Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Barn: things are happening quickly all of a sudden!

Barn: things are happening quickly all of a sudden!  This morning the builders laid out the location where a trench needed to be dug (for the footings).  Shortly later, a large backhoe showed up and started digging.  The depth that it dug to was measured by another laser level.  As I watched, the builder drafted me to operate the “stick” – a measuring pole with an attached laser receiver.  It was a good way to stop my pesky questions, as I was having a great time actually participating in the construction process – albeit in a role where I was quite unlikely to cause any trouble.

That backhoe (see photos below) was quite a capable piece of machinery, but the fellow operating it was a serious craftsman.  He's 64 years old, and he's been running a backhoe for over 35 years.  I've run a (much smaller) backhoe myself, so I have a pretty good idea what's involved.  I know which things are easy, and which are difficult.  This fellow made even the most difficult things look like they were trivial exercise.  By eyeball alone, he could grade the level of the bottom of the trench to within a half-inch or so.  The stick and laser receiver I was wielding just let him put the finishing touches on it.  If I were doing it, I'd be lucky to be within 6 inches – even with the smaller and easier to operate backhoe.

Just as the backhoe was finishing up the trench, a crew of six guys showed up and started placing the forms for the footing base.  Inside of an hour they had that done, and while they were waiting for the concrete truck to show up they started getting the real forms ready to go.  In another hour or so, a concrete truck should arrive and start placing concrete!

Some photos from today:

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