Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Happy New Year!

Most manufacturing companies shut down between Christmas Eve until just after New Year's Day.  This year we returned to work today.

In the summer of last year (2017) I planned to make use of the time I would be off during Christmas shut-down by renting a bulldozer and leveling out the piles of dirt that I created when excavating for the foundation of my barn during the same shut-down in 2014.  I just got tired of the cramped spaces where I was driving/parking and having to deal with the less than adequate drainage issues.  Of course, I also wanted to get started on the runway project that I've been planning for so many years.

The dozer was delivered on Friday, December 22nd and I started to work immediately.  I spent just over 20 hours in the driver's seat.  I rented the machine for a week (40 hours over 7 days) but had to forfeit about half due to my poor time-management.  I hadn't really prepared the area beforehand.  I had to move vehicles and equipment that I really should have done weeks before.  I also didn't have a clear idea of how much I wanted to accomplish, so I wasn't really driven to accomplish any specific amount of work.  I also had to take breaks in the dozing to run the tractor and box-blade over the area I had been dozing to check for grade and slope.  I wasn't really skilled enough in dozer operation to get a smooth surface with the dozer blade.  This took about 6 hours that could have been spent grading.  I've got about half of my runway roughed-out and a clear idea of what needs to be done to finish.  In any case, the results look good...

It hasn't rained any substantial amount since the dozer was taken back to the rental company.  I don't know exactly how drainage will work, but the ground slopes at least three feet from the barn to where the fill ends.  I'll have to fine-tune the slope as the puddling water shows.  I'll also be planting pasture grass seed this spring to ease erosion problems.

I'm going to prepare the remainder of the land that needs to be cut/filled over the coming year so I can finish out the runway after Christmas next year.  I've got trees to fell, lumber to cut and a backhoe to repair so that I can be prepared by next December.


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