What is all the stuff in my truck? A lot of fun, that's what.
Enough with the mud! Stuck twice. Almost ten hours digging and pulling and pushing. No fun. I'm not blaming the Bobcat for our woes: the tires are worn, the conditions have been unusually wet, and our operator lacks some basic skills. But if we are going to turn this untamed wilderness into a happy retreat, we need a Bobcat upgrade. The Bobcat dealer told me the best bang-for-your-buck upgrade I could do was to add over-the-tire steel tracks onto my rubber tires. Like tank tracks. Yes, they exist. Not only would it give me added "float" in muddy conditions, but tracks are purported to provide better traction when pushing and loading and overall improved performance because the increase weight. The dealer had me at tank.
I'm a craigslist junkie. I bought the Bobcat on craigslist. I bought a reliable washer and dryer. I have rented four properties, sold two cars, a camper, a generator and a chainsaw on craigslist. Next up: steel tracks.
After a few weeks of searching I landed a sweet set of tracks off a contractor in Virginia. Wilbur had the tracks sitting in his storage yard for 6 months. I negotiated for a great price, got a good one and had the guy load them in the back of the Dakota. According to the Youtube video tutorial I watched it takes 4 hours to put on steel tracks. In three hours the Dip and I pimped the Bobcat into a veritable Abrams tank. Arr!
The other big news is the installation of a driveway gate. This was the Diplomat's project. Her design: 12 foot aluminum gate supported by 6 x 6 timbers sunk in concrete. This was a rewarding project. It only took a couple of hours and looks great. We dug the holes with Bobcat, of course, and had to contend with some big rocks and groundwater, but after trying a few different spots we had two 30-inch holes. We filled the bottom of the holes with a few inches of gravel and then set the posts in place, filling around them with concrete. Each post took about three, sixty pound bags of concrete. After carefully leveling the posts and allowing the concrete to cure for a week, we attached the gate. We're very proud!
Measuring the hole.
The first post in place.
The Diplomat leveling the post.