Mulch Hole

  Spring time is mulch time. We can get a rubber tire loader bucket full for $45. Doesn't matter what you bring, they dump the bucket on it. Bring a pickup? Take home about 60% for $45. Bring a pee wee trailer? Take home about 10% for $45. Bring a dump truck? Take home 100% for $45. Unless you get stuck in a giant hole. Click for Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Here is the dump truck stuck in the hole. I backed it into the loading area across the zigzag bridge. As I backed, I felt some resistance - kind of like maybe a couple of railroad ties stacked up blocking a four foot ditch. But being a place with lots wood, I figured I'd just add on power. That's when the back right wheels raised up then down. Then nothing. No go.

  Nice thing about mulch places is they have big rubber tire loaders with tool carrier front ends. I got out of the truck, shrugged my city-slicker shoulders and asked the loader guy to help me out. I helped him position his tool carrier mount under the bed. Then, with a easy, fluid lift, I was out. Click Here for the Movie. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image No damage - everything works and I can back in again for a nice, full $45 load of mulch. But wait - the right fuel tank is bent up into the cab. Bummer. No way I someone with OCO (Obsessive Compulsive Order) can live with that!

  Here is the hole. Note the railroad ties. These ran on top of the concrete bridge that goes over the four foot deep drain ditch. Inside the ditch are a couple of giant rocks, a big concrete cylinder that may have held a warning sign, and a couple of Dodge Neons.. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image That night, exploring my options. Here I had taken four bolts and captive pinch nuts off to release the L-Shaped rear bracket that holds up the tank.

  The bracket after some heating and bending. Brought out the oxy-acetelyne blue hammer and heated up the section just below the lower bolt holes. Then bashed on it with my little hand sledge. Beat on it till it was straight again. Took all my gas and I had to carry the work to my brother's where I used some of his gas to finish. Also used his blacksmith's anvil. Very nice. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Bolts back in place. Had to get to them past that frame member and the two big 2" hydraulic hoses. Then, in the upper left, had to work by the 5" exhaust elbow.

  With the bracket bent back, the tank was sort of flat. But since the back of the tank was dented, the bottom corner rode up on the L bend, raising it up. A little pressure treated wood spacer (to keep from chafing the tank) worked nicely. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Tank back in normal postion. What would I do without heat?

Bend my Ear