Monday, March 7, 2016

Assembly Instructions

Some months ago, I purchased a 9 cubic foot dump trailer to pull behind my lawn tractor. It was the alternative solution to carrying heavy buckets of water up the hill for the horses when it is too cold to use the garden hose to fill the water tank.

The trailer is ostensibly a Craftsman trailer, purchased at Sears for $115. I was thinking it was a GREAT bargain until I went to get it. It was in a long, impossibly narrow box. Some assembly required I correctly surmised. I was not worried. I built a Barbie Doll Dream House one Christmas eve. I have single-handedly assembled bicycles and swing sets and cheap furniture. I routinely make minor home repairs. I maintained my own Harley Davidson motorcycles. I can read assembly instructions like a boss because I was a professional technical draftsman for 20 years.

Thanks to a very warm winter, there were only a couple of times I had to carry water to the horses, so the box of unassembled pieces remained untouched in the garage until today, when I asked myself: Why not tackle that little project? I can use the trailer to haul rocks and limbs out of the yard before mowing this spring.

So... I tore open the box. Nothing looked too challenging and the assembly instructions were in well-translated English, always an auspicious beginning. I read: "Tools required - large flat screwdriver and 1/4" wrench or socket". What they REALLY meant was a Phillips screwdriver and a 10 mm wrench or socket. It went fairly smoothly after that but the instructions were not authentic Craftsman instructions. They were "Universal" instructions, apparently a generic brand of trailer. The trailer pictured did not show Craftsman on the side, but Universal. (No mention of THAT on the box, at Sears, or on the Sears web site!)

The instructions were for several different models but I figured it out because I am a goddamned American genius! That is what I told Jake when I had finished and stood back to admire the newly assembled little trailer.


Kathleen Gault said...

Well done! I hand all items needing assemblage over to The Man -- who, let's admit it, is a professional (bicycle) mechanic. He is a connoisseur of assembly instructions. Recently he bought 3 different brands of shelving for our new garage. The Martha Stewart shelves got an 'F' -- the 'A' ones are written in actual English, have good diagrams, AND come with extra screws. If I assembled your tractor, I would not be a genius. I would be a miracle. Well done!

Jackie said...

Divide and conquer! That's how our species evolved to dominion over the Horse People!! (Well, that and our thumbs.)