The Helland Family Blog

Finally getting to work on the back porch framing that needs to be in place prior to pouring the 2nd floor walls and setting the trusses. Good thing we had the excavator to lift those in place otherwise I think I might have gotten another hernia. We should have the last angled bracket this week so we can set the top beams and get the inspection Monday. Maybe pour concrete next week.

Time to mow?

Went down with Judah to move the cows tonight and lost my helper in the grass.

For the record, he is standing up straight!

Grass…

The grass is finally growing and the cows have finished their haylage. Got the Exmark prepared for the season yesterday including new blades and pointed it at the Orchard during lunch which was running 10-12”. Cows were very pleased and the finished result looks great!

Today, with the haylage run out and the rain dumping so hard I couldn’t get out to mow any more, we moved the cows out on to their first paddock which was running between 10-24”. Happy cows!

Took some time this evening to use the excavator for it’s intended purpose…digging dirt. Finished grading for the replacement concrete pad for the barn and digging the trench for the thickened edge. I theory, the cows will have a nice dry clean area to winter over in next year.
Also back-filled the trench where I replaced the water line that was in the way and I ruptured yesterday. Nothing like water shooting 15’ out of a 1-1/4” pipe to let you know you just dug a little too far! :)

Took some time this evening to use the excavator for it’s intended purpose…digging dirt. Finished grading for the replacement concrete pad for the barn and digging the trench for the thickened edge. I theory, the cows will have a nice dry clean area to winter over in next year.

Also back-filled the trench where I replaced the water line that was in the way and I ruptured yesterday. Nothing like water shooting 15’ out of a 1-1/4” pipe to let you know you just dug a little too far! :)

The Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) for the upstairs came today in a 53’ semi. There was a little room to spare in there but not much. Thanks to Sally, Jeremy, Judson, Leif and the truck driver we unloaded in ~35 minutes! Plan is to set the 2x4’s out on the concrete by Saturday EOD so that the walls won’t move around during the pour and make it easy to mark all of the openings, etc. Once that is done we can start gluing down the first row and building up. Zip ties to hold them together should be here by Friday as well.

The Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) for the upstairs came today in a 53’ semi. There was a little room to spare in there but not much. Thanks to Sally, Jeremy, Judson, Leif and the truck driver we unloaded in ~35 minutes! Plan is to set the 2x4’s out on the concrete by Saturday EOD so that the walls won’t move around during the pour and make it easy to mark all of the openings, etc. Once that is done we can start gluing down the first row and building up. Zip ties to hold them together should be here by Friday as well.

Excavator Use #3 - Dig the dump truck out of the pond

Jan 2008 - So technically this isn’t my excavator being used, and technically it wasn’t successful but it sure was fun to watch them try. :)

Morrison Gravel came out to spread several trucks of 3/4”- basalt on the driveway to firm it up. One of the drivers “sneezed” and drove off the road and was perched precariously in the pond just shy of tipping over. One thing led to another and pretty soon a low-boy showed up with their biggest excavator to try to extricate the truck.

First they used it to unload the gravel very carefully to avoid bending the rails in the bed of the truck that allow it to carry the trailer bed for dumping. After that was done, they chained the front off to another truck and tried to lift/drag it out. No luck. After 4-5 hours of messing with it they gave up for the night and called in two tow trucks including a Class-A wrecker. They made short work of getting the truck back out but destroyed that side of the driveway. Since they had their excavator there already, they brought in a couple more loads of gravel and did their best to repair it. It hasn’t been the same since.

Excavator Use #2 - Land clearing

The day we got the excavator we began clearing out the scrub trees, stumps and old foundation that sat in the way of the new house site. Here Sally shows she’s no slouch in running heavy machinery.

Excavator Use #1 - Joy Rides

One of the first things we used the excavator for was a joy ride for the kids. Sometimes it is the simple pleasures that are the most fun.

101 Uses for an Excavator

I’ve been thinking recently about how many different uses there are for an excavator and I’m more convinced than ever that everyone needs one. I’m not sure I’m up to 101 yet but I’m well on my way. I’ll have to see how many diffecent uses I’ve done so far and what documentation I have for them. Stay tuned

Setting the first of the floor forms.