Dump Bed Patch

  After the 70 inches over six Snow Events of 2010, the driveway took a beating. Luckily, we have a Dump Truck for hauling (which is truckingese for "bringing") more gravel. This brings many joys - driving on the scales, asking the lady for five ton of gravel (ton is truckingese for "tons"), having the Catepillar 980G pour 10,000 pounds of 57's into the bed of truck, and then going back over the scales to weigh out. But the most fun is the eight mile trip back home - nearing the 55mph speed limit on down hills and a whopping 35mph up the grades, delighting the cars following me. But what makes me giddy is the occassional clang of a 2"x4" column of gravel which falls down onto the muffler and then to the road, quickly generating some distance between me and my followers. I thought maybe just a bumper sticker might suffice, but considering the cost of fuel, power steering fluid and gravel, I needed to get the whole load home, not to mention, do my trucking civic duty. Afterall, I did get the brakes fixed. So I decided to patch the bed.

  Click for a Larger Image Getting ready for the operation. For this procedure, I plan to use the Lincoln AC225 Stick Welder (quintessential Buzzbox). Since I'll use about 90 amps, I thought I'd disconnect the battery, explaining the open hood. Also, you'll see the G-Cart for making quick trips to metal stock storage locations scattered about the acres , a chainsaw in case some trees get in my way, and the Earthforce EF-3 in the background.

  A demonstration of the problem. See all the big , 2" holes along the centerline of the dump bed? Then there is one 3" hole and some smaller ones over on the right. All in all, there are 18 holes in the bed (not counting where the wear holes, which I plan to leave for drainage). Finally, there are four 4" holes on the corners in which the bazookas mount when holding tree logs on future visits to the mill (in the distant, distant future). You can see them in place in the original Dump Truck photos.

  Click for a Larger Image On left is the Buzzbox, on right is the gas welder. It's used for cutting the chunks of 3" and 2" bar stock which will patch the holes. Note my cool flamed welding helment on the bed.

  The bed. On the left is some 3" bar stock, just to the right of a big 4" bazooka hole. Those will be plugged with caps so I can still use the bazookas. One of the 1.5" holes is patched just to the uppler left of the slag hammer. Note the big holes below the positive rod holder of the welder. See how the rod holder has a plastic covering? That was handy in the time before I considered what might happen if the positive terminal touches the grounded bed. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image More of the holes. The one in the middle is about 3" in diameter. The PO had patched some holes with those 1/4" plates to upper left. These holes had pipes that went though, probably to hold hydraulic or water pipes in the bed's earlier life.

  Better view of the Gas Rig (welderese for Gas Welder). I am using the cutting torch head. Plus an assortment of gloves. The blue ones are for arc welding cause they are thicker and have longer cuffs. But they still do a good job of catching and funneling molten steel and slag down into my wrists. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Here's a patch on one of the 1.5" holes. Pretty messy. Now that we're seven sections into this page, I'll admit my arc welding skills suck. I just get the arc so it melts but doesn't burn holes into the bed. In most patches, I didn't grind the diamond plate down, which left gaps and generally creates a crappy weld. But, I'm not taking people underwater or into space - just keeping gravel out of their windshields.

  A closer view of one of my later patches. Still, not great, but the beads on the side we are looking at are a bit better. Enough to keep the gravel from falling through. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Bed is all patched up and back at work. The black paint marks the patches. You can also see the bazooka covers in the corners under the side rails.

  The underside of the bed at work. First, see how clean the rails and the hydraulic tank are? Normally, they are covered with whatever I'm carrying - gravel and dirt. Also, note the bazooka tube with the bar with the bolt. That bolt is welded to the bottom of a round plate which covers the top (like a little dirt umbrella bolted in place). Also, you can see some of the pipes on the little holes that extend down. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image This job took lots of welding rod - 1/8" 6013 welding rod. Here are the remnants. II am not too consistent with when I stop. It depends on whether I'm on a corner or coming to the end of the weld. Sometimes I burn it down to the rod holder.

  There are a lot of folks who know me and my personality. They know that I couldn't live without a trend assessment of my spent rods. So, having nothing to do with Obsessive Compulive Disorder (OCD), I have (in fact) "ordered" my spent rods to give me an exact understanding of the average, median, and standard deviation of spent rod length. If anything, it is Obsessive Compulsive Order (OCO). Get it right! Click for a Larger Image

Patch a Line