Saturday, August 18, 2012

MORE POWER!! (Poles that is)

Mrs. Teknosmurf and I were driving some time ago and the topic came to the front drive and what we are going to do with it.  After driving by some local properties we saw something we both like.  It was a ranch style entrance made out of old telephone/power poles.  Since then I have been on a quest to find something similar and suitable.

After acquiring the proper truck (an older Ford F-250 flatbed), a triple axle trailer, and a chain saw (wow...this is an expensive project already!  Just kidding...this is all stuff I wanted to get anyway) I finally found someone that had a bunch of poles he was getting rid of, and he was 20 minutes away.  As it turns out, the owners of Sossaman Farms (at the corner of Ocotillo and Sossaman roads) acquired these poles when they were doing some street widening.  They were willing to cut me a discount if I purchased all of them.  Of course I had LOTS of projects in mind, so I told them I would take them all.

So then came the logistical part.  That is a lot of poles, and they are HEAVY!  I asked if I could come after work the next day to take a look.  Of course the answer was: "Well...can you do it tonight, or early in the morning?  We are heading up north and won't be back until Wednesday."  My response was: "Sure...but I will have to take the day off tomorrow, and you are going to have to have a tractor or something to help us.  I can't do it all by myself and I won't be able to get help.  I do have a chainsaw to cut them."  "Yes, I have access to a front loader that we can use". we have a deal!

The rest of that night I get the trailer hooked up, air up the tires, get all of my tools that I might need, and heavy duty straps and what have you.  By the time I was done getting everything together, it was 10:00, and I had to be at the guys house by 5:00am.  I also realized that with this load my truck lights wouldn't be visible.  So maybe I should get some magnetic lights tomorrow at Walmart.

I get up early and start to head out.  Of course, it's raining pretty good.  Great, this is going to be FUUUUUN!  I get to Walmart and park on the side of the building (because of the trailer) and of course, all doors are locked. around to the front...still says 24 hours, are you kidding me!  Then the guy gathering carts points to the other door.  By this time I am soaked and it is 10 min. to 5:00 already.  I text the guy, and he was actually relieved because now he could get his cup of coffee while he waits for me.

I walk into Walmart and get to the lights...sure enough, $50!  Really? These silly things are $20 at the other store...what gives...isn't this Wally-World!  I relent and decide that I can bring them back if I don't use them, so I will do everything I can to not use them.

I finally get there and we head back to the poles.  Hmmm...this doesn't look to bad.  HA HA,  famous last words!

The guy calls in one of his off-duty farm hands.  This guys had plans this afternoon, and was sleeping in because of the rain, but he finally reluctantly came in.  Turns out, he was the PERFECT guy to drive this front loader!  He was a native Arizonan with a Native American ancestry.  He was VERY dark skinned from working in the sun, on this farm, for the last 20 years.

The front loader already had hooks welded to the top of the bucket, and the chains were sitting in the bucket.  Hmmm..maybe they have done this before?  I guess so...they had so many tractors, both "normal" sized and VERY VERY LARGE ONES!  I about wet my pants when I saw all this hardware!  I was like a kid in a candy store...only it was like mom being there telling me to keep my hands off.  Oh well I still had a blast!

So we start loading these things on the trailer and it becomes apparent very quickly that we will have to make multiple trips.  The guy decides to get his truck hooked up to his car hauler and we also load that trailer.  Great, he is going to follow me down, now I don't have to worry about the lights.  The only problem is I will have to come back and get the last of it because they didn't even fit on two trailers!  BTW, did I mention it is about 9:30 at this point?  He has to leave at noon and his farm hand has to leave at 1:00.

So, we get down to my place with the first run.  Now the fun part.  How do we get those logs off his trailer with no tractor!  Well...this turned out to not be a big deal either as we had a Bronco and some chains.  Yep, you guessed it, a redneck moment is about to hit again!  Wrap the chain around a log and yank!  We got them all off and headed for my trailer.  Mine was MUCH easier as it is a flat bed.  They just rolled right off!

Now we head back up to his place.  I stop by the bank on the way because I haven't had time to get the cash yet.  I pay him and we get to finishing up.  We start cutting the first log and would you believe the newly sharpened chainsaw chain is dull again.  Crap, now what do I do.  I convince them to take me up to True Value down the street, and sure enough, they have 3 brand new chains for my saw in stock!  I bought the farm hand a coke and took the entire stock of chains.  Yep...I'll just bring back what I don't use, but I can't afford to have this be a problem again. is a good point to tell you that all morning I have been having problems getting straight cuts.  I told the farm hand after the first cut that I must need some coffee or something.  He said: "Yea, I know, there's a McDonald's down the street to get an ice coffee at".  Of course I answered something to the affect of how "anti productive" THAT would be...first off, it's an ICED COFFEE.  That in-and-of itself is an oxymoron in my book!  Anyway the second cut was also crooked.  This time I blame it on: "my eyes must be crooked".  To that he was just about rolling in the dirt from laughing so hard.  Then the third one and I start blaming it on the chain being dull or something.  Any bets on if he bought that one or not?  Yea...I wouldn't take that bet either.  Anyway, after we got the new chain I had a particularly crooked cut.  He comments: " least the cuts are getting straighter!"  Of course I immediately come back with: "Either your eyes must be getting crooked too, or you are getting more full of sh*t!"  He just laughed and walked away.  I am beginning to really like this guy and his sense of humor.

Anyway, this new chain cuts like butter!  We get it done and load up the last of my trailer.  By the time I am done, the new chain is almost dull again.  These things are not very gentle on chains!

The guy offers to follow me down since I don't have lights, but I assure him that hand signals will be fine, and I take my chance.  Sure enough, I have no problems.  As a matter of fact, I absolutely love my new truck, trailer, and saw!  These things perform very well, and this truck is a hauling monster! You can hardly tell there is anything connected back there (until you try to stop, but who needs to do that ;) ).

Anyway, now I have a stack of poles as you can see below.  I am about as sore today as my muscles would allow (a good hurt).  Now I have to figure out what to do with all of these!  I do know we want the entry, and maybe even 3 entries.  I also know I want a gantry at the entrance of my shed.  This is to hook a block and tackle up to for lifting things off the trailer.  It will also make a good door stop for the shed doors, and provide a little bit of personalization to the property.  Finally, we are going to line the drive with them to help keep water directed away and also provide a more "homey" feel.

Here is the picture of most the days stash (note there is another pile on the other side behind the trailer): big job leads to another set of big jobs!  I can't wait to start placing them!

1 comment: