The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.


Retreaded truck tiresRemember our huge pile of firewood?  We ran through it unbelievably fast --- first the power was out for two weeks and we had to keep a big fire going just to keep the trailer above freezing due to lack of a fan.  Then we had two weeks of below freezing temperatures and again had to keep the fire raging to keep us warm.  The result is that the 1.75 cords of wood that we thought would last all winter lasted a mere month.

So in January, we went back to electric heat.  I hated to give in to the coal-fired power plant, but our firewood supplier took our $50 down payment and dropped off the face of the earth.  Due to major environmental guilt, I keep the trailer between 40 and 50 degrees when heating with electricity, which is really quite comfortable if you wear layers (and are used to it.)

That's all a long explanation for why Joey came in his truck last week instead of his car --- he wanted to drop off a load of firewood for his poor, freezing baby sister.  The firewood was much appreciated, but the truck got stuck due to completely treadless tires.  Rather than calling a tow truck to haul Joey out, we called our mother and begged her to come pick Joey up so that Mark and I could take advantage of this opportunity to haul gravel for our driveway.  (We ordered some of that from our hauler too, but we really haven't heard from him in over a month....)

On Monday, Mark babied the truck out of the mud (now thawed and thus a bit less precarious) and took her to town to get new tires.  We thought the two back tires we needed to replace would come to about $300, but Mark came home with a receipt for only $140 --- he had discovered the wonder of retread tires!  If you, like me, have never heard of retreads, you're in for a treat.  Old tires end up in a factory where they're tested for safety and have the old tread buffed off, then a new tread is is applied.  The end result is nearly as good as a new tire (and every bit as safe), for a fraction of the price.  Apparently, at this time, only big tires (R16 and greater) are retreaded, so most of them end up going to large-scale trucking and bussing fleets, but farmers are also retread fanatics.  If you have a truck that needs new wheels, retreads seem like the way to go!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Funny to see my truck's tires for the 1st time via blog. They look good!
Comment by joey [] Wed Feb 10 12:37:36 2010
They look even better without the mud! Mark keeps calling them sexy --- I'm not sure if I should be jealous... :-)
Comment by anna Wed Feb 10 12:47:11 2010

When it comes to sexy truck tires, it's all about the mud.

(Also I had not known my truck was female until your post.)

Comment by joey [] Wed Feb 10 14:27:14 2010
Of course she's female! (Although, I guess if she was male I wouldn't have to worry so much about those sexy tires...)
Comment by anna Wed Feb 10 15:54:50 2010

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