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
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?