As our adventure continues here at the Ranch, our learning curve continues to help us to verify those things that are working well and those that are not. Being part of the first wave has its advantages as well as its challenges. One advantage is being able to have almost endless options when we select the lot that we want, and, in part, who some of our neighbors are. However, I have to admit that all those who are out here, no matter where they are, have proven to be amazing people. They are incredibly resourceful and are implementing ideas that will be beneficial to others as they join us here.
One thing that we have learned is that all generators are not created equal, even though they have the same 3-year warranty or even the same manufacturer. Why is this important? Consider last Saturday night at 10:00 pm. It is late; it is chilly, and our generator failed - water is not available because there is no electricity, and we have no lights. Therefore, no Saturday night showers for Sunday. Keep in mind I had spent that day returning two generators to Costco and purchasing two new generators. And it was the big expensive one of those that I could not get started.
Two back-up generators had failed earlier that day. I had borrowed a third from a friend and that generator decided that it was not going to work because of a faulty fuel selector switch, and my back up of all backups, which I had loaned to the batch plant, had a starter fail just a couple of days before that. Therefore, Saturday had been used to return two generators to Costco. Now in desperation, we had to use Sunday to pick up two more from Cal Ranch after our Saturday night failure. In the middle of all this I said to myself, “Self, there is apparently something that I am supposed to learn here because the odds of this all happening are quite extraordinary.”
To be honest, in my mind I said a lot of other things. But always when I am done with my little personal drama, I come back to what it is that I want and why. I know who I am, and I accept my failures along with my successes as part of the journey. So back to what it was that I was supposed to learn.
It turns out that there are three grades of generators. There are residential, commercial, and industrial. There are manufacturers that make one or all three. It takes a little research to identify which is what. Please take note, virtually all of the models that Costco sells are residential, for the weekend camper, emergencies that are short term, and other miscellaneous short-term uses. These can usually be identified in their specifications where it says they are most efficient running at 25-50% load capacity.
The commercial use generators, those that are used by contractors, are designed to run all day, day in, and day out. Their fuel efficiency is generally not as good as the specialized residential models but will last longer and have fewer plastic parts. These models are generally louder and not very fancy. The costs vary depending on size and name brand. The industrial models are designed for rough service and harsh conditions. These machines are more expensive.
For the Ranch, consider the following: You want a machine that has durability, a proven track record, and service centers close by, or at least a reasonable distance. Honda is a proven brand when you get a model with both the Honda engine and the Honda generator. However, their cost is up there. I am trying out two models made by Champion. The online reviews have been good and there are two service centers in Utah county. I will provide a report on each model after I have some experience with them, but so far, so good.
I have shared the preceding for two reasons: One, now is the best time to get your lot selection in at the Ranch while there are still so many available. Two, I encourage each person to get started now in preparing every needful thing. Generators are just one small thing in a long list associated with getting off the grid, and they are short term. Long term preparation for the days-to-come includes shelter, solar power, water, and food production. Also, be aware, I have had communications this week regarding limited supplies and delays in deliveries for needed solar equipment.
Please don’t delay in preparing for the days ahead. It will only become increasingly difficult and likely more expensive to do so as the weeks and months pass. The signs of the times are upon us. Those that take courage and take heed will bless the day that they did because they will have created their places of safety and security.