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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Saturday, January 31, 2009


Dan and I try to share chores equally. Some chores are more equal than others. For example, he prefers not to do dishes and I prefer to not even hold a chainsaw when it is running let alone try to use it (sorry to burst your bubble about Yooper women…we aren’t all lumberjanes!). He prefers running the vacuum sweeper over folding sheets. By that I don't mean he wants to vacumm over the sheets; he would rather vacumm than fold sheets...don't get a mental picture of a man vacumming sheets. I prefer operating the loader to trying to fit all the brush in the bucket (besides, the mosquitoes and black flies are rather put off by the diesel fumes from the engine, so why not stay ON the tractor??) See how it all works out?

I also try to know about our vehicles. Since we are down to the one, I should say vehicle. And you may recall that when we purchased Bubba (yep, that’s his name) we spent hours reading through the 500 page manual trying to figure out what all the buttons were for and what the symbols all meant (truthfully, we still don’t have it memorized).

We do know that the Turbo Cummins Diesel has vastly improved over the plain old diesel of years gone by and we even had a learning curve to get out of “old habits” from having an older diesel.

But, I guess no matter how new and improved something might be, there can always be problems that can arise. FUEL GEL FOR EXAMPLE. We still aren’t sure if that IS what happened the other day (long story, won’t go into it) and I have some info to pick up from Newberry Motors this a.m. that THEY looked up online about what I described to them…something to do with a “particulate filter” that Dodge started using since 2007. It has to do with the emissions system..

To be on the safe side, Dan purchased some Diesel 9-1-1. We haven’t used it yet, but he wanted me to familiarize myself with it in case I was the one who felt the urge to add it to the fuel.

The label gives very specific instructions, to which I have added my own tips (I am giving you instructions and tips for the 2nd condition written on the backside of the bottle):

TO RELIQUEFY GELLED DIESEL FUEL---First of all, I can’t even find the word “reliquefy” in either my Funk and Wagnall NOR Webster’s Concise Dictionary of the English Language…but I know what it means. OK, from there we go to Add 32 ounces of Diesel 9-1-1 to each 30 gallons of fuel in the tanks.” It just so happens the jug of this stuff (which cost about $14.00) is exactly 32 ounces. So far so good. However, how do you know for sure that you have 30 gallons of fuel in the tank(s)?? Our tank is either 35 or 36 gallons, so I guess the first thing I have to do is go to the information center of the truck and find out how many gallons till the tank will be empty…is that what I’m supposed to do??

Next step is “Remove the fuel filters and fill with 50% Diesel 9-1-1 and 50% diesel fuel. Reinstall fuel filters”. That sounds fine and dandy, but again, I’d have to refer to the book. I’ve looked at that engine and it scares me! The thing is HUGE! I need a map just to find my way around this engine. But that’s not the biggest problem. I pretty much have to stand on my tippy toes just to get the hood open. I would HAVE to have a ladder in order to complete this step of “reliquefying” (hey I don’t have a clue if that is how it is spelled since it isn’t in a dictionary!). So off, to get a ladder (and remember the only time fuel might gel would be winter so by now, I’m probably staving off hives and most likely trying to do this whole thing with Michelin Man type gloves on my hands). Of course we are assuming that this whole thing is going on in my own yard and not on the road some place.

Once I have figured out if I have 30 gallons of fuel in the tank, have removed the filter, added the 50% brew of 9-1-1 and diesel fuel, put the filter back on, put the ladder back in the barn, warmed up my fingers, THEN it is time to start the engine.

OK, here it gets easier for a whole 5 minutes…LET THE ENGINE IDLE TO WARM UP THE SYSTEM.

The next step leaves me a bit baffled….it states: “Add Power Service Diesel Fuel Supplement + Cetane Boost as directed to prevent fuel gelling". WHAT THE HELL IS THAT STUFF AND WHERE DO I FIND IT?? Why wasn’t I told to purchase THAT, whatever it is, when I purchased the 9-1-1?? No other place on this bottle is anything else written about this new item! It isn’t even listed as an ingredient of 9-1-1.. The only thing that Diesel 9-1-1 touts on the label is ‘WITH SLICKDIESEL FOR MAXIMUM FUEL LUBRICATION.” (Sorry, but THAT sounds like a commercial for help in the bedroom)

I am hoping that this 32 ounce container is something we just cart around with us for emergencies. I know when the guys have to add this to one of the groomers, they don’t go through all of this. They dump it in the fuel tank. But Bubba is our million dollar baby (well, it FEELS like a million when you know you’ll be making payments for 4 years to come) and we want to do it right!

Horse and buggy can be a very exciting way to travel….and I normally can reach the working parts of a horse without a ladder. Give him an apple or two, a scratch behind the ear, a pat on the rump and your good to go.


  1. Dodge be gellin' eh? Hmmm, too bad.
    My Duramax purrs like a kitten on cold days like these.
    Ooops, sorry didn't mean to offend, just teasin' ya.
    BTW, do you happen to know the McTivers not too far from you? My husband does some cattle work for them when he is up to his camp. Great people!

  2. If you put diesel fuel treatment in the tank when you fill up then you will not have to mess with jelled fuel. That is when you pull the filter or filters and put the truck in a warm place to thaw out while you recharge the battery you ran down trying to start it with jelled fuel. The trick is plan ahead and treat the fuel, this is a good idea even if the station that sold you the fuel said it is treated. Have not ran a diesel for may years but anti jell treatment was part of the winter fill ups.

  3. DVM's Wife, Ha, ha. Actually it turns out it is not a gelling situation but the DIESEL PARTICULATE FILTER. I have two copied pages in probably a font size of 10 that tells me anything I ever wanted to know about this filter. I didn't even know there was such a thing. But it is something that they had to start using on the 2007 models due to emissions standards. I still think what it boils down to is the "new grade" of diesel causes issues.

    Yes, we know McTivers! Nice people! The first time we met Ike, we thought Paul Bunyon's brother had stopped by! They raise some wonderful beef. And when they separate the calves from the cows, we can hear them bawling all the way down here! Kind of makes us miss farming and livestock. I'm sure you can related to that!

  4. Jon, thanks for the info. It only makes sense to do this; after all we add treatment to our fuel oil tank (burn a blend) and we add treatment to our "holding tank" for diesel fuel for the loader....so, why wouldn't one add it to their truck too?

  5. Cathy, How funny you do know them. I wondered. Yes, Ike is a super nice guy and Paul Bunyan? You got that right! If you ever see him, ask him about that Yooper Vet that got Ike's tractor stuck up at our camp a couple years ago. They still laugh about that one!


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