That’s actually a rock shard in the tire of my work truck. Fortunately I bothered to check the air pressure in the spare and flip it around for easy valve access on my work truck a few month ago, because there are few things more useless than a spare tire without enough pressure and it would’ve been a couple of hours until anyone could’ve gotten to me to help out. After 11,341 miles this tire is used up.
This truck runs 12 ply tires at 60psi. TPMS warning came on at 35 psi, and over the course of a minute or two it dropped to 3 psi by time I got to a nice spot on that trail to change a tire. It was just under 100 degrees, but the scenery was nice for an unplanned tire change.
I’m a bit surprised to see that Ford actually buys more than one type of steelie for the F-150. They couldn’t even match the spare with the gray ones.
Prior to the flat is was a fantastic, if warm, afternoon out doing a radio survey to confirm the requisite radio magic working at the spot I’m going to put a weather station for a federal agency. It should be a good arrangement. They’ll buy the hardware I’ve spec’d for them, I’ll install the site, run the site as part of our flood warning system and maintain it. We get another site and data point, they get real-time access to their data and have it publicly accessible at the same time, and they get a site with way better hardware than they’d usually run and that actually has a long-term future (unlike most of their weather stations) via system support and maintenance by me.
I’m working on putting together another similar deal with the university for some weather stations on their experimental range if they can come up with some money for joining us in the world of big boy, real-time meteorological monitoring with scientific research grade instruments and hardware with a life expectancy of “from now on” in remote field use. Agencies in the area are coming around to realize that they can partner with us (the local flood commission) and leverage the fact that we’ve done the hard and expensive part of building the infrastructure for a large, real-time regional network of weather stations, stream gauges and low-water crossing warning and gates.
I continue to be successful spending less than 50% of my work time in my office. Today was also a good reminder of why I’ve come to realize the two most important interview questions I answered for this job were about how one approaches troubleshooting, and how I felt about accessing remote worksites with atv’s and 4x4 trucks. It was also a good reminder of why we carry lots of tools, full-size pioneer gear and always take food, lots of water and appropriate clothing for walking out or an unplanned night of camping in the truck, since the three of us that regularly work in the field routinely spend lots of time in remote places, with or without phone coverage, and almost always alone.