Wednesday, December 28, 2016

a christmas miracle??

I had big plans for my day off after Christmas: Charlie and I were going to haul over to OF. Not that unusual in itself. BUT. Instead of taking a lesson, we were just going to hit up the trails with Brita for a long and relaxing ride.

Maybe through the open fields. Maybe around some of the xc obstacles (like perhaps the water and banks complex?). Mostly just to get out with Charlie for a ride that was purely about fun and company, not work. Changing the scenery, ya know?

i spy with my little eye...... a serious problem. le sigh
Alas, it was not to be. Upon backing my truck up to the trailer hitch, it felt..... a little funny. I pondered the meaning of this 'funny' feeling while lowering the trailer hitch onto the receiver.... then suddenly decided to stop and take a closer look. If there were problems with the truck's brakes, I wanted to find out before it was attached to the trailer.

And sure enough, upon testing the brakes again, there was almost no tension in the pedal - it went all the way to the floor. A quick google check (bc let's be real, I'm no mechanic haha) said the likeliest cause was leaking brake lines. Which was confirmed by the GIANT puddle of fluid rapidly draining from the bowels of my truck. Womp womp wommppppp.

we'll be back out here eventually!! 
Obviously this little discovery put the kibbosh on our trail riding plans. Super disappointing, ugh, I had been seriously looking forward to the ride....

Oh well. The silver lining is that the brakes failed in the safety of our flat parking lot, rather than, say, with Charlie loaded up in the trailer while cruising through the winding hilly country roads surrounding our barn... I shudder to think about what could have happened...

get well soon!!!! :'(
It's funny bc I had just been complaining about how, at the new barn, I have to hook and unhook the truck and trailer every time I haul out. At Isabel's barn, I always left them hitched together unless I needed the truck for something. But at Charlie's barn, the parking lot is configured differently so the two vehicles park side by side instead. This had felt like an annoyance to me... an inconvenience. But had this not been the case, I would have had to contend with handling the weight of the trailer in a truck with no brakes...

Breakdowns are definitely the worst, but perhaps in the grand scheme of things, this one is relatively minor. I know plenty of others have dealt with way scarier trailering moments, like blowouts or losing control in bad road conditions. Have you ever broken down while hauling horses? Or narrowly avoided certain disaster?

41 comments:

  1. That's too bad but I'm glad you found it before you left!

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  2. Scary! Floating horror stories are the worst horror stories, glad you caught it before it was a problem.

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    1. Yea basically anything with a trailer can go so bad so quickly!

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  3. Well, different half of the towing equation, but I understand this all too well! Thank goodness for recognition of a problem before you're out of the driveway.

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    1. Ugh yea that's right, your trailer had the brakes issue too!!

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  4. EEEK! That was some fortuitous timing!

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  5. I'm so glad you discovered it when you did! No breaks is so scary.

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    1. So scary tho. I don't even want to think about it lol

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  6. My truck's brakes failed WHILE we were driving. It started with the truck sneaking past my foot at traffic lights (I thought I was just getting distracted and letting up on the pedal). The pedal kept getting softer and softer... and then it barely did anything while the truck blared alarms at me. This of course happened while we had Mikey out at OSU for surgery... and on the day he was supposed to go home originally. Thank goodness we weren't attached to the trailer, but I rode the e-brake and used 2nd and low to get the truck to a dealer who would fix it on an emergency basis (which was difficult! I was like, HERE TAKE MY MONEY IT'S AN EMERGENCY and I got 3 or 4 no's first!)

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    1. Omg I would have been so stressed out. But you know. Now that you mention it, I've been wondering about my brakes for a little while. I just got the pads and rotors and everything replaced recently, so it seemed weird. I just attributed it to my getting used to the new trailer, tho it's not meaningfully different in weight. But now I'm thinking this issue has been brewing. Hmm.

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  7. Ugh I DID have that exact same thing happen:
    http://logdogacres.blogspot.com/2014/08/mias-first-show-pt-1.html
    It is such a scary scenario, to think about what if it happened just a little later. Glad you were able to get it fixed though, phew!

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    1. ugh so scary :( it's not fixed yet tho, and i feel so trapped with out my old reliable truck to get out and about with... but oh well. soon enough!

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  8. I had my brake lines fail in my first car going down a steep hill towards a cliff with just a guard rail. Luckily I was going slowly in the first place, so nothing horrible happened, but it was a very frightening experience! So glad your issue happened in a flat parking lot :)

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    1. omg i think i would have peed my pants haha - esp bc i usually am *not* going particularly slowly.... yikes!

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  9. I've never had anything go while hauling (THANK GOD) but I did once have my truck's brakes fail while driving to the barn. I stepped on them to stop and it felt like I was stepping through cheese. Everything sort of streeeeeeeetched. Of course, since I was 19, I was mildly concerned but kept driving to the barn, drove home, then called the mechanic who told me that my 16 year old truck's brake lines had stretched out instead of snapping and I was basically lucky to be alive...

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    1. oh man, that's wild!! thank god it didn't snap completely! my truck is nearly as old as that so it's probably just the parts reaching the end of their useful life...

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  10. Wow, so lucky the problem revealed itself before hitting the road!

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  11. That happened to me before, only I was trying to stop at a red light. I was starting to break and suddenly the pedal went all the way to the floor and nothing happened. Thankfully there was no one coming the other way because I ended up costing to a stop in the middle of the intersection (because I was not thinking quickly enough to remember the emergency brake concept, never really touched it before!).

    Really glad you figured it out while everyone was safe!

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    1. argh that's so horrifying, and i'm never thinking quickly enough to try the e-brake either haha. it's like we don't realize how crazy it is to be hurtling through space at high speed until suddenly we can't stop!

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  12. I once drove a truck (no trailer) without brakes and it was hands down the scariest thing I've ever done. Really glad you caught this before hooking up.

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    1. i honestly can't even imagine what i would do in that type of situation!

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  13. Life lesson learned - get ALL your brake lines replaced now. I had one line go in my Tahoe, fixed it, and then had another one go maybe a year later while I was driving. Fortunately I didn't hit anything and managed to limp to a parking lot. I know a lot of people with older Chevy trucks who have had issues.

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    1. ugh seriously. my mechanic is usually pretty solid about seeing the vehicle as holistically as possible, rather than just replacing one problem part without considering whether there could be more to the issue. all the same tho. yea i'm gonna be asking about checking up on the truck's total health as a hauling vehicle!!

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  14. holy crap, really glad you found that on the hookup

    my worst fear is i have this trailer and i will be forever too afraid to drive it

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    1. ha no way!!! i promise it's really not that scary to drive. i was all freaked out about whether my newer bigger trailer would be harder to drive and... nope. actually it's easier than my calico was, and that calico was a damn pleasant trailer to learn on. you'll be fiiiiiiine ;)

      (just like. don't have brake failure lol.)

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  15. Breaking down while hauling is my second greatest fear next to getting in an accident while hauling. I have had my truck die before but a jump fixed that.
    Good thing you caught the funny feeling right away. Having your rig side by side definitely helped!

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    1. yea basically any incident while hauling is just... eesh not a good feeling!!

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  16. Oh wow, so glad you were not on the road hauling when you discovered that!

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  17. Glad you caught it before you were actually going somewhere with the trailer!

    I had a car that liked to turn off while I was driving so then I had no brakes and only manual steering. Did it usually in a quiet spot but once did it as I was exiting the highway. Car was under warranty and they kept saying it was bad gas. Needless to say that car became someone else's problem (sorry to whoever bought that thing!) when the warranty ran out.

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    1. oh man i would be pissed if the manufacturer wouldn't do anything to fix a problem like that!!!

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  18. Yikes! That's pretty scary. I've never been in the trailer when there was a disaster, but in high school, my trainer had two trailer tire blowouts going down the highway with the 8 horse gooseneck. He had the truck that had the manual transmission hooked up too, so he had to basically muscle the whole rig off to the side of the road and switch the horses to another trailer right there on the highway. It was pretty scary even just hearing about it after the fact.

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    1. omg the though of having to unload the horses for any reason on a busy road - let alone a HIGHWAY - is basically my worst nightmare. i don't even like being on the side of the road myself....

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  19. So much better for it to happen at home! I have regular night mares that my brakes will go out while hauling. :O

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  20. Eeeeek! So glad you weren't all hooked up! My friend just had her brakes fail and luckily the rig was empty, but they had to glide to a stop thankfully in Amish country! Hope it's an easy fix.

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  21. Oh gosh, that makes me shudder just thinking about what would have happened if they'd gone while loaded on the road! I had a rather sketchy exit merge on my last trip to Mendon, but my scariest moment by far was last year when I straight up almost ran over a biker when cresting a hill doing 55mph. Thank god for really good trailer brakes and a wide shoulder. Pretty sure I wet myself a little on that one.

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  22. Glad to think it happened BEFORE you were on your way to OF! Sheesh!!

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  23. Not having them already connected seems to have saved the day!

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