Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bulldozer progress

Wow, It was so cold, but so much fun! After paying a $3,500 per month lease on a bulldozer for now the second month, I finally got to operate it!! Brian showed me how the controls work and promptly left me on my own. It is very touchy, lots of power and can push piles of dirt!
I went to field #44/64 which lies near the river, but there is two acres of old pasture between the field and the river which was higher than the field which had 6-8 inches of topsoil washed away, so we rotavated the old sod and with the bulldozer pushed soil from the pasture to fill in the washed out field. Sounds simple enough, but requires precise depth control, blade tilt, and blade angle, constantly changing with the highs and lows of the terrain. Pushing dirt from the high spots and letting it flow out evenly into the low spots and then backing as fast as you can control back to the river, stopping just short of the bank overlooking the rushing Bad Axe river and putting the blade down again to start another push to the washed out field. Again and again, the hours slip by, the cold penetrates, but so much more to do, Oh, no, late for lunch! You don't want to miss an Andrea lunch!
After Lunch Brian takes over and makes faster progress than I did. By the end of day tomorrow, it should be done, ready to subsoil. compost and seed to rye. One field done, the easiest one, three more to go, please, please no rain for awhile.

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