Saturday, 23 June 2012

Tonka Trucks

Well, it has begun.  The earth moving guys turned up on Thursday and boy have they moved some earth!  They have to dig into the site first, to remove the sand that is there (because apparently it is not the right stuff to compact), then replace it with a layer of crushed limestone and then compactable sand.  They are cutting out an area 24 metres by 16 metres for the sand pad.  Our house including the verandah is 20 metres across by 12 metres deep.

Sure beats using a shovel!  Can't get over the size of these machines, and yet Wade, the operator can make that massive excavator line up to the centimetre and manoevre so delicately.
 Wade is digging it out and Mike is moving it.
 We decided to get Wade to shift the excess sand (and there is LOTS of it!) to an area below the house, just downhill of the vegies.  We have no flat areas really and it would nice to have a big flat area, plus permaculture principles say that terracing is good as it slows the movement of water down the hill and allows it to soak in rather than run off.  So that's the plan.  Look at the size of this earthmover, it's a monster, dwarfing Steve's car.
When the boys did the levels we were all very surprised to see how high the front right hand side is above the driveway.  I've marked it on the photo with a red line.  We are pleased with the height actually as it makes our little window of view all the more seeable, but Wade and Mike has to have a big think about how to stabilise the sand pad.
They decided to bring in some massive rocks to hold the sand pad firmly in place.  Big ones for now, then some smaller ones too, and they are being very thoughtful of ways to make it look nice so I can eventually plant some rockery plants in and around.
We were all surprised to see water appear mid back of the cut, we are on very sandy soil.  Going by the topography uphill from us on our neighbours place, it looks like there may have been an old creek bed in the area many years ago.  Very glad we found out now, we had heavy rain just before Wade started cutting into the hill, so we are probably seeing it at its worst.  He will cut drainage channels on Monday and fill them with crushed limestone.
 The view out the side shed window.  Big boys toys!

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