Today, I took the day off to run errands, take care of business, and get some work done that couldn’t be done over the weekend. Part of this was to order a truckload of sand so I could reseat the water tank we use to harvest rainwater for the garden and chickens. It’s an 1100-gallon tank, so it weighs more than four and a half tons when full! It needed a more stable base than what I originally built for it.
As some of you might remember, the ground at Pearl Creek Farm tends to be a little loose and can get pretty soft after a rain. I thought we were in the clear because of the cold, dry weather, even for a dump truck, but you can probably guess what happened next.
The ground and snow were indeed frozen, but the slight incline up towards the barn was too much for the loaded truck. The back tires turned the crusty snow to ice with every spin and the back end was sliding back and forth. Dumping wasn’t an option because the truck was under a low-hanging electric wire. Then, the front tire started to sink in the soft, sandy soil. Pulling forward wasn’t an option because it was just too soft.
The last time we got something stuck (my neighbor’s tractor) in the quicksand, we went through another tractor, a busted logging chain, and a busted windshield. Finally, we called an industrial tow truck (about $250, which was a bargain for what showed up) to pull the tractor out. A new windshield was about $300, installation was another $100. We were just trying to pull out a couple of logs.
This time, the same neighbor tried to pull this one out with this miniature New Holland tractor and made it! He dug a set of four matching ruts in front of the dump truck and another behind it before finally getting it moving forward again. Unfortunately, I don’t have photos of the whole thing, but I did get photos of the aftermath.
The first time was a very costly mistake. The second time, I got off easy, almost completely because of the help from my neighbor. The truck’s driver felt terrible and kept apologizing. I felt terrible because I should have known better. I should know not to trust the ground around here for anything!