Monday, June 30, 2014

Free Dirt all you need is a Backhoe and Instructions!

Work is work if you’re paid to do it,
and it’s pleasure if you pay to be allowed to do it.
                                 Finley Peter Dunne

Source wikihow.com

I want to warn and remind you before I get into the story. A disclaimer if you will, even though I am pretty sure my readers would not attempt anything that would endanger them just to save $7.99 but just in case. Now after that whole $7.99 bag of dirt thing I knew there was a better alternative, so owning 200 acres and a Backhoe gives a girl like me ideas. As you remember I was Googling How to operate a Backhoe (Read post here); well now, you would be surprised how many hits that simple question would reveal.

Warning….. NEVER EVER operate something that has the potential to kill you without knowing what you are doing and do your research not on Google that is just silly. Reminder… I have been farming for 35 years and not only cooking the meals for the labourers I am the labourer so I have learned how to operate safely every piece of equipment on this farm. Please do not tell My Hero the “Every” part I think it is always a good idea to leave a little mystery in a relationship. And I frankly don’t want him to assume that since I can operate it, it could be my forever job. 


Anyway back to the Backhoe I do know how to use it, I have used it to haul wood, rails, and many other things that needed to be moved around here not to mention plowing the laneway when my tractor would not start in the winter but I have never had a need to use the back end or the “big shovel” part of it. A little tutorial on Google would help me in this case. I am mechanically inclined when truly motivated.

On Google I found a You Tube video but it would not help me with the Backhoe being so far from my computer so I chose the Wiki How with its comic like illustrations and easy instructions. I studied the picture instructions then I copied and pasted the instructions, I deleted all the illustrations and then shrunk the font. Sixteen pages down to a more manageable four pages, I printed it off and took it with me after grabbing a hard hat; yes I do follow warnings on instructions too, always an important thing.

I had already parked the Backhoe backed in front of the pile of dirt I had chosen to rip apart so now I just had to climb in and figure out how to turn that seat around. After a long time of sliding handles and banging things it was done, I started the machine up and revved up the motor, I sat in the seat and faced the big shovel with the instructions on my lap. I put on that hard hat I have no idea why I needed it but it was the first warning so I did it.


Now being up to step #10 after I had figured out all the other steps from watching My Hero then it said to lower Stabilizers, this I also knew after watching My Hero do it a million times. Dropped one stabilizer and pushed into the soft ground, dropped the other one push into soft ground making sure those back wheels were off the ground. I then dropped the front bucket the one I plowed the lane with, lifting the front wheels off ground. I must say I started to get a little nervous at that time, I have never liked being in the air, but carried on. Done Done and Done.

#11. Unlock the back boom…. say what…. Unlock the back boom. OOPs I have no idea how to do that. It explained how but since the instructions were for a newer Backhoe and ours is I am going to call it a 1979 Classic it was not where it should be or as easy to do as it sounds. Cellphone to the rescue.
Hey honey (yes it was My Hero, who were you thinking?) what and where is the pin to unlock the back boom? I know you are wondering and No he was not surprised that I phoned; he is used to my trying to use the equipment hoping I will someday have valuable skills and be of more help around here, he encourages higher learning.

“Look on the floor to your right, see the handle,” Yes, “OK pull it forward and slide it over, look out the window watch your machine and you can see the boom lifting off the pin.” OH yeah now I get it, thanks honey, later, I shoved the phone back in my pocket.


Well that boom lifted off the pin alright…. but the boom and shovel jerked forward and I almost had a heart attack, I was not expecting the loud bang and the shaking of my in the air machine. My heart started to slow down and I started to move the levers in front of me forward then backwards getting used to the feel of the machine and how it worked. I did learn that the quicker you move those levers the louder the bangs and clangs possibly making your neighbours wonder what was going on and scaring yourself. Slow and steady.
I practiced how to extend the bucket, uncurl the bucket and plunge it into the dirt pile. Curl the bucket then full of my free dirt, pushed down the right petal on floor to shift the boom to the right and put dirt where I wanted it. Move lever and dump. Now this was fun and the banging and clanging was more tolerable. I could do this no problem.

Dig swing then dump, dig swing then dump, dig swing then dump, oh yeah I  was a  pro now or so I thought to myself. With all the dirt I needed for my wedding flower planters piled in a nice pile all that was left to do was to lock the boom pin back up then shut down the machine. I could not figure out how to do that, but if you tell anyone I will deny it unless of course you are ever talking to My Hero.


I left that shovel extended sitting in the big hole I had dug. I guess I am safe to say it will never become my forever job and that is a good thing. All that just to save $7.99, it was worth it, if nothing else I will always keep My Hero guessing.


I have to mention that later that evening and after My Hero had retrieved the bucket from the hole and locked that boom pin for me and during a conversation between my construction worker neighbour and My Hero the neighbour said he would never hire someone who learned How to Operate a Backhoe from Google, after I told him what I had done
My Hero smiled….knowing he would hire me, I am positive of that.

Really…..I think that is a very good thing to know, don’t you?

Later

46 comments:

  1. This post was great early morning entertainment! :-) loved it, especially the part about being a little wary of your hubby making it a forever job. I can definitely see that being a concern. Glad you got your dirt moved and still left the pin for your hubby so he feels useful. Just kidding. This was fun. You're brave, cuz I think the first loud bang and clang I would have turned the machine off and run away!! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ha! You had my undivided attention this morning, Buttons. You are a brave woman to learn how to work a backhoe on Google. :))

    ReplyDelete
  3. Grace girl ... OMG ! .. so many times husband and I have laughed over someone using Google to do something they really shouldn't?
    This was a good morning giggle and I have so much respect for the experience and work you have done over those many years .. you are a warrior girl ! and I am sure your hubby knows that too : )
    Joy

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think you are brave, Buttons, and I know your flower planters will be fabulous.

    ReplyDelete
  5. So fun . . .Silly too!
    Google and 16 pages down to 4 was the best part and actually having directions in hand, cell phone on a back hoe . . . you are crazy fun girl!

    ReplyDelete
  6. You go girl! You are way braver then I!
    Love the part about not letting hubby know you can operate the machine or it will be your job forever! So true!
    Cheri

    ReplyDelete
  7. glad you survived and got the job done - with a little help from a certain hero. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh B this is great! All I can say is I agree 8 bucks for a bag of dirt is ridiculous. Love your go get em'ness... Always nice to have a hero around though :) Have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow - Google to the rescue. Is there anything a person CAN'T learn on Google? lol. Oh, and I'm quite sure your Hero would hire you as well :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. When I began reading your blog posts back when, I knew you were a special gal. The experience with the backhoe proves it! Go girl! I do not even go near our tractor or even John Deere riding lawnmower! Weedeater (battery or electric) and electric push mower are my limit. You Rock!!!Linda@Wetcreek Blog

    ReplyDelete
  11. You learn something new every day.....I wish I knew how to use a backhoe.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Grace, sad that you had to start with a disclaimer, lol...but the story, you are a super hero woman!

    Good for you for figuring out what you needed to do to get what you wanted done.

    Farmers rock.

    Jen

    ReplyDelete
  13. hehehe, oh buttons, what a great story!!

    be careful though, if you learn how to do everything....well you know how that goes!!!

    when we first got married, everything that came up i said "i can do that, i can paint that, i can cut the grass".....i learned pretty quickly that it's better to play dumb and let them think you don't know how to do anything ;)

    ps....everything i know, i learned from google!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Ah, Grace...you're my kinda woman! Like Aunt Bonnie once told me, "Them that can milk, gets to."
    I've been brush hogging...

    ReplyDelete
  15. You never cease to surprise me. Good on you, mon amie.

    ReplyDelete
  16. oh my goodness, just what I needed for this blah day :)
    thanks for the entertaining story and smiles :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh Hey absolutely you had me going from the first cheering you on knowing you could do it, with your eyes...aw no my eyes were closed, no don't do it, but i kept on reading, and for some reason I HAVE MORE GREY HAIR than i did this morning: reality check: I guess I'll never a farmer, but hey you're awesome you rule: B RULES

    ReplyDelete
  18. Aren't you something! Hope your Hero doesn't read this post and find out how much you know. :)))) Be very careful out there with your brave self!

    ReplyDelete
  19. You are brave my hero would probably have my head if I tried that by myself. That's why you do it and tell him later lol

    ReplyDelete
  20. That is SO COOL! I wish I could operate machinery - never have had the chance. My farmer neighbor has mentioned teaching me the finer points of his tractor, but he's usually too busy actually using it. Some day...

    ReplyDelete
  21. But you found no buffalo bones?

    your backhoe talent is wasted there in Canada... ;p

    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  22. Why am I not surprised? Farm women don't wait around to get the job done.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Wow, Buttons - you are brave and resourceful! Heavy equipment scares me. I would have nightmares about that thing. You are always up for adventure, girl! xo Karen

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm impressed that you would even try this on your own. Good for you.

    ReplyDelete
  25. B,

    You have no fear.......
    Learning how to operate large machinery.....way to go sweetie :-)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Here's to higher learning and a very good hearted hero!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I never would have thought of checking google for back hoe operations, but whatever works. lol You rock!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Sp proud of you but I had no doubt you could do it. This spring, I learned how to pop a boulder out of the ground with the bucket on our trusty Blue New Holland. My guy actually said I did a good job. I quickly reminded him not to count on me to do that again...it freaks me out when the tires come off the ground. Great Job Buttons

    ReplyDelete
  29. Great job! I am the same way. I avoided our tractor, but when my husband broke his ankle I asked a couple of questions and went out to plow the driveway. I agree with you it is best to keep our talents on the 'down low.' Amazing what one can do with google and a cell phone.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Delightful post. You will be digging holes every where soon.

    I learned how to ride a horse from a book. Maybe that's why I never did very well.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Good for you! I love playing on machinery. We have the use of a backhoe here, but I have never had to use the hoe part- but one day I am going to!

    ReplyDelete
  32. All I have to say is you are one brave woman!

    ReplyDelete
  33. You are a far, far braver woman than I Buttons! I salute you!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Well done. I bet you enjoyed researching 'how to' and using.
    Hugs M xox

    ReplyDelete
  35. I was transfixed! I was right there with you in that seat! Machines have always fascinated me..and the Backhoe is one of the most interesting. I had a whole afternoon watching one dig up my front sidewalk. The thing is, I would never do it..simply because I hate reading directions and seldom do. (and of course I don't have a Backhoe. You would think by this age I would have learned. READ DIRECTIONS!
    I loved that you did this..and did it pretty darned well..but the best part (the part that had me holding my breath) was that you were ALONE! You are MY hero!!
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  36. Oh my golly you are too funny and very brave, I've only sat in a back hoe and that made me nervous enough-your Hero is a very lucky man!

    ReplyDelete
  37. You make me laugh! In a good way! Now that you're an experienced back hoe operator, how about you come dig our new drain field? :)

    ReplyDelete
  38. Well...you have Luke and I in stitches because, yes, I am reading it aloud to him! You did a better job than I could have done!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I do think it's a very good thing to know!

    ReplyDelete
  40. If I ever need a good back hoe operator I'll call on you!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Great story on you trying to figure out how to operate a Backhoe. You have lots of courage to try it out. glad you got the job done!

    ReplyDelete
  42. and you managed to keep taking photos throughout! :D

    ReplyDelete

The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

Please do not copy my work. If you like it let me know I am sure we can work something out. Copyright is in place.