Friday, March 5, 2010

You load 16 tons. . .

Loading the truckWell, I didn’t actually load it myself – the guy with the skidsteer at the stock yards did. And, not all at once. My truck couldn’t handle that. It would be nice, though.



I spent several hours today hauling eight loads of manure and bedding that they’ve cleaned out of the pens at the livestock buying market in the local town. It’s just over 6 miles away from our home. I can haul two tons per load. Thankfully, I didn’t have to load it with a shovel. The round trip, including helping the guy switch from the forks to the bucket on the skidsteer and watching him load the truck, took 45 minutes. It would have taken a lot longer if my truck didn’t have a dump bed.

Dumping onto the pile at homeI’ve hauled manure from the stock yards before, a few times using the truck. Before that I’ve hauled on my 16 foot trailer. I can haul more with the trailer, but then I have to unload it by hand. If I can figure out how to unload the trailer more easily, then I could bring more each trip. Any ideas?

The stock yard actually pays someone to haul away the manure and bedding that they clean out of the pens. I’m not sure where all he takes it, but I have had him bring some here in the past. It’s probably cheaper to pay him $15 a dump truck load than to haul it myself, but that doesn’t always work out. He can’t get in the bottom here to dump it where I want/need it when the ground is wet (which seems like half the year – the same time during which they stock yards have the most material to get rid of). His schedule also doesn’t always coincide with mine. I’ll work on that. He’s a nice guy, the same one I had dig our pond. He knows I’d like him to haul more. I need to make a point to tell him that I’ll take all he can bring.

My small mountain of manure goodnessSo, with today’s hauling, I’ve started my own small mountain of compost. It will take time to build it up. I hauled today because I could get it, and there was some pretty good stuff available. It has a lot of saw dust and some hay in it along with the cattle mess. It was steaming really well when he dug into the pile to load my truck.

On another note. . .

The Giveaway

I’m keeping a record of all the entrants and referrals. I’m also enjoying the comments. A lot of people are saying some very nice things. Some of you would like to buy some maple syrup. I wish I had some to sell. We generally make enough for our use throughout the year, not extra to sell. I can see that if I did have extra, there would be a market.

The bottle I’m giving away, which I wish I could give to everyone, is some that I made this week. What I’ve made so far has been very good. This particular batch had a little more than the giveaway jar which I put in another jar. It actually boiled a little too long while I was bottling the giveaway jar and most of it turned to sugar after bottling (we’ll enjoy it, though). I mention this because it should be an indication of the thickness of the giveaway bottle. It’s not sugar, but the next bit that was still in the pan while bottling it is mostly sugar (I have in the past made syrup  that wasn’t as thick as it ought to be – still tasted good, though).

7 comments:

Kelle

dp,
Mike keeps our amnure pile stirred, using the tractor to move it about and restack it. It's amazing how much heat there is in the pile and of coure the mice find that heat comfortable, should see them run when he begins moving it and restacking it for further breakdown. In Mid April it will be placed in the manure spreader and spread on the pastures with just enough saved for our gardens*wink*

BTW when I saw 16 ton as your blog title, I started hearing that song in my head, "16 ton, what you get? Another day older and deeper in debt.... in your case( and ours too) it couldn't be further from the truth, LOL!

dp

Kelle, I was thinking of the song when I wrote the title! The only correct part is "another day older" although I don't feel any older.

I'm buying an old skidsteer to use in cleaning out the barn and taking care of compost piles. Mechanical tools save a lot of back-breaking labor, but we do what we've got to do!

Kelle

dp,
Until two years ago we didn't have a tractor with a bucket, so the manure spreader got filled by hand, which wasn't so bad that is until one or two passes around the field and it was empty, LOL! Now it's a piece of cake, mechanical tools are wonderful!
Blessings and productivity for your weekend,
Kelle

dp

I've mucked out the barn by hand more than once, although it wasn't as built up as it is this year. I've loaded a manure spreader with a scoop shovel and a pitchfork several times. Amazing how it empties 20 minutes of hard work in just a couple of minutes. I've even thrown manure/barn cleanings on the field off of the trailer (about 8 tons of it one year) because I didn't have a manure spreader. Interestingly, only a couple weeks after that, I bought our old spreader -- not when I really needed it.

Have a great weekend yourself! We're going to spend tomorrow with some wonderful friends.

curdy

"I can haul more with the trailer, but then I have to unload it by hand. If I can figure out how to unload the trailer more easily, then I could bring more each trip. Any ideas?"

Ever heard of the Load Handler? They don't make one with the capacity you need for the trailer, but if you could make one based on their design, you may be able to make it work. I had one for an old truck of mine, and it worked very well, especially for how simple it is.

A Maine Homestead

We just got a skidsteer last summer and we love it. Still need other things, but we are getting there. A few years ago I wanted to do everything by hand, but as my back gets more and more tired I realize that help is good!

Your manure pile looke great, like having money in the bank (better, actually)!

dp

Curdy, that's a good idea. I bet I could make something along those lines.

AMH, it takes time (and usually money) to get the tools we need. I hope this skidsteer will work out for us. If not, there are other options. I've realized much more how important the compost actually is.

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