Les and his D5M Bulldozer
This is Les with his D5M Caterpillar Bulldozer. He just got done preparing the site for our greenhouse in the south field. It used to slope 6′ east to west across the area I wanted and more like 12′ across the entire area. That made it too steep for putting in the foundation. He turned that into a more gentle 2′ slope which will still drain and work better for the next step of setting up the greenhouse.
We do a fair bit of earth moving using our backhoe and bucket loader on the tractor but every so often we call in the man with the big toys. Les used a trackhoe to build our 2,500′ long water line road so we could replace the pipe from our spring. The new road would simply not have been possible with the tractor bucket loader or back hoe.
Likewise on the greenhouse plateau he moved rocks as big as our tractor using the bulldozer – things we would not do with our smaller equipment. I figure that he works about 10 to 15 times faster with the dozer than I can with the backhoe and bucket loader on our tractor. When we built the plateau for the south field shed we did it with the tractor. It took Will, Ben and I two weeks in shifts running the tractor eight hours a day and that project was about 1/6th of what Less just did in a bit over a day. The dozer is the right tool for the job in this case.
Les is also the right man for the job. By eye he made a flat 100′ wide by 200′ long plateau for our 38′ by 96′ greenhouse. We checked it with his laser level surveying equipment – flat, flat, flat. Quite amazing. He then quickly adjusted it to give it the tilt south and east that I wanted for drainage.
This picture from last year shows it from before Les started work. My hillbilly level eyes see this as a reasonably flat surface as discussed in the post about “Swifty Sloping Land“. The arrow pine in the middle belies my eye – this land is even more tilted than the camera shows because the pine grows straight. I’m just a little cockied.
After Les got done the new plateau was far flatter, although still sightly sloped for drainage. The trade off was increasing the slope at the east and west edges while averaging the middle, to create a plateau. On the sloped areas we’ll plant apple trees between double fence lines[1, 2, 3] which will drop apples to the livestock in the fall. In fact, our existing apple and pear trees are still dropping apples today although we’re part way through November. Free food, with a little patience.
Outdoors: 34°F/19°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 63°F/58°F
Daily Spark: Did you hear about the new doll? She’s called Barbie-Q.