found a street I know and took it to the gas station. We finally arrive at Ft. Riley. It has been pouring the whole way and has just started to let up. We used a different gate then we are used to, so it took us some time to get our bearings. We weren't sure if the truck would start right away or not, so we stopped at a gas station for some snacks before we headed over. 0940
Rick gets a phone call - the gates are closing at 1000. They say, "get your truck out." He asks, "can you help?" They reply, "nope." Joy, just what I needed. I feel like I am on the side of I-70 doing a recovery mission. Government Liquidations calls Rick to tell him that they might be shutting down at 1000, despite the fact that they assured him the day before that they would absolutely not be affected by the shutdown and would be open all day. We grumble as we try to work our way across post in time, worried that the trip would have been for nothing. 0950
We get to the Government Liquidations site. They are not the ones closing, it turns out it is the government employees that have the keys to the lot the truck is in. We just need to get the truck out of the lot. Now I am coming up with all kinds of crazy ideas on how to move a M925ww with my truck. They all end badly so none of them are going to work. The liquidation rep offers Rick a card to a tow service. Wow, I think. This is going to be great. Did I mention it is raining!? After we get to the lot I check the five-ton but it will not crank. (I had to try.) Open the battery compartment - it has four batteries like it should. I test them all - they have a total of seven volts. Out they go and it's in with the new batteries we brought along. Now I remember why I hate these trucks - four batteries at 80 pounds each, all under the passenger seat which is six foot off the ground. New batteries in, now for the test. I hit the battery switch and all is good. I hit the start switch and it fires up without any issues. We arrive at Government Liquidations. Turns out they will be open all day, but the lot where the truck is will be closing. We'll be ok if we can just get the truck outside of the gate. It's raining and there are three other groups trying to get their own trucks out. Scott and Rick are running around trying to get ours started. Any other time I would at least pretend to help. But right now it's so crazy, I think I'll just stay in the truck. Did I mention it's raining?
I check a few things before moving the truck out of the lot. It looks good even though it needs a few tweaks. It drives out of the lot. Now that the pressure's off, I check the lights and fluids. Tires need a little air but they are up and will make it to a truck stop. I fix the mirror best I can. I think it is going to make it I can not believe it. God bless the guys who stayed and kept the gate open long enough for us to get the truck out. There were about three other groups working like us and the guys running the lot could have kicked us all out at any time. But the truck is running, so we're good to go. We've never been this lucky before. 1145
Made a short little 20 minute drive to get to the truck stop. We get there and there is a leak. I knew the oil fill cap was missing. I am thinking that it is pushing oil out of this hole and causing the leak. Since this truck stop has no air or oil fill cap, we find a truck repair center two exits down. Off we go. We make our first stop off post and find an oil leak. We have to expect things like this so we're not too worried. 1210
We get to the "repair center," that is basically an oversized tire shop with a gas station. I leave my truck running and go in to ask if they have an oil fill cap. No luck. They tell me to go to Napa five miles down the road. Ok, so we get fuel and go to check the tires but we forgot to bring a tire gauge so Rick goes in to get one. I pop the hood and start to look at what we can do to fix the oil leak. Yea, this is not the missing oil fill cap causing this leak. Then I find the cap, go figure. Everything is so oil soaked that I can't find where the leak is coming from. Now the search is on for a truck repair center to fix the leak. After four phone calls we find one. We plug the address in the GPS and off we go. The lack of sleep is really catching up with me. Scott goes in to talk to the repair center while I nap in the truck. When Scott gets back to the truck, the news isn't good. I feel like I'm in one of those TV shows with truckers who drive on dangerous roads or have to meet tight deadlines. Maybe it's just me being a girl, but I hate those shows - they always stress me out. 1320
Beth is starving and getting mad, clouds are coming in now and the sunshine is going away so I give her one of the cookies we picked up from the gas station. The sun comes back out and she is smiling again. 1322
Cookie is gone. Smile is gone. The clouds are coming back. I hand her another cookie, hoping it will work as good as the last one did. Success - it works. 1330
We get to the repair shop and wow, this is a big leak now. So bad that the service writer tells us to park it in the wash bay. So we leave it there and head off to lunch. There's lots of fast food nearby but the exit before had more stuff so I go that way. Turns out it did not have any. Maybe it was the one before that. So I just keep going. Now I see a sign - Next Exit 10 Miles. We drive ten more miles and there's no food. Beth is going to shoot me. I look over at her and can almost see the steam coming out of her ears. We drop the truck off at a repair center. The guys walk around talking what it might be and I snap some photos. There is so much oil and when they lift the cab, I have to really watch where I am standing so it doesn't drip on me. I consider the irony of paying for a hot oil treatment at a salon. Dropping the truck off at the repair center takes forever. I am tired and hungry. There's food nearby, but it's all fast food and since we started the day off with McDonald's, we weren't really feeling it. So we hit the road looking for some grub. 1445
Finally we reach civilization again and there's a few places to eat. But the exit is closed. We have to drive three more miles before we can turn around and use the exit we need. A thought crosses my mind to just keep going. I look at Beth. She is about to wither away from hunger. So we make it to the exit take a drive down the street to see what is there. We decide Subway is the best choice. We laugh about how it must have been a McDonalds in the 80's and 90's with the wood tiles and the speakers mounted in the corners. We get our food and eat. Beth looks so much better and the sun comes out again. I tell her that I took her to this Subway just to see the retro stuff. She laughs and I am off the hook! After hitting construction on the highway and being forced to drive 6 miles out of our way, we finally get to stop for lunch. I am always amazed at how food can put me in a better mood. 1515
On the road again. Rick gets a call with the quote. Wow, that is a big number and sounds nuts. They told him the price was because of the hard to find parts. Beth picks up her phone finds the part in ten minutes even though we are in a low signal area. When she told me the price, I though it must be used. Nope, it was a brand new part for a 1/4 of the price the repair shop gave us. She even had the part number (this is why she is my parts finder). We hit the road to head back home. The truck will have to stay since we can't drive it back. The repair center calls to let us know that they will need to replace the accessory drive. The quote they give us is outrageous. I find the part brand new on eBay for 1/4 the price of what they quoted us. 1800
Get to Kansas City to drop off Rick. I give him a disk that has the M925ww repair manuals on it (yes, I do have that stuff in my truck). He is off to make some calls and I am off to find dinner and stop moving for a few minutes. We arrive in Kansas City to drop Rick off. We're all a little disappointed that we didn't get to bring the truck back, but Scott and Rick stay in touch the rest of the night making a plan. 1930
We get back to town, grab dinner, and head for the house. 520 mile is what I have drove today. Wow, I need to sit still for a little bit and eat some dinner. Rick got the invoice emailed to him and has sent it to me I look it over. It is nuts! The parts he needs can all be gotten for cheap with no issues. I feel bad for leaving the truck at this place but we had no idea that they would be that way. We get back to our hometown. We're both too tired to go home and cook so we pick up some burritos for dinner and hit a drive-thru to grab some donuts for in the morning (no judgement, please). By the time we've gotten home, Rick lets us know that every place he has called can get the part for under $500.
So there was our day in a nutshell. Even though it didn't work out exactly as we had planned, we still had a pretty good time. These things are hard to plan for and there is always some risk involved - we knew that going into it so it's not like we wasted the whole day. Oh, and one more note: We've worked with Government Liquidations before and have never had any problems. We attribute the confusion on this day to the government shutdown and NOT Government Liquidations. They're actually really great to work with and it's one of our go-to places to get a good deal on surplus items. How are you spending your time during the shut down? Have you ever made a big purchase like this online? What do you think about hitting the drive-thru for donuts you don't plan to eat until the next day?