Machine Shed Pad


About 10 years ago, the same time that the house was being built, my loving wife had a contractor dig out a Foundation for the Barn I planned to build. He dug it on a slope in a place i thought maybe would work. Well, I never felt it was the right place. So no barn. But I didn't do anything with the excavation since I couldn't fill it and build on the fill. So there it sat. Years later, we built the Garage so I didn't need a concrete floor. So EUREKA! I could build on fill! If I could build on fill, I could fill wherever I wanted! I could even fill against a wall and have a loading dock. A Two-Fer!


  The lay of the land before the fill. The little bit of dirt is where I dumped the gravel/dirt mix that sat around after the Driveway Relocation project last winter. Note also the front of the Dump Truck which moved this mix. The Dump Truck page features dumping this gravel/dirt mix in this very location! Click here to see the old Black Claw sitting in the excavation, futher proving I didn't know what to do with it (excavation or pickup). Click for Larger View

  Click for Larger View This is after starting the fill of the original excavation. The fill will be where we are standing, going flat out such that the original pad will be about 36" below grade. Note the Earthforce EF-3 Backhoe to the right and the goats in the background.

  The EF3 digging out the ancient fill. The astute eye will note the ant hill I am destroying just to the right of the backhoe bucket. One of the biggest challenges (not the ants cause they are very little) is getting all the crap weeds out of the nicely dug fill. After digging, I have to pull out thistles, burrs, and Alanthis trees, the former two leaving their pesky seeds to send up forests of this junk next year. If I'm lucky, it will be flat enough to mow or TVK (Total Vegitation Killer - See the G-Cart MOCAP). Click for Larger View

  Click for Larger View My secondary source for fill. This is red clay, overcome by a mid-atlantic jungle of locust, warthog, and Altanthis weed trees. First I fight them, then I mine the red clay.

  While out in the wild outback where the red clay is, I have to fight off these hungry little beasts called goats. They eat anything but the grass around their house. So they have to follow me, lick my salty sweat, and walk in the bucket. Then they get out of the fence the same time the machine drives through at a whopping four mph. Click for Larger View

  Click for Larger View This is the first layer or two of clay. The blue line (it was the only paint I had) and the orange flags mark where the wall will be. Then, the fill will go up about three feet so its level with the slope where those trees are. This clay comes from the mine in back, having been loaded by the EF3 into the Dump Truck which drives back and forth on the previous fill (about 22000 pounds when filled) and then dumps its load. Note the tree in front of the dirt pile in the center of the picture. Both the tree and the pile are EF3 targets.

  Same vantage point, but with the railroad tie wall in place. The ties are set back about an inch per row. They are spiked together with rebar that I cut with my old mitre saw and a metal cutting blade. See the EF3 has eliminated the cherry tree and is now working on the fill pile. Click for Larger View

  Click for Larger View This shot is from the other side. Its after I have about three rows of railroad ties in. The EF-3 puts dirt around the edges. Then the dump truck takes a load and smashes it down. The blade on the tractor smooths it out.

  The view from the other side. I still have to fill for the ramp back down to normal level. There is also lots of Railroad Tie ends, which will go to the dump along with the cherry stumps and other crap. Click for Larger View

  Click for Larger View The EF3 moving a load of fill. You can see the stump in the background, to the left of the Dump Truck. Just in front are some Railroad Ties waiting to go onto the next layer.

  The EF3 has found a new source for fill. I had thought this pile was mostly topsoil. But lurking under the burr bushes, thistle, and a 1/4 inch layer of brown topsoil lay another vein of red and orange clay. So no need for ferrying it with the dump truck. The International 574 waits to smooth the new find. Click for Larger View

  Click for Larger View Some of the raw materials. Pretty crumby railroad tie ends. But, this is not in full view of all the rich people who come to my house and judge me. These crappy ties will go near the top so I can replace them when necessary. More importantly, you see hand tools that are unused. That's cause they don't run on diesel.

  One big pile gone, 10 to go. We can now see straight through. I'll take out the two trees to the right and level out the pad. That's where the Machine Shed will finally go. Click for Larger View

  Click for Larger View Phase 1 is pretty much finished. Phase 2 is taking the trees and leveling out hte background pile. There was good topsoil in the pile that was in the center. That's all moved to the left, on the other side of the cliff dock.

  A better view, turned to the right. Here the cliff dock is apparent. Its about 36" tall, just right for the F250, but a bit short for the Dump Truck. The shed will be about where those two trees are in the center of the picture. The pile in the background will level up the back of the pad. Click for Larger View

  Click for Larger View Now we stand to the left of the cliff dock. We are looking right where the piles were. Now those two trees in front have to move. That awaits the leaves coming off, the Front Wall being finished, and time.

  Wall construction. Note the stepped placement of the ties. That's designed to hold them in place after the rains and frozen earth starts pushing on them. I also have some refuse to clean up.. Click for Larger View

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