Full Loads


Return of the Pomace

An empty cargo van is a sad sight. It uses almost the same amount of gas to run empty as to run full. To eliminate this problem we combine trips. For example, we’ll drop off pigs, pickup meat into the onboard refrigerator, drop off orders at stores and restaurants, pickup apple pomace and do the bank deposit. This eliminates running around and by my math makes the 16 mpg cargo van more efficient than a Prisus – plus it stops along the route which is a side benefit. We only have one vehicle but it runs fully loaded almost all the time and it has a lower cost per pound of transportation. That saves gas and money.

The doors open wide and the tractor forks slips in to remove a crate of crushed apples from the the animal carrier back half of the cargo van. Holly fills plastic five and ten gallon pails to augment the 800 lbs or so that she can get in the crate – those can be seen on the ground to the left of the van. Being able to easily and quickly unload a crate is very handy. I am glad we bought the forks years ago to unload big trucks. Unloading with the bucket was much more challenging and less exact. Another improvement is that this past year we widened the animal carrier area in the back of the van so now it is much easier to load and unload plus we can carry more in the back. This allows for not just more pigs per trip but also more pomace, pallets and other things.

The result is the van sometimes only runs once a week as we have nowhere else to go. This actually is some what of an issue since the engine does better if it gets started ever day or two as I discussed the other day. Since Holly is the one who does the deliveries this can mean that the rest of us don’t leave the mountain for weeks. Thus it is quite the surprise when I go down into the valley with Holly to discover that the neighbor’s fields are greened up and growing, their snow long gone.

Outdoors: 40째F/30째F Light Rains
Tiny Cottage: 68째F/61째F

Daily Spark: “I have a firm rule – I eat the mean people.” -WJ (USDA Faceless Bureaucrat voted this “Best Sentence Today” 20090325)

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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7 Responses to Full Loads

  1. Teresa says:

    I must admit, there are times I'd like to be able to go weeks without venturing away from my home. That truly takes some good planning to make sure you are efficient in your trips.

  2. Walter- Have you ever thought about being a consultant for major corporations? You could show them a thing or two on how to run "lean" and efficient!

  3. Walter and Holly, it is obvious you two were Green looooong before Green was Keen. Keep it up you role models you !

  4. Dilbert is an all time great comic strip in my humble opinion.
    And….I am guessing Corporate America is not for you. :-)

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hi Walter,

    a few question about your delivery-logistics:
    You wrote, you drop off pigs and pickup meat.
    Do you wait a few houres at the butcher-shop until your pigs are butchered and deliver the fresh meat to the costumers? -So you dont have to freeze and store the meat?
    Or do the butcher store it for you until next time?
    And if so: what do you think about shock-frosting? -is it really necessary for maintaining meat-quality?
    Thanks.
    In enjoy reading your blog, while doing my bureau-job, dreaming of land-live…;)

    best regards
    Peter

  6. Good questions, Peter. See this post on Thursday.

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