Sunday, December 09, 2007

Major Gophers... (aka 'I Dig Solar')

Friday morning bright and early Roger rented an auger from the local equipment supply rental dealer. The auger was intended to facilitate the digging of the holes to accommodate the poles that will support the four solar panels we have had in the barn for about a year now. (No, it's not a NEW project.)

I went out to check on his progress after he had been 'at it' for a couple of hours. There he was diligently digging away (sort of).

Evidently, our little vista on the east side of the barn is mostly land fill. Though there soft places (evidenced by the tree we planted last year) most of the ground is filled with rocks; big rocks.

I watched him for a few minutes and snapped the photos below. At times it seemed that the people in China had a grip on the drilling end of the auger and were trying to pull it out on their side. At other times the machine; the part Roger is holding on to, tipped up in the air. Someone in the Far East must have really wanted to use it.

He's not getting very far.

The holes need to be 4' deep. After an hour this one is less than two.

Evidently this was not going to work. So, Mr. Auger went back on his trailer and back to the equipment rental facility.

Roger returned about 45 minutes later with (what shall we say) a bigger and better mouse trap.

Now, this is more like it.
Roger tells me there was a slight learning curve in using the backhoe. There are a couple of levers that need to be worked independently but in sequence in order to get the machine to do what you want it to do. One lever lowers and raises the arm of the machine. The other lever operates the bucket.

Sometimes after gathering the dirt in the bucket but, before he moved the arm away from the hole he dumped the dirt back into the hole... Oops!

It took him the rest of Friday and a good part of Saturday but, we have some very deep holes and trenches ready to be filled with poles, concrete and dirt.

You need to appreciate the fact that both days were very foggy and the temperature was in the 20's. We're lucky Roger didn't freeze in mid scoop. Last night it got down to 15.

We hope that the ground will not freeze before he is able to get at least one pole set and the hole filled with cement; just to see what it looks like. We will cover the rest over with the remaining metal from the barn and wait for the Spring thaw.

Does anyone need an experienced backhoe operator?

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